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Redskins-Rams keys to the game: the offense

Heading into this weekend's game against the St. Louis Rams, the Redskins offense has a small but significant to-do list. Atop the list, if the Redskins want to avoid an upset, is for the offense is to find its running game.

Although I believe the Redskins can win without a heavy running attack, they must be able to run the ball more effectively than they have the first two games of the season. The Rams have decent linebackers and an average defensive line. This is the perfect week for Washington to try and establish the run game. The Redskins passing game is predicated on play-action fakes. If the running game continues to be non-existent, then the passing game is sure to struggle. But that's further down the line.

Another related key is the play of the offensive line. This unit must regroup, with or without Trent Williams. It has to get more push up front on running plays. The line has struggled to create running lanes for the backs. The line can't have a let up because of the team the Redskins are playing. The linemen must finish their blocks. If they don't they will make this game harder than it should be. Don't give a struggling team like the Rams any unnecessary confidence. The line must also eliminate penalties. There were some costly penalties by the o-line in the Texans game.

Quarterback Donvan McNabb must continue to develop multiple receivers. He must get Anthony Armstrong, Trent Williams, Fred Davis and others involved in the passing attack. The Rams defense seems to be limited in what it is able to execute; it is not deep with talent. So it's likely that multiple looks will force the Rams into mistakes and result in big plays for the offense. If McNabb doesn't spread the ball around it will be beneficial to the Rams because they will come into the game with three main objectives: stop the run, pressure McNabb and take away McNabb's main receiving targets.

The Rams clearly are over-matched, but they won't simply let the Redskins run all over them. They will game plan on defense to keep the Redskins in front of them and try and hold them to field goals. This won't be a walk in the park unless the Redskins offense jumps out on the Rams defense right away.

What are your keys to the game for the offense? Leave your comments here. Stay tuned for defensive keys to the game

By LaVar Arrington  | September 21, 2010; 5:43 PM ET
 
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Comments

LaVar, thank you for the great work. Keep it up.
This is exactly the kind of game that can create huge trouble for the Skins. If they get bounced, and there's a good chance they will, stand back and watch a team start to fall apart, both on the field and in the locker room.
But if they go at it with the do-or-die attitude that they usually employ down the stretch, when it's too late, then they can get a win. I'm afraid you give them way too much credit going into this one. They need to play like it's the F-ing SuperBowl.

Posted by: pooftah2 | September 21, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Good call Lavar, Skins just need to play this game like it were the cowboys or Texans. No matter how garbage the Rams are, they should remember the famous line. "Any given Sunday." Hail.

Posted by: DCXNTX | September 21, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Hello Mr. Arrington:

I enjoy your insights, but:

1) Trent Williams?
"Quarterback Donvan McNabb must continue to develop multiple receivers. He must get Anthony Armstrong, Trent Williams, Fred Davis and others involved in the passing attack."

2) Please write "try to," never write "try and."
"They will game plan on defense to keep the Redskins in front of them and try and hold them to field goals."

Regards,
Arnold B. Ajello

Posted by: Arnold86 | September 21, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

I believe the offense should definately speed things up a little more. For instance, after we make a big play, we need to put the presure on the oposing defense by rushing to the line and kinda like hurry up and keep pushing. i see our players walking up and taking their time.

Posted by: jacobiadams | September 21, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

2) Please write "try to," never write "try and."
"They will game plan on defense to keep the Redskins in front of them and try and hold them to field goals."

Regards,
Arnold B. Ajello

Posted by: Arnold86 | September 21, 2010 8:21 PM
----------------------------------------
lighting up English Patient...Lavar's doing a great job...mush more insightful than any other reporter at the WaPo. So those little grammatical farts are ok

Posted by: jcnjcnj | September 21, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Hi LaVar,
I've watched you play and loved you then, and love you now, your column is grrreat! you made a good point about the o-line jumping on the Rams early, if thety can do that and continue to do that thru four quarters, this will be a rout. I like these 'skins but they need to stay focused, eliminate the penalties and play like they know they can win!

Posted by: eddypotomac | September 22, 2010 12:15 AM | Report abuse

This Game is about The Redskins winning the games they are supposed to win!!! This separates the good teams from the bad teams!!!!! The passing game is just fine......the running game needs to be improved. What??? the offensive line needs to regroup????? its not Broken up!!!! They allowed only one sack and McNabb made plenty of plays! Trent Williams is a receiver??? Hire me for for in depth analysis. Come on.........

Posted by: sjbrjm22315 | September 22, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Lavar. I love your column. I know Doughty is a player that gets the most out of his ability, but he is very limited. I look at our roster and think this defense could be great with a playmaker at free safety. Do you think I'm right and do you think Moore is that type of game changer?

Posted by: lsudodgerskin | September 22, 2010 2:13 AM | Report abuse

I'll be happy if the Redskins just win a game they have in hand and don't blow another lead to a team they should beat!

I'm still going out of my mind pissed off about Sundays game.

With that being said we can cut all the LJs of the world, and it makes no difference. Running backs can't block for themselves. There also can't be a running game when the staff calls nothing but passing plays.

Posted by: skins91r | September 22, 2010 3:02 AM | Report abuse

I'll be happy if the Redskins just win a game they have in hand and don't blow another lead to a team they should beat!

