The St. Louis Rams are riding high as they have just beaten their rival, the Seattle Seahawks in the week 1 matchup in overtime 34-31. But before the Rams can continue to celebrate they need to focus on the Redskins who could make more noise then they think.
The Rams defense has slowly become one of the best pass rushing and run stopping defenses in the NFL, and that defense will be put to the test as the 3rd highest rushing yards per game (161 yards) Washington Redskins will hope to pull off the upset. The Redskins ran all over the Miami Dolphins last week, and came close to pulling off the upset. A late special teams touchdown sealed their fate.
The key for the Redskins offense is Alfred Morris who rushed for 121 yards on 25 carries against Miami. If the Rams are hoping to start the season 2-0, for the first time since the 2001 season, they need to stop the ground game and Morris.
The Rams did a decent job of stopping the rushing attack of the Seahawks. Marshawn Lynch tailed only 73 yards; however Lynch only rushed 18 times and had an average of 4.1 yards a carry. The Rams also had some trouble stopping the quick Russell Wilson. Wilson rushed for 31 yards with 3.9 yards per carry. Morris averaged 4.8 yards per carry against the Dolphins. How can the Rams stop the ground game? Let’s put the focus on the best defensive front in the league.
Aaron Donald and company had great success getting after Wilson last week. As a team, they totaled six sacks. Thats the highest total for all teams through Week 1. Very impressive as the Rams defense continues to rise, yet run stopping needs to be a higher priority come Sunday.
Donald, Chris Long, Michael Brockers and Robert Quinn all have the capability of reaching the backfield as we clearly saw them stop Lynch on the game winning 4th and one stop, but it all comes down to if they can do it on a consistently. Good news for the Rams as they don’t have to worry about Kirk Cousins scrambling a lot, as he is a pocket passer.Sep 13, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams defensive tackle Michael Brockers (90) sacks Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) during the second half at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Last week, the Rams faced one of the best one-two punches of Wilson and Lynch, and this week the Rams only need to focus on Morris coming from the backfield. The Seahawks had more of a balanced offense last week, but this week the Redskins are going to favor the rushing game.
Last week against Miami, the Washington handed the ball off to their running backs 37 times, and only dropped back to pass 31 times. With the Redskins knowing that the Rams gave up 124 total rushing yards, they will attack the defense fast and often. The Rams added Nick Fairley in the offseason to enhance the run stopping defense, and also added another key linebacker Akeem Ayers., now starting on the outside.
The Rams have all the weapons on defense to stop the only true threat from the Washington Redskins. If they stop the ground game of Morris, the Rams could be looking at starting the 2015 NFL season at 2-0 for the first time since 2001.