Too early to call the Redskins Week 4 game against the St. Louis Rams a must-win, but it’s a huge opportunity for the Redskins to improve to a surprising 3-1 record heading into the bye week. This is the kind of win the Redskins have to bank, against an inferior and wounded opponent, before the schedule turns brutal in late November-early December.
Prior to the season, the Rams were the sexy pick to win the depleted NFC West, but that pipe dream has been shattered by injuries to key personnel…the result has been a disastrous 0-3 start to their 2011 campaign. Rams running back Steven Jackson injured his quadriceps on his first carry of the season, and has only 6 total carries through 3 games; I think he saw more action shooting his Nike commercial for Dick’s Sporting Goods this offseason. Wide receiver Danny Amendola was supposed to be Wes Welker Lite, and provide a reliable target for 2nd-year QB Sam Bradford, but a grotesque elbow injury in the opening week loss to Philadelphia has kept him sidelined as well. Sam Bradford has thrown a whopping 2 touchdowns on the season.
And the Rams defense is hideous, especially at attempting to stop the run. St. Louis is dead last in the NFL in yards rushing allowed per game, giving up a staggering 174.3 yards per game. That’s almost 38 yards per game worse than the 2nd-worst run defense in the NFL. If the tandem of Tim Hightower and Roy Helu don’t combine for at least 130-145 rushing yards in Sunday’s game, that’s a serious red flag for the Redskins offense going forward.
The Rams have already been victimized to the tune of 96 points allowed in their first three losses. Their secondary was shredded by Baltimore rookie wide receiver Torrey Smith for three touchdowns in the first quarter last weekend; by the way, those were the first three receptions of his NFL career. The Rams are a laughingstock, and the Redskins offense needs to take advantage of them at every turn in the Edward Jones Dome this Sunday. No squeakers, no come from behind victory in the last seconds, no 45+ yard field goals to put the Rams away late.
The Rams are the low-hanging fruit of the first quarter of the Redskins schedule…Redskins Nation wants a decisive win, and the Rams are the perfect tonic for that.