As the Los Angeles Rams prepare to face the Washington Redskins Sunday, here are some things to look for in the Week 2 matchup.
Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay gets to face his former team in Week 2. The Washington Redskins are coming off a 30-17 week one loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. In the game, QB Kirk Cousins, former McVay prodigy, was 23-40 with 1TD and 1INT. As he travels to the Coliseum to face their former offensive coordinator in LA, here are some things to keep in mind.
Washington is going to throw the ball
Their passing game is the best thing the Redskins have going, so expect them to try and air it out. Last week, Washington was 23-40 passing in a losing effort. Additionally, they only rushed for 64 yards, 30 of those coming from Cousins. So, the Rams secondary is going to be tested. Cousins is a much better passer than the two-headed monster of Scott Tolzien/Jacoby Brissett. They are going to sling it and they are going to make some plays. Also, considering that starting CB Kayvon Webster has been out of practice all week with an injured shoulder and officially listed as questionable, the Rams may be thin at CB. Can Trumaine Johnson and S Lamarcus Joyner make plays like they did last week? That brings us to point number two…
The defense is going to have an opportunity to make big plays on defense.
The Eagles sacked Cousins three times last week, including that strip sack for a TD. Pass protection was an issue against the Eagles last week. Knowing how Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips likes to dial up the blitz, the Rams should have opportunities to get OLB Robert Quinn, DT Aaron Donald, OLB Connor Barwin, and others in pursuit of the QB. That should result in errant throws and some turnovers. Winning the turnover battle will put LA in prime position for second consecutive victory.
Redskins defense can score, but can also give up big plays
The Redskins defense allowed QB Carson Wentz and the Eagles offense to have a good day. Wentz finishing with 307 yards passing and two touchdowns. One of those touchdowns was a 58-yard sling to WR Nelson Agholor who was wide open in the first quarter. So the Rams wide receivers should look to stretch the field and get big plays in the passing game. However, the Redskins defense also forced Wentz into a pick six. QB Jared Goff and the Rams offense have yet to turn the ball over (the one turnover last week was the muffed punt by WR Tavon Austin on special teams). Los Angeles wants to keep this going and stay away from what fans saw last year, where Goff threw seven interceptions and fumbled five times in seven starts.
The Rams need to get Todd Gurley going
RB Todd Gurley had a nice game last week overall, with 96 total yards and a touchdown. However, he only saw 40 of those yards come on the ground on 19 carries, resulting in a 2.1 yards per carry average.
That is not good enough.
There were a couple of times where Gurley broke a ten plus yard run that got called back due to penalties, which would have resulted in a better final stat line. But the main thing is this: The Los Angeles Rams didn’t need Gurley to run well last week, but they will in the future. Establishing the running game allows for a balanced offense and can set up some big plays in the play-action attack as well. Hopefully Gurley can get it going on Sunday!