It could happen….
The Redskins have been in this position before, one and one and heading into an away match-up at an inferior team. Let’s be honest, the Redskins are not world-beaters but the Rams are clearly struggling and will not be good this year. This is not a knock on the team. New ownership, a second year head coach, a rookie quarterback – this season has doom written all over it for the guardians of the west. The Redskins should win this game.
Last year, the one and one Redskins played poorly versus the Rams at home in week two. The score was 9-7 in a game where the offense could not get into the end zone, despite several tries from inside the five yard line. This game was very telling of the season. The Redskins were a bad team, but knew how to keep it close all the way till the final gun. The problem was, they had way too many games that had this similar ending. The rest of the season, this team played hard for head coach Jim Zorn, but they did not have what it took to beat the good teams.
The very next week, the Redskins went to Detroit and lost in what was seemingly a game they should have won. A rookie coach, a rookie quarterback; yet the Lions marched down the field and Matthew Stafford looked like John Elway. Could the Redskins be heading into an ambush this weekend?
The St. Louis Rams are 10 years removed from their epic Super Bowl win over the Tennessee Titans, and are a far distant shell of what that team was. Long time institutions such as Torry Holt and Marc Bulger are no longer with the team. The “greatest show on turf” moniker is a thing of the past. The Rams have had it tough the last few years.
This season the Rams are in the bottom 23 in every statistical category. On offense the Rams are ranked 23rd in passing, gaining 187.5 yards a game, rush for 80 yards a game – good for 25th. On defense they are 24th in passing and 30th run offense. Ideally, this is a game where the Redskins should be able to click on all phases. Ideally they should.
The Redskins themselves have not established themselves as true contenders, but are better team now as compared to a year ago. On offense the Redskins finally starting clicking last week; at least the passing game did. The Redskins are top 10 in the passing category in 7th place, averaging 282 yards through two games. Running the ball has been a difference story. The Redskins are dead last averaging 53.5 yards. They will certainly need to excel in this phase of the game should they seek to gain respect from experts and other teams.
Winning two of the three phases of the game are said to be crucial if teams want to win in this league. The Redskins need to win two out of three phases, they need to dominate. Why? Because with the injury list that the Rams are boasting and just the way the two teams are matched up, it is only logical.
How will the Rams win this game? If the Rams get the ball first and somehow connect on a big play for a score, a long touchdown pass from Sam Bradford to Mark Clayton perhaps, and a good stand on defense; the Redskins will have to start things off from behind. This would not be hard to imagine. That is how upsets are drawn up. The underdog starts fast, and the favored team responds poorly. Also if the Redskins find themselves playing a three point game with the Rams, there is a good chance they lose it. They just lost one of those last Sunday.
The Redskins need to score fast and keep their hands on the ball for as long as possible. Dominating the clock and the scoreboard is the best offense, and best defense. If the they have trouble doing that, it may be wise to call in sick on Monday.