I'm still going out of my mind pissed off about Sundays game.

With that being said we can cut all the LJs of the world, and it makes no difference. Running backs can't block for themselves. There also can't be a running game when the staff calls nothing but passing plays.

Posted by: skins91r | September 22, 2010 3:04 AM | Report abuse

I used to get mad at double posts on this site...

I AM SORRY!!!!

I understand now........lol

Posted by: skins91r | September 22, 2010 3:07 AM | Report abuse

If we want any chance of winning, we'll need to make sure that Stephon Heyer doesn't take the field. It's bad enough that he couldn't protect Jason Campbell last season but for him to come in last week and totally fuqq up a crucial 3rd down conversion w/ his poor technique still has my azz burning! Yes...we need to establish a running game then McNabb and the receivers can light up the defense.

Posted by: charronegro1971 | September 22, 2010 5:17 AM | Report abuse

A post from the cowgirl's paper: "I'm fine with our discipline," Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said to the question of penalties and discipline." And this ladies and gentlemen is why the girls are in the position they are and why they will not get out of the position they are in. The coach is FINE with the discipline? Are you kidding me? Coaches like Wade and Zorn will never win in the NFL. They are too relaxed and too soft. Football is about toughness AND discipline. Bellicheck, Parcells, Gibbs v1, Shanahan are all disciplinarians and tough men. Gibbs v2 did not do as well as the first time because his mindset was softer than the first time. It's ok, we still loved him. Hail to the Redskins.

Posted by: mustang_johnny1 | September 22, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Offense will do fine against Rams as long as McNabb doesn't get caught up thinking about Vick and the Eagles. Focus and discipline is the key to beating a poor team like the Rams. Let them self-destruct. On defense, man, I hope they can maintain pressure on their young QB and rattle him early. Schaubb didn't get rattled. Hit Bradford early and he'll freak. Hail.

Posted by: mustang_johnny1 | September 22, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse


2) Please write "try to," never write "try and."
"They will game plan on defense to keep the Redskins in front of them and try and hold them to field goals."

Regards,
Arnold B. Ajello

Posted by: Arnold86 | September 21, 2010 8:21 PM
----------------------------------------
lighting up English Patient...Lavar's doing a great job...mush more insightful than any other reporter at the WaPo. So those little grammatical farts are ok

---------------------------------------

Hey, Ajello was giving constructive crit, including compliment at the top of his post, not hate. LaVar is trying to pull his players insight into becoming a legit journalist, and little things like this matter in the long run.

Keep up the good work LaVar, I enjoy your work as much as anyone's at the Post - and just like our team you're a work in progress and seem to be getting better each week!

Posted by: jiji1 | September 22, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Lavar,
Great job. Thanks for pointing out that the offensive line bares some responsibility for the weak running game. Personally, I believe they bare most of the responsibility. Have they possibly worked so hard on pass protection that they have failed to develop their run block techniques? Keep up the good work.

Posted by: elderdave1 | September 22, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

LaVar, your posts would be a lot better if you gave us some real insight. All your doing now is telling us what we already know-stating the obvious.

Posted by: sjp879 | September 23, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Get Trent Williams involved in the passing attack? If thats the case we are in worse shape at wideout than we thought!!

Posted by: sirmixx01 | September 23, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Get Trent Williams involved in the passing attack? If thats the case we are in worse shape at wideout than we thought!!

Posted by: sirmixx01 | September 23, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Trent williams stat line:

11 catches 156yrds 2 TD's
From the LT pos. with a Bum knee, book it....

Posted by: 15600_sknfan | September 23, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Tell them to include your articles on the new "Football Insider" iPhone App.

Posted by: CASkinzFan | September 23, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I agree, we definitely need to get Trent Williams more involved in the passing game. While were at it let's get Graham Gano involved too.

Posted by: smitty21 | September 23, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

sjp879: Why don't you stick it where the sun don't shine,or better yet just stick it Lavar is doing an excellent job and if you don't like the way Mr Arrington writes his columns then stop reading them.

Posted by: dargregmag | September 23, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

I Love your articles and your show with Dukes. I must admit though, this particular article was a little flat man. Not enough insider knowledge. The small editorial mistakes you make will be corrected due to the fact that you're just a flat out hard worker. That tip by "Arnold86" was a good one. Any hoot, I'm still a fan, I've always been a fan, and I'll always be a fan of yours #56!....GO SKINS!

Posted by: BLACKBEAR2010 | September 24, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

agreed, i enjoy the insight Lavar. I think my favorite defensive play of all time came in that penn state game when you met a running back in mid-air on the goal line and stuffed him. Enjoyed the intensity and hard hits you brought to the game. You ever think about being a lb coach? :) take care

Posted by: g3impreza | September 24, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Lets face it,as a die hard Redskin Fan for 38 years, I am soory but as long asa Dan Snyder owns them, they do, and will continue to stink as they have ever since he owned thewm. Mr. Cooke new how to run a franchise, but Snyder does not have a clue.

I will stay a fan, but NEVER of Dan (Little Boy) Snyder. Please do us all a favor and PLEASE sell the team!!! It is far too hard to watch what you have done to our Redskins!

Posted by: JS00031 | September 26, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

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