Redskins @ rams
Washington Redskins at St. Louis Rams
Sunday: September 16th
When the Redskins went into New Orleans week 1, only the extreme faithful of Redskins Nation, and probably people within the Redskins organization for that matter, believe the Skins had the firepower to keep up with the Saints.
My how things change after just one week. Robert Griffin has all of the region buzzing and even has Sports Center talking about the Washington Redskins — even outside of Griffining. The Redskins are a 3.5 point favorite against the Rams, and I have even seen people advising to take them in survivor pools.
Washington looks to continue to build on their offensive success, while fine tuning some things on defense and special teams.
Here are a few things to look for during the mid-afternoon matchup:
WHEN THE REDSKINS HAVE THE BALL
Last week establishing the running game early was one area we pointed out that the Redskins should focus on. Instead of running the ball early, they used quick screens and dump passes to gain yard and keep the chains moving, while keeping the Saints on the sideline. Once things opened up, Alfred Morris was able to take advantage, doing most of his work in the second half.
The running game again, as will be the case most weeks, is going to be key in keeping Washington’s offense moving. Look for Morris to have another solid, if not spectacular game on the ground.
I expect the Skins to come out more aggressive at the beginning of the game this week, going vertical early and taking shots down the field. Griffin just needs to make sure he is aware of where Cortland Finnegan is on the field. He had a pretty decent opening game for the Rams with 9.5 tackles, and an interception returned for a TD.
WHEN THE rams HAVE THE BALL
Sam Bradford threw 25 times for a total of 198 yards, the majority being quick passes and dump off to the running backs. Danny Amendola is turning into somewhat of a Welker-lite type (I know not a bold comparison by any means) and Steven Jackson is always dangerous out of the backfield.
Washington should look to dial up the same sort of pressure that they were able to put on Drew Brees and bring it often to disrupt Bradford. The Rams 3rd year QB has been prone to throwing the occasional INT — not quite Rex Grossmanesque ratio — as he has given it away 25 times in 27 games.
The Redskins only registered 2 sacks last week, but the pressure they put on Brees was much more of an impact that it shows on paper. There were several plays where Washington hurried the QB, and it seemed like they tipped a ball at the line of scrimmage every series.
Look for Washington to Register at least 4 sacks against the Rams.
Redskins Defensive Line vs. Rams Offensive Line
As noted above, I fully expect the Redskins to apply tons of pressure on Bradford. If the Skins can put up some early points on offense, and contain Steven Jackson on the ground, it could be open season for their pass rush.
Brandon Meriweather: Questionable – Knee
Pierre Garcon: Questionable – Foot
Chris Baker: Probable – Ankle
Rokevicus Watkins: Doubtful
Matt Conrath: Doubtful
Rodger Saffold: Probable
Darrell Scott: Questionable
Michael Brockers: Doubtful
I believe the Rams are going to be a much better team this year than in prior years, but I expect Washington to get up with an early lead. If the Redskins can score early, they have an opportunity to again control the time of possession game and force the Rams to play from behind, causing a good opportunity for the Skins to cause turnovers.
Washington – 24
St. Louis – 17