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Redskins-Rams keys to the game: the defense

The keys are clear for the Redskins' defense in Sunday's game against the Rams.

First and foremost, the Redskins must stop Steven Jackson in the running game. Jackson is a dangerous player, and if given the opportunity to find a groove, he can be virtually unstoppable. This defense will be tasked with making sure that doesn't happen.

If the defense is successful in stopping the running game, it will put the game solely on the arm of rookie Sam Bradford, who has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns so far. Nonetheless, Bradford was the number 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft and is very talented, so the defense better not underestimate his ability to make plays.

The Redskins' pass rush failed in the second half of Sunday's game, allowing the Texans to come back and win. That can't be the case this week; the defense must make it to Bradford. Brian Orakpo and Andre Carter had relatively quiet games; they must find a way to get to the QB this week. This Rams team has given up five sacks and 12 hits on the quarterback in two games. Let's hope that total increases significantly Sunday.

As a rookie, Bradford may not know how to identify coverages or where pass rushes may be coming from, so defensive coordinator Jim Haslett will need to disguise his blitzes as much as possible to ensure success. LaRon Landry has had a monster start to the season and had great pressure on Matt Schaub on Sunday, so Haslett should expect the bulk of attention to go Landry and Orakpo's way this week.

The Redskins forced only one turnover last week; that total also needs to increase this week. Against a young QB, the defense needs to take advantage with multiple turnovers.

The Rams don't have any receivers that scare me at all so I believe the base coverages will be okay in this game.

This offense has struggled but has been competitive in the season's first two games, coming up just short against the Raiders last week. If the Redskins' defense handles its business, there should be no reason why it won't have a good day against the Rams.

What are your keys for the defense this week?

Up Next: Special Teams

By LaVar Arrington  | September 22, 2010; 11:06 AM ET
 
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Next: Redskins-Rams keys to the game: special teams

Comments

Would love to see the D-line create some push into the backfield.

Hopefully that makes the Rams start bouncing Jackson to the outside. I say keep Landry on Jackson the whole game, hunt for that ball and strip the hell out of it.

Also, keep the zone D simple. I think the CB's are the weak link on this D, so let's give the nickel/slot corner some help over top, (fingers crossed for kareem moore to start)

Posted by: Bigfoot_has_a_posse | September 22, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

In regards to Lavar's last post:

I wonder if, after a Redskins Insider Live segment, Lavar was advised by Steinberg that WaPo management cares about page clicks and to get that either post something you know all your readers will disagree with or post something unique and funny.

The unique/funny path worked for Steinz and the disagree/controversial worked for LaCanfora. Looks like Lavar took after LaCanfora. Now all Lavar has to do is cite some "unnamed sources" and we'll have a new Redskins Insider over here.

I honestly like LA's Keys to the Game posts. It's really only been the LJ article that I didn't agree with.

Posted by: fushezzi | September 22, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

I don't know, LaVar. I think you are right to question these things...I wonder as well.
But I don't think Shanahan deserves all the blame you give him..we're only in Week 3.
I love your column but I think you still have a little bitterness over your own Redskin career...am I right?
Yes...let's see if we fans can get answers on Haynesworth, Johnson, and more. But as you point out with Shanahan's style, I don't think we'll get too many.
Its funny...winning cures everything. The coaches need to focus on winning some more games.

Posted by: alco5521 | September 22, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Coming up short against the Raiders? Campbell has come to town already?

Posted by: sirmixx01 | September 23, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Nice to see someone who has played football talking football! I watch R-nation on TV, good show wrong lead person. Sorry, I record it so I can fast foward pass him. He must be paid by the owner? He'll never tells it like it is. Everybodies good in his eyes. On to your report today. I heard that coach did not know how to judge a good football player, and that's one of the reasons he was fired, is that true?
The "D" coach said "As a coach, we'll do what's best for the team". When asked would they let D Hall check the best receiver on the other team. Funny when that D-line men got hurt; why was it not reported doing the week. Come-on man
As far as LJ someone has to open a hole for any running back to get a yard. We have to try to run to have a running game. This is not the "U" stop changing line men every play and live or die with your top linemen. Or can they not pick a player? LaVar !! HIT THEM HARD with the "HARD HITS" I'm back to buying the POST.

Posted by: Scaner1 | September 23, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Bigfoot_has_a_posse | September 22, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

in a 3-4 DL is not supposed to get a push...They are supposed to hold their ground and take up space. Golston and Kemo are failing at that...

Posted by: merajc86 | September 23, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Bigfoot_has_a_posse | September 22, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

in a 3-4 DL is not supposed to get a push...They are supposed to hold their ground and take up space. Golston and Kemo are failing at that...

Posted by: merajc86 | September 23, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

I understand they're supposed to take up space and accrue double teams, but I don't think they're told to hold their ground and not generate ANY sort of push at all.

But then again I have no idea, I would just be surprised if coaches were telling any D line to hold their ground, you can take up space and accrue double teams while pushing, correct me if I'm wrong.

Posted by: Bigfoot_has_a_posse | September 23, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Portis and Devin Thomas will fumble this week. The Rams take advantage and win 9-7.

Posted by: josettes | September 23, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse

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