September 16, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams fan holds up a sign during the second half against the Washington Redskins at the Edward Jones Dome. The Rams defeated the Redskins 31-28. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE
The Rams have finally got the win they deserved against the Washington Redskins. This game should finally shut up any clamoring from fans about the front office’s “mistake” on not taking Griffin to replace Bradford as the Rams signal caller. In their first head-to-head matchup, Bradford completely controlled the game, whether it be finding the open man in the zone or giving the “kill” call to hand the ball to Jackson or Richardson. Some of the predictions before the game did not come to fruition, most notably missing on Zuerlein kicking a 50+ yarder for the second consecutive week. However, any Rams fan will take a win in the real game over a win in the predictions category, any day of the week. If you didn’t get a chance to check out the pregame, bold predictions you can see them by clicking here. This is how we did this week….
1. Sam Bradford and Co. will combine for 350+ yards
Turns out the analysis of the St. Louis Rams versus the 3-4 defense was correct, maybe even more correct than originally thought. Bradford ended his night with an impressive 310 yard passing performance, going 26 for 35 passing, with 3 touchdowns to top it all off. Between Bradford and the amazing combination of Daryl Richardson and Steven Jackson, the Rams piled up 461 yards on the offensive side of the ball. To put that in perspective, St. Louis averaged 7.4 yards per offensive play, which helped contribute to the 58% third down efficiency and the 23 total first downs in the game. This was one the greatest offensive performances we have seen from Bradford since he was drafted back in 2010, and it was the difference between the loss last week to the Lions and the win this week.
Verdict: Pass (no pun intended)
2. Robert Quinn and Chris Long will combine for 2 or more sacks, Washington will get less than 2
These numbers may be a little skewed by RGIII “rushing” out of bounds for a loss on a couple of plays, that would have normally be counted towards the sack total. However, the stats sheet will say that the Rams only recorded a single sack against the Redskins, which came via Robert Quinn. On the other side of the ball, Washington was credited with 2 sacks, one from Orakpo and one from Bowen. Those who watched the game are very much aware that the Rams put more pressure on RGIII than the Redskins put on Bradford, even if the box score statistics won’t support the claim. However, this prediction was about stats, and the Redskins at least won in this facet of the game.
3. RGIII will not throw for more then 250 yards
The St. Louis Rams defense had been give no love by anyone leading up to this game. Those who follow the NFL closely knew that the New Orleans Saints were a team that was down-spiraling, missing a ton of coaches and their best player on the defensive side of the ball. Not to take anything away from the rookie, but he hadn’t really played against a truly complete NFL defense in Week 1 when compiling those NFC Offensive Player of the Week numbers. Against St. Louis, the corners blanketed the Redskins wide outs, and forced RGIII to attempt to win the game with his legs. Griffin ended the night on 20 of 29 passing for 206 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. Even those number were inflated by a long pass and catch to Hankerson, which accounted for over 33% of the total passing yards in the game. You will not hear about it during the week from the mainstream, NFL media, but RGIII got shut down in this game. Say what you want about his 82 yards rushing, at the end of the day a quarterback has to win the game with his arm, and Griffin failed to do that against a true NFL defense.
4. Steven Jackson will have more rushing yards than Alfred Morris
This turned out to be a little unfair, with Jackson manning the sideline for nearly third quarters. He still ended the game with 9 carries for 58 yards, an impressive 6.4 yards per carry. Alfred Morris is more comparable to the Rams back-up Daryl Richardson. Their numbers were nearly identical in the run game, with Morris getting 16 rushes for 89 yard and Richardson getting 15 carries for 83 yards. Hard to say what Jackson would have done if he was in the game, but I guess technically Morris did have more yards than Jackson.
5. Zuerlein will finally get his 50+ yard field goal
Zuerlein is now a prefect 6 for 6 on the season, after kicking another impressive game against the Redskins. For once, I think Rams Nation enjoyed seeing less of Zuerlein on the field, with the offense clicking in all phases for a majority of the game. He was 3 out of 3 on the night, hitting from 39, 33, and 42 yards. It is likely that he will get a couple of chances from 50+ at some point this season, but I think St. Louis will be more than happy with reserving Greg the Leg’s services for extra points and kickoffs if they can continue to find the end zone.