Sep 9, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; St. Louis Rams offensive tackle Barry Richardson (79), offensive guard Harvey Dahl (62), and quarterback Sam Bradford (8) during the first half against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-US PRESSWIRE
Sunday marks the season home opener for the St. Louis Rams, which will be marked by a non-blacked out crowd, and thousands of fans wearing their fake Jeff Fisher mustaches. The Rams played extremely well at home in the preseason, going 2-0 when playing in the Edwards Jones dome. This may have been the luck of the draw, considering the one of those was a fourth preseason game that saw only one Baltimore starter, but I digress. This week’s game is one that is extremely important for the franchise, not only for this outcome of this season, but for this year’s coming draft. A win against the ‘Skins tomorrow means that the Rams improve to .500 on the season, but also boosts the Redskins draft slot, which will be handed to St. Louis as a result of the trade for the rights to Robert Griffin III in the 2012 draft. Washington got a huge boost in the “power rankings” after their upset of the New Orleans Saints in Week 1. Many are prematurely touting the team as the next, worst-to-first squad in the league, even though we are only one game into the season. Thus, few have given the Rams a chance in this ball game…
Sport’s Illistrated’s Peter King in on the RGIII bandwagon, which is highlighted in his in depth analysis of St. Louis game against Washington. He hands the game ball to the rookie quarterback with this brilliant explanation,
"All those who thought the Redskins would start 2-0 with a rookie quarterback, raise your hands in a Griffining pose."
CBSSports has ironically give the St. Louis Rams a 5-versus-4 nod against the Redskins, which is surprising given their blowout prediction from last Sunday when the Rams played the Lions. Larry Hartstein, who rights a majority of the game previews for CBSSports.com, gave a breakdown of all the important factors in the game, from injuries to the key players to watch,
"RB Steven Jackson must get going. He carried 21 times for 53 yards against a mediocre Lions run defense. Daryl Richardson supplied a nice change of pace with 20 yards on two carries, but the entire offense starts with S-Jax. Washington held New Orleans to 32 yards on 10 rushes last week. Defensively, the Rams need better coverage from safeties Quintin Mikell and Cragi Dahl. They allowed all 10 passes in their coverage to be completed, for 159 yards. Bradford targeted WR Danny Amendola nine times last week, more than double that of any other Rams wideout. He caught five balls for 70 yards. Look for rookie Chris Givens to run a few deep routes; he got way behind Detroit’s secondary once but Bradford underthrew him. Also look for TE Lance Kendricks to be more involved after catching just two balls for 16 yards. 23-20, Rams"
Unsurprisingly, Bleacher Report’s Jason Amareld was delsuion about the Washingskins abilities after Week 1. According to Amareld, the Redskins proven ability to stop the run, the Rams “terrible” pass defense, and Alfred Morris will win the game… he clearly has no clue about the NFL, especially after picking his Buffalo Bills to beat the Kansas City Chiefs.
"The Redskins’ ability to stop the run will put pressure on Rams quarterback Sam Bradford for the entire game. With that pressure will come turnovers and a lot of three-and-out series’.If the Rams have any chance of winning, Bradford is going to have to have a huge game. Griffin will shine against the Ram’s terrible pass defense in a big way and running back Alfred Morris will have another big game. Watch him break 100 yards rushing this weekend. 27-10, Redskins"
Bleacher Report wasn’t all hype and hyperbole, with Vincent Frank making a pretty sensible piece about the Rams, although the outcome is the same,
"St. Louis Rams nearly pulled off an amazing upset at Ford Field against the Detroit Lions. Relying on three timely interceptions of Matthew Stafford, the Rams defense was able to keep it close until Detroit broke through in the last minute. Sam Bradford managed the game extremely well, but he didn’t overly impress against what has been a weak Detroit pass defense. Instead, St. Louis relied mostly on intermediate routes. This won’t work against a Redskins team that is, all of a sudden, as dynamic as they come on the offensive side of the ball. I have Washington taking its second consecutive road game to start the season 2-0, while St. Louis drops another competitive game. 31-20, Redskins"
ESPN NFC West blogger Mike Sando surprisingly is going with the Rams this week over the Redskins, which is atypical given his usual negative take on all things not related to the Seattle Seahawks. He is banking on the defensive planning of head coach Jeff Fisher to stop the dynamic RGIII,
"The Rams’ defensive staff should benefit from having seen how the Redskins planned to use Robert Griffin III this season. I’ll go out on a limb and say the Rams, armed with a smart defensive plan and opportunistic cornerbacks, find a way to win their home opener under Jeff Fisher. Sando’s best guess: Rams 20, Redskins 17"
The online Washington Times posted a collection of predictions from all around the Washington area. As would be expected, a majority of the media have the Redskins over the Rams, with the exception of NBC4’s Dan Hellie, who predicted a 24-17 St. Louis victory. The other 17 members of the media have the Rams dropping to 0-2 this season, although most have the game within a single score.
Elsewhere, all of the writers over at SB Nations Hogs Heaven, the fan site dedicated to the Washington Redskins, have chosen the Redskins over the Rams, which is too be expected given the outrage they would get in the comment section if they picked against the ‘Skins.
Lastly, we at Ramblin’ Fan are still betting on St. Louis this week, with 3 out of 4 of our writers picking the Rams to “upset” the Redskins. Make sure to check out our previews and key to the game, and tune in before the game to see our bold predictions for St. Louis vs. Washington!