Sunday, September 20, 2009

Week 2 – Rams @ Redskins Matchup

Both the St. Louis Rams and Washington Redskins started the season with a loss. After today one of the teams will drop to 0-2 and you know what they say about your playoff chances when you start 0-2. The Redskins are coming off a tough loss against the New York Giants and will be looking to take it out on the Rams who have now lost 11 games in a row. The Redskins who play in the tough NFL East should benefit from a string of games against St. Louis, Detroit, Tampa Bay, Carolina, and Kansas City which could put them at the top of their division. The Rams on the other hand have to play tough road games at Washington, San Francisco, and Jacksonville and even tougher home games agsinst Green Bay, Minnesota and Indianapolis before their schedule gets easier.

These teams at times can be very similar with bad QB play, a receiving core that does not scare you and an inconsistent running game. Which ever team plays better in these 3 areas today will come away the winner. The Rams managed to create three early turnovers last weeks against the Seattle Seahawks but were unable to turn those mistake into any points. They must convert all opportunities to stay in these games.

The Rams need to find a way to stop the run and then come after Jason Campbell with a pass rush that they have not been able to produce so far. I expect a much better blitz package this week from Steve Spagnuolo. This is the type of game the Rams usually get beat by the back up running back. I think Ladell Betts will see a lot of action today and the Rams will need to shut down their run. The Rams who allowed 5.1 per rush in the preseason started off allowing 4.9 last week to Julius Jones and the Seattle Seahawks, they will not win many games if that continues.

On offense the Rams were worse than pitiful last week as they were the ONLY NFL team to come away with zero points. They obviously look to improve upon that this week. The Rams had around 100 meager yards heading into the 4th quarter last week. The Rams say they are going to pound Steven Jackson but will they? Today should be straight forward they need to run behind Incognito and Jason Smith and try to overpower Phillip Daniels & Brian Orakpo. On the left side of the line they will have their hands full with Jacob Bell who has been just awful since the Rams acquired him from Tennessee, going up against the monster man Albert Haynesworth. In the passing game I am about done with Marc Bulger and talking about Marc Bulger. However if we are going to score any points today he is going to need to complete some passes under pressure. He is great in practice with his little red "don't touch me shirt on" but under pressure he continues to crumble like a Ritz cracker. Step up Marc, just step up!

Although the Redskins do not frighten me and are not the type of team that will blow many teams out, I still do not like the Rams chances today. They have just not played together long enough. The injuries to Marc Bulger and Donnie Avery have this offense way behind. Along with the fact the Rams have a new Offensive coordinator, RT, LT and Center this team will take a while to put it together. I do love the swarming, ball hawking defense but they are not good enough to spend the whole day on the field. If the Rams can contain Portis and Betts they should be able to take this one into the 4th quarter and have a shot. In the end I think the team with 11 straight loses will continue to find ways to lose.

Prediction Washington 20-10 over the Rams

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