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The Case for the Rams (and It Isn't Much of One)

Now comes the hard part: presenting a case for the Rams against the Redskins at FedEx Field.

Well, the offense had been beyond horrid, but maybe, somehow, these players rally around Al Saunders, fired as the offensive guru in D.C. after two weak seasons, and come out looking like the Greatest Show on Turf. The Rams are coming off a bye and have endured a coaching change, so maybe they will play their guts out for Jim Haslett.

St. Louis certainly has the advantage in the punting game, for what that's worth. The Rams rank first in gross punting average, and the Skins are last. (One must point out that that is the only statistical category in which the Rams rank higher than 16th.)

But there is individual talent here. QB Marc Bulger has a pedigree, although he has been inept this season, Tory Holt has been an elite receiver for a long, long time (though he has just 187 yards receiving this season and ranks behind a RB, Steven Jackson, on the team's leaderboard).

And Jackson might finally be getting his legs underneath him after a sluggish start. He skipped out on training camp but is coming off a bye now. In his last game, against Buffalo, Jackson ran 24 times for 110 yards and a TD, including a 29-yard rush, and also caught five passes for 78 yards (including one for 53 yards). That performance came against a tough Buffalo team, and is about as good as it gets. Jackson also tore through the Skins in 2006, last time these teams met.

I have to admit, than unless the Skins just give the ball up left and right - and this is a team without an offensive turnover - I can't seem them losing. Maybe it's a close game. Maybe they come in too cocky. Maybe Jim Zorn forgets that "hip, hip, hooray" chant and they slip a bit. Maybe this is that classic trap game.

But it would take a monumental collapse to actually lose this one at home, and the chances of a blowout by the Skins are much better.

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 8, 2008; 9:15 AM ET
 
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Comments

1st

Posted by: wydaaa | October 8, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Normally I err on the side of caution. But I have to say that this Sunday, WE ARE GOING TO KICK THE RAMS' ARSES!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: gringoinmiami | October 8, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Why do team's promote an interim head coach within? I mean Haslett is the leader of one of the worst D's in the league. Okay we fire the HC and make him the HC? How positive can players really feel about this move?

Posted by: kmichael76 | October 8, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to see the Skins defer the coin toss (if we have the choice) and allow our defense to start the game. Give our fans a chance to really get loud!

Posted by: executivesource | October 8, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

JLC: "The Rams rank first in gross punting average, and the Skins are last."

That is because their offense can't stay on the field. Our drives usually stall between the 40's.

Simply put: The 'skins move the ball, the Rams don't.

Posted by: RedDMV | October 8, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Lunatic Fringe (by Red Rider)is on, I am getting hyped up for Sunday, we are going to destroy the Rams.

Posted by: Flounder21 | October 8, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

twisi, Jansen gets walked back on occasion, versus Heyer getting no push in the run game. 2.8, versus 5.1 is a huge advantage. Buges needs to shove his boot up Heyer's backside, and show him how Jansen run blocks. I've said before, Jansen is a good run blocker, because he's a mean, nasty bastard, and likes to take his guy, and just grind him down to nothing, and Heyer just isn't like that.

Posted by: BeantownGreg | October 8, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Gentlemen and ladies....
We still have 12 more games to play...
Stay focused.

Posted by: tmcmullins | October 8, 2008 1:37 AM

We have 11 more games to play,see we're losing focus already.

Posted by: smittdiddy | October 8, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

'Skins by 40!

Posted by: RedDMV | October 8, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

I dream of the headlines, Washington Redskins first team to score 100 points.

Posted by: alex35332 | October 8, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Cant argue that this is much of a game but without a doubt this team can hurt us. They are coming off a bye week and that Bills D that Jackson tore up before is very similar to ours. Our secondary has played great and certainly this team is no match to the areial assults we have seen lately but one player who will always scare me is Torry Holt. You can shut down Holt as best as you can blanket him all day and he will still pull the silliest catches you have ever seen out of his A**.

