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Week Two Preview: Redskins Looking to Avenge 08 Loss to Rams

The Redskins hope to pick up their first win of the 2009 season on Sunday as they head into Fed Ex Field to butt heads with the Rams. The Rams are coming off of a shutout loss to Seattle as they were unable to muster up any kind of offensive rhythm. The key for the Redskins defense will be shutting down Steven Jackson and preventing big plays through the air.

The Rams won only two games last year one of which was against Washington. It was a game in which the Redskins dominated statistically and at the line of scrimmage only giving up 200 total yards of offense. St. Louis however was able to capitalize on big plays, including a 43 yard bomb to Donnie Avery which set up the game winning field goal in the final minute winning by a score of 19-17.

Expect the Rams to run to the left side with workhorse Steven Jackson while setting up the play action pass to attack deep. They will probably maintain a quick pace in a hurry up style in an attempt to tire out Washington’s defense and prevent them from substituting in fresh bodies. The good news for the Redskins is that they won’t have to worry about Wide Receiver Torry Holt who has parted ways with the Rams and is now starting in Jacksonville.

St. Louis’ defense despite giving up 28 points last week is solid. They forced three turnovers against the Seahawks and got good production out of Rookie linebacker James Laurinaitis leading the team in tackles.

The key for the Redskins on Offense will be establishing the running game early and being patient by taking what the Rams give them. Long methodical clock eating drives will be necessary to dim the spirits of one of the worst teams in the NFL. Perhaps the Redskins will get lucky by the Rams being overly confident based on last year’s fluke in Fed Ex.

I would not count on it though. New St. Louis Rams head coach John Spagnuolu knows the Redskins well as he held Washington to just two touchdowns in two games last year as the New York Giants defensive coordinator. It was turnovers that destroyed Washington in their 2008 contest with the Rams. By protecting the ball and playing a game of field position, this should be a “W” for the Skins.

Clearly the more talented team on the field Sunday will be in burgundy and gold but that doesn’t always translate into victory. If they make some of the careless mistakes indicative of last year’s game we could see an 0-2 start setting up a must win against the Lions in Detroit.

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