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Posted at 03:46 PM ET, 09/30/2011

Redskins-Rams: Key matchups for Week 4

The Washington Redskins will face the Rams Sunday for the 36th time, entering the game with a 23-11-1 record against St. Louis.

This marks the fourth consecutive season that Washington and St. Louis have met/ The Rams have won two of the last three, including last year’s meeting (30-16).

The Redskins aim to redeem themselves from that defeat, as well as bounce back from Monday’s 18-16 loss to Dallas.

Here are some key matchups for this week’s game:

WSH LB London Fletcher vs. STL RBs Steven Jackson and Cadillac Williams

The Rams’ running backs have been a little banged up this season, but Jackson and Williams both are hoping to play Sunday. If both are healthy, the Rams could offer a formidable duo. A strong running game is just the thing that St. Louis needs to help ease the pressure on Sam Bradford. Washington hasn’t been gouged by the run all game in any matchup this year, but struggled in the second half against Arizona. On the season, Fletcher & Co. rank 11th, yielding 97.7 yards per game. When it comes to yards per carry, however, the Redskins are allowing an average of 4.8 yards, which is 26th in the league.

WSH RT Jammal Brown vs. STL DE Chris Long

Long is the Rams’ top pass-rusher and is tied for seventh in the league with three sacks through three games. Long and the Rams will try to force Rex Grossman into making ill-advised throws. Brown has had some ups and downs so far this season, and will face a formidable opponent in Long. If he can hold off the fourth-year pro, however, Grossman has a strong shot at rebounding from Monday’s performance.

WSH RB Tim Hightower vs. STL MLB James Laurinaitis

Hightower is looking to get back on track after a tough outing Monday against the Cowboys, and is expecting that he and Washington’s offensive linemen won’t have trouble getting in sync again. Laurinaitis is the Rams’ leading tackler with 24 stops. He and his fellow linebackers will do their best to fill the gaps and take away Washington’s cutback lanes. But, given that the Rams rank dead last in the league against the run, having surrendered 174.3 rushing yards per game, Hightower and Roy Helu could be in for big games.

WSH LB Brian Orakpo vs. STL LT Roger Saffold

The Rams’ offensive line already has surrendered 11 sacks in three games, and Sam Bradford has been hit 30 times – more than any quarterback in the league. Orakpo enters this game with one sack, but should increase that total this week as he goes against second-year pro Roger Saffold. The Redskins’ defense has a good shot at registering multiple sacks against the Rams, who have given up the third-highest sack total in the league.

By  |  03:46 PM ET, 09/30/2011

 
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