The LA Rams should have plenty of intel on the Washington Football team, as they hired Kevin O’Connell to run the offense this year
The LA Rams have faced three teams from the NFC East division, and have won all three games so far. They play the Washington Football team on the road this weekend, in an effort to walk out with a clean sweep of the NFC East. That’s never an easy task, as the Rams had to fight and claw for a victory in the third NFC encounter. This one is back on the road, on the east coast, and three time-zones earlier.
While the Rams were limited on what they knew about their first three NFC East opponents, there should be no limit to the amount of information that they have on the Washington Football team. After all, that was the organization that employed head coach Sean McVay before he was hired to be the LA Rams head coach in 2017. And it was the team that employed Kevin O’Connell before he hired on as the LA Rams offensive coordinator in 2020.
He was the offensive coordinator for the Washington football team in 2019.
What intel does O’Connell have?
As the offensive coordinator, it was Kevin O’Connell’s job to know the ins and outs of all the players on offense, as well as talking points about the defense. That means that he will have complete working knowledge of Washington’s quarterback Dwayne Haskins, wide receiver Terry McLaurin, and a pretty hefty pass rush that has sacked a quarterback 14 times in just four games.
While just 1-3, Washington had scored 79 points in the first four games, while allowing 112 points. Conversely, the Rams have scored 106 points, while allowing just 80 points. At first glance, that appears to favor the LA Rams. But QB Haskins is a mobile quarterback, and with the Rams running extremely thin at inside linebacker, that could pose a huge problem.
Stopping Haskins stops Washington
While Washington has not yet found its footing, their young quarterback Dwayne Haskins has been doing so. After three straight games where his completion rate flirted with 50 percent, he soared to a 71 percent completion rate against the Baltimore Ravens. IN that latest loss, Haskins completed 32 of 45 passes thrown for 314 yards, by far his most impressive outing so far this year.
His favorite receiver was Terry McLaurin, who pulled down 10 of 14 for 118 yards. His second most favorite receiver of the game was running back J.D. McKissic, who caught seven of eight passes thrown his way for 40 yards. McKissic will pose a problem for the Rams, who have struggled with check-down outlet receivers so far this season.
Stopping Washington will mean that the Rams will need to know what weaknesses their offense has. That is where O’Connell can do his best. The Rams face the rival San Francisco 49ers on the road after this week, so the Rams are certainly very much at risk of looking past this one.
O’Connell’s knowledge forces the Rams to stay focused. They have not looked sharp in their last two outings, as the defense struggled in week three, and the offense struggled in week four. Now in week five, they are painfully on the road to the East Coast and turning the clocks ahead by three hours for the third time in four weeks. The Rams must overcome a number of factors in week five before facing their first NFC West opponent.