January 21, 2021

Three Things To Watch: Washington Redskins at St. Louis Rams, Week 2

Each week on Friday, as a preview of the upcoming Redskins game, District Sports Page will publish “Three Things to Watch” for that week’s game.  This week, the Skins travel to St. Louis to face the Rams, who passed on the opportunity to draft Robert Griffin III by trading the pick to the Redskins.


0-1, T-4th NFC WEST

1-0, T-1st NFC EAST

Avg. Yds (Rk)


Avg. Yds (Rk)

173.0 (27th)

Pass Off.

306.0 (4th)

77.0 (22nd)

Rush Off.

153.0 (4th)

346.0 (29th)

Pass Def.

326.0 (28th)

83.0 (10th)

Rush Def.

32.0 (3rd)

EXPLOIT THE BACKUPS: It’s simple. One of the Redskins’ biggest strengths is their front seven on defense. That unit hassled Drew Brees, one of the league’s best quarterbacks, all week in the season opening victory over the New Orleans Saints. This week against the Rams, one of the league’s doormats last season, the Skins need to exploit the Rams soft backups on the offensive line. Center Scott Wells broke a bone in his foot and is out until mid-season and tackle Rodger Saffold should miss the game with a neck injury.

KEEP ROLLING ON O: Obviously, the big story from the Rams game was the performance of rookie QB Robert Griffin III, who was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week based on his 300-plus yard, two touchdown, no interception debut. The Rams gave up almost 350 yards passing to Detroit in their season-opening loss, so the Skins should find success again in the passing game. Pierre Garcon will be a game-time decision on his foot injury, so Santana Moss might see some more touches than he did in the first game.

“We’ll see if [Garcon] can deal with the pain,” head coach Mike Shanahan said Friday. “It’s really hard to tell right now. He got some good work in there today, so that’s a plus.”

NO ACTION FOR JACKSON: The Rams’ best player is RB Steven Jackson, and the Redskins need to key on the veteran. The Rams are hosting Washington for the third straight year, and in last year’s game the Skins held Jackson to 45 yards on 17 attempts. If Washington can get out early against the porous Rams secondary, they can limit Jackson’s effectiveness and keep him on the sidelines if they can put St. Louis into the situation of having to depend on QB Sam Bradford, who they judged superior to the potential of RGIII. You know the Skins QB is fully aware of the Rams decision to stick with Bradford and deal the No. 2 overall pick to the Skins.


Mike Shanahan on RB Alfred Morris’ first NFL game: “He is a young back with a lot of ability. He can hit the hole extremely hard and has the lateral quickness to make you miss, but he’s got the power to run over people. That’s a pretty good combination. He’s got a good feel for the game. I don’t think blocking is too big for him either. It seems like he enjoys blocking, as well as running the football.  After the game you can tell that it was just a game. A lot of guys get intimidated in their first football game in the National Football League, especially on the road in that environment. You could see that it wasn’t too big for him.”


S Brandon Merriweather (knee): OUT
WR Pierre Garcon (foot): Questionable

C Scott Wells (foot): OUT
G Rokevious Watkins (ankle): OUT
DT Michael Brockers (high ankle): OUT
DT Matt Conrath (knee): OUT
T Rodger Saffold (neck): questionable
TE Mike McNeill (ankle): questionable


Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Nats and the Caps, and previously wrote Nats News Network and Caps News Network. Dave’s first sports hero was Bobby Dandridge. Follow Dave’s Redskins coverage on Twitter @RedskinsDSP.

About Dave Nichols

Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Washington Nationals, Capitals, Wizards and Mystics. Dave also covers national college football and basketball and Major League Soccer for Associated Press and is a copy editor for the Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, WA. He spent four years in radio covering the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Redskins and the University of Maryland football and basketball teams. Dave is a life-long D.C. sports fan and attended his first pro game in 1974 — the Caps’ second game in existence. You can follow him on Twitter @DaveNicholsDSP


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