Rams vs. Redskins; Week 2 Preview


The St. Louis Rams (1-0) will travel to the East coast this Sunday to play the Washington Redskins (0-1) in their Week 2 matchup. The Rams are coming of an overtime victory over the Seattle Seahawks where they showed grit and determination in a way past Rams’ squads have not. The Redskins are reeling from a tough loss to the Miami Dolphins and the loss of their best offensive weapon, DeSean Jackson. Things are already looking up for St. Louis.

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The aforementioned Jackson will be sidelined for the next three to four weeks with a hamstring injury suffered against the Dolphins. An overthrown ball from Kirk Cousins left Jackson coming up limping early in the contest and he would leave the game early, unable to return. Jackson is the only deep threat at wide receiver for Washington, and now they must make due with Pierre Garcon and Andre Roberts. The two combined for 110 receiving yards in Week 1.

The Redskins also made a change at kicker releasing Kai Forbath and doing Dustin Hopkins. They lost safety Duke Ihenacho due to a wrist injury which may land him on IR, and cornerback Chris Culliver has been suspended one game by the NFL for violating the leagues personal conduct policy.

The absence of Jackson is good new for St. Louis, who may be heading into the game thin at the cornerback position. Trumaine Johnson left the Rams Week 1 contest with concussion symptoms and is day-to-day. A week of rest may change his status for Week 2, but not having to deal with the speedy Jackson is a relief. If Johnson can’t go, expect Marcus Roberson to make another spot start. Roberson was clutch against Seattle bringing physical play and limiting tight end Jimmy Graham in the second half.

The running game for the Redskins may have been their lone bright spot in Week 1. Running back Alfred Morris cruised to 121 rushing yards on 25 carries. Rushing mainly to the right side behind Brandon Scherff and Morgan Moses. Morris is still the number one back in Washington, but the popular rookie Matt jones may vulture a few carries on Sunday depending on Morris’ success.

The Rams defensive line did a great job of bottling up Marshawn Lynch, who is considerably better than Morris, in Week 1. The front four limited Lynch to 73 rushing yards and kept him out of the end zone. Once again in Week 2, Aaron Donald and company should have their way with an inferior offensive line. Don’t expect Morris to have his way again, and we may be treated to another big day in the sack department.

Trying to avoid those sacks will be Washington starting quarterback Kirk Cousins. Cousins will once again be starting place of the once highly regarded Robert Griffin III, who is now reportedly playing for the Redskin’s scout team. Cousins was a very pedestrian 21 of 31 for 188 passing yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in Week 1. Cousins is the typical pocket passer and is still trying to prove himself to the Washington faithful.

Sep 13, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; Seattle Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas (29) brings down St. Louis Rams tight end Jared Cook (89) during the second half at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Redskin’s defense limited the Miami offense to just seven points at the half, and 17 for the game. Seven of those 17 coming from special teams on a Jarvis Landry punt return for a touchdown. They held their own against a supposed AFC East contender in the Dolphins.

They limited the Dolphins rushing attack to less than 75-yards total, and conceded only one passing touchdown. However, they allowed Miami tight end Jordan Cameron to grab four caches for 73-yards. That’s good news for the suddenly sure handed tight end duo of Jared Cook and Lance Kendricks in St. Louis.

Nick Foles and offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti will need to get creative if they expect to repeat the 34 points they posted in Week 1. Tre Mason is on track to play against Washington, but the final decision will be made later in the week. For now, Benny Cunningham seems to working just fine as a suitable replacement. Cunningham racked up almost 130 all-purpose yards against Seattle and was a threat rushing and receiving.

Penalties were also an issue for the Redskins in Week 1. Washington tallied 11 yellow flags for a total of 88 penalty yards. The Rams on the other hand kept things in check in Week 1 only giving up 30 penalty yards on four flags. This is a pleasant surprise given St. Louis averaged almost 70 penalty yards per game in the preseason.

We will check back in as the week progresses and the Rams wait to hear on a few key injuries, but this should be a relatively easy contest for them come Sunday. If they can keep the energy high, and not overlook a depleted Redskins squad, they may very well open the year 2-0.