5 Keys To Victory: St. Louis Rams At Washington Redskins
By Mark Warren
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
1.) Contain QB Colt McCoy on the edge
McCoy is a mobile quarterback who has the ability to make plays outside of the pocket. Standing at a mere 6’1″, McCoy thrives when he can move his feet and open up throwing lanes down the field. He has weapons on the outside too, including WR’s Desean Jackson and Pierre Garcon as well as TE’s Jordan Reed and Niles Paul. Keeping McCoy flustered in traffic in the pocket will limit his effectiveness. DE’s Robert Quinn and Chris Long must be careful to keep contain while getting their rush off.
2.) Stuff RB Alfred Morris
Although Morris has only eclipsed 100 yards rushing once this season, he still holds a good stat line of 893 yards and seven touchdows at a 4.3 yard average. Despite their weapons on the outside, Morris is critical for the Redskins’ offense to succeed. If the Rams can get out to another early lead, his chances will be limited due to their need to put up quick points. But if the Redskins get a lead, look for them to lean on their run game to control the clock and the tempo.
3.) Watch WR Desean Jackson deep
Despite the team’s struggles and a quarterback carousel, Jackson has had a nice season for himself. Washington’s free agent signing holds a stat line of 47/942/5 and he averages a whopping 20 yards per reception. The secondary must be on their game, and they must eliminate communication errors that allow receivers to get behind the defense for wide open scores. CB Janoris Jenkins must not bite on any double moves because Jackson will have a big day if he does.
4.) Play with confidence
For the first time this season the Rams are playing a stretch of winnable teams in the Raiders, Redskins, Cardinals (without QB Carson Palmer) and Giants. They must carry over their effort and momentum from last week and use it to beat a lesser team. They must not fall into the trap of playing down to the level of your opponent, as teams in the NFL do so often. When the Rams led at halftime 38-0 over Oakland last week, Head coach Jeff Fisher told the team to play the second half like they were down 14 points. The Rams must avoid being complacent and if they put in another solid effort they will win this game.
5.) Test the Redskins’ secondary
The Washington back end is very prone to busts in coverage and the Rams should come out testing them early like they did last week. WR Stedman Bailey has had a great last couple of games and WR Kenny Britt has been solid all year. OC Brian Schottenheimer woud be wise to uncork more deep attempts for QB Shaun Hill, who has shown good accuracy on throws more than 20 yards downfield.
Check back with us after the game to see our Keys to Victory: Revisited.