Washington Redskins lose to St. Louis Rams despite injury to Steven Jackson

The Redskins fall behind early, come back to take the lead in the third quarter, but fade down the stretch in a 30-16 loss to the Rams.
By Jason Reid
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, September 27, 2010; 12:14 AM

ST. LOUIS - After making many poor decisions in his first 11 seasons as owner, Daniel Snyder hired a proven winner in Coach Mike Shanahan, provided support for the new head of the Redskins' football operation and moved into the background to let Shanahan work alone out front.

And it appears Snyder must do one more thing for Shanahan: Be patient.

The rebuilding process could take a while, which was evident again Sunday as the struggling St. Louis Rams raced to an early lead and pulled away late during a 30-16 victory over the Redskins at the Edward Jones Dome.

Although the Rams have only two victories in their last 29 games and seven in their past 51, they were 14 points better than the Redskins, who endured a similarly frustrating experience last season in Week 3. That was when the hapless Lions stunned the Redskins in Detroit. It was the Rams in the third week this time.

Players did not envision losing to either team - but lose they definitely did.

"First and foremost, to lose games to these teams, it's just very frustrating," center Casey Rabach said. "These are teams that we should . . . not taking anything away from this team. This team is definitely improved from where it had been. But we need to find ways to win this game. We have to."

The Rams (1-2) got three fourth-quarter field goals from place kicker Josh Brown and repeatedly stopped the Redskins on third down to win before an announced crowd of 52,370. The Redskins wasted a personal-best three field goals by place kicker Graham Gano, who also handled punting duties after punter Josh Bidwell suffered a pregame injury.

They were outscored 16-0 to close the game, after briefly taking their only lead on one of Gano's short kicks early in the third. Washington rushed for only one yard in the second half and converted 1 of 10 third-down attempts in the game. St. Louis was successful on 7 of 16 third-down plays.

"Third downs," Shanahan said. "You kept on taking a look at third and 10, third and eight, third and 11. They did a great job on their third downs. And like I said, any time we're 10 percent . . ."

Rams rookie quarterback Sam Bradford outperformed 12-year Redskins veteran Donovan McNabb in the best outing of his nascent career. "Awesome," Bradford said of the victory. "There's no doubt."

Bradford made plays to extend drives, which helped the Rams overcome the loss of star running back Steven Jackson, who suffered a groin injury late in the second quarter and did not return to the game. For the second time in as many weeks, the Redskins' defense again struggled to get off the field down the stretch.

After an opening victory over the Dallas Cowboys, Washington (1-2) has dropped two in a row and next faces the NFC East-division leading Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. It will be their first contest against Philadelphia since McNabb was traded from that team last spring.

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