Posted by: Stu27 | October 8, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Hey - I thought I was the gringo in Miami! whar u at?

Posted by: DikShuttle | October 8, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

From the Times:

"The Redskins gave up only three sacks in 63 Campbell drop backs.

The Redskins rushed for 364 yards"

From the article you'd get the impression that Zorn is going to insert Heyer back in the lineup, if healthy, which I think is going to be a mistake. While I agree that Heyer deserved to start at the beginning of the season, I don't think he's done enough in the running game to keep his spot. Not to bring facts into this, but 2.8, versus 5.1.....


Posted by: BeantownGreg | October 8, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

I've said before, Jansen is a good run blocker, because he's a mean, nasty bastard, and likes to take his guy, and just grind him down to nothing, and Heyer just isn't like that.

Posted by: BeantownGreg | October 8, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

I agree with this. I think someone said it on the other post. It's six in one hand, a half a dozen in the other. I think JZ and Buges will make a good decision on the RT once they have to. When they pick someone, I'll back that decision because I think it's a push with these guys.

Posted by: TWISI | October 8, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

OK,Red you are flinching,and Alex you're not staying medium.This is what the Z-Man wants us to guard against.

Posted by: smittdiddy | October 8, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Cant argue that this is much of a game but without a doubt this team can hurt us. They are coming off a bye week and that Bills D that Jackson tore up before is very similar to ours. Our secondary has played great and certainly this team is no match to the areial assults we have seen lately but one player who will always scare me is Torry Holt. You can shut down Holt as best as you can blanket him all day and he will still pull the silliest catches you have ever seen out of his A**.

Posted by: Stu27 | October 8, 2008 9:43 AM

Stu,

I see what you are trying to do but, we shut down Barber, Westbrook and Bush, Jackson does not scare me one good game does not mean he is back.

Torry Holt is nothing compared to who we have already shut down.

Relax Stu the team will not be over confident.

Posted by: Flounder21 | October 8, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Damn, lets see if I say 70 points is that more medium?

Posted by: alex35332 | October 8, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

beep beep

Posted by: Cindy Boren | October 8, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

What it really comes down to is whether we favor the run game or the pass game. Would you rather have Portis run to the right for 2.8 yards or Campbell get smashed for a sack from the right? Right now I think we need Heyer in and just stick in Jansen for goal line and short yardage situations.

Posted by: CowboyKiller | October 8, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Dummy question: Does everyone want the Redskins to win a super bowl this year?

Not just success, but winning it all.

I hope the answer is yes.

If we visualize the 'Skins celebrating in Tampa on 02/1/09 at about 10 PM, then it will happen.

"The reason visualization is so powerful is because as you create pictures in your mind of seeing yourself with what it is you want..."

No more "stay medium" talk. I like the slogan or whatever, but if we "stay medium" then we're going to be medium.

"Those who speak most of illness have illness, those who speak most of prosperity have it..etc.."

Posted by: RedDMV | October 8, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Dik--I guess we're both gringos in Miami (although you were here first). My nickname used to be jakeweed, but my User ID on WaPo is gringoinmiami.

So how 'bout that Philly game. Opened up a big ol' can of whoopass. Sweet!!! Loved hearing the boo-birds come out in Philly. I got to watch the game at my bro's house in Bowie. Joaquin was sporting his new Moss jersey (he's outgrown the Portis one). Good times!

Posted by: gringoinmiami | October 8, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

This is a RUNNING TEAM. We're in the NFC Beast, we need to run, run, run the ball and then run some more.

For that reason alone, start Jansen but get both of 'em plenty of snaps. Let Heyer come in and work on some running plays for the next three weeks.

And yes, we need to get the rookies some snaps.


Speaking of that, and I'm surprised no one has said anything at ALL about this....any chance we'll see Colt unleashed in the next three weeks if all games are blowouts ala Giants\Seahawks last week? Or is it all TC? I know the Zorn Star said Colt won't see the field till next year, but come on!

Posted by: TheTruth11 | October 8, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: TheTruth11 | October 8, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

If it aint broke, don't fix it. Jansen is a beast in the running game. The knock on him was that he was weak in pass blocking. Well, whether the demotion lit a fire under his arse or whatever it was, he doesn't seem to have any problems pass blocking as demonstrated in the last 2 games.

Plus, Heyer is still not 100%. Why would you rush him back into the lineup? Jansen is healthy, fired up, and kicking butt. Leave him in as long as he's getting the job done.

Posted by: gringoinmiami | October 8, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

I can almost guarantee you that we turn the ball over 3 times, Jackson runs for over 100 and 2 TDs, and we struggle to pull out a 24-21 win.

Posted by: NickelsLuvsSkins | October 8, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

"I can almost guarantee you that we turn the ball over 3 times, Jackson runs for over 100 and 2 TDs, and we struggle to pull out a 24-21 win."
___________________________________________

I doubt it. But that wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing. At some point in the season this team will probably struggle and have a bad game. That will be a chance to keep growing, learning, and getting better. Struggling a bit against a bad team, but pulling out the win in the end wouldn't be the worst thing to happen to our Skins.

Posted by: gringoinmiami | October 8, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of that, and I'm surprised no one has said anything at ALL about this....any chance we'll see Colt unleashed in the next three weeks if all games are blowouts ala Giants\Seahawks last week?

I think it would be foolish to yank JC for Colt if it were a blowout. This is still a new offense and the more game time reps for JC the better. Maybe experiment a little bit.

Hail!

Posted by: TeeSkins | October 8, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Jansen is a beast. He will run whoever is in front of him over. But, he can't do that on every play. In order to have continued success running the ball we need to pass some to keep defenses from sticking eight in the box.

Let's not rush Heyer back before he is healthy, but when he is get him back in. Heyer is young and has room to get better.

Plus, good pass protection could be the difference between JC staying healthy or being injured.

Posted by: CowboyKiller | October 8, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Bucky Brooks on SI.com has a Skin in the running for each of the major award catagories right now

Posted by: wstclair | October 8, 2008 10:18 AM

This sounds like a man who's about to lose his job with SI. Wait until Don Banks, Paul Zimmerman, and Peter King hear about this.

Speaking of "El Rey" did anyone read his justification yesterday for putting Dallas ahead of the 'Skins in his power ranking?

"I realize the product on the field hasn't shown Dallas to be better than Washington so far. It came down to this: If Washington and Dallas met on a neutral field in Wichita right now, I think Dallas would win. I trust Romo a little more than Campbell right now.

The defenses are a wash, and I might like Washington's a little more, particularly after the goal-line stand at the Eagles. It's very, very close. If Dallas plays generously on defense at Arizona this week, I might change my mind. But here's what it comes down to for me, bottom line: I thought Dallas was the best team in football for much of September, and we've seen them blow out Cleveland on the road, score 41 on a tough defense (Philadelphia), and whack Green Bay pretty well on the road. I still like them a lot, and a smidgen better than Washington."

So what is wrong with this picture? He thinks that a team that can't win in its own stadium can win in Wichita?

Posted by: talent_evaluator | October 8, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

F Dallas
F Philly
F the giants
F 'em all!!!!

We go week by week, one game at a time and keep kickin' azzz. Stay healthy and get better each week. That is all we gotta do. the media keeps talkin bad about us and that is fine, just fuel to the fire. all that matters is the confidence of the coaches and players in the locker room and i think that they feel they can beat any of the 31 other teams. I just want the team to continue to get better in each aspect of the game, stay healthy (or get healthier), and get those rookie WR's into the game plan. Hail to the Skins!!!! BTW, did anyone check out the link I put on the blog yesterday? great article on the wack azz cowgirls

Posted by: marleyb313 | October 8, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

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