This is a pivotal game for the Washington Redskins. I could give you X’s and O’s, keys to victory and important match-ups, but I won’t. Many people had low expectations for this team coming into the new season, but after a surprising 2-0 start, the Redskins began opening some eyes as a much improved team.

Washington suffered its first loss Monday night against the Cowboys in what seemed like a game the team would pull out. It wasn’t to be, and now the critics who had been quieted by Washington’s quick start have begun to express their doubts again..

The Redskins need to win this game to show they are not the same team they were last year. By winning this weekend they would go into their bye week with a 3-1 start with a much-needed victory over a team they should beat. But recent history shows that the Redskins don’t beat inferior teams.

The key is not to underestimate the Rams’ ability. They have played some very talented teams--the Ravens, Eagles and Giants--with injuries to some of their key players.

This is a game that the Rams also need badly and the Redskins are a very good matchup for them.

Washington had a short week and invested a lot of emotion in the nationally-televised Monday night rivalry game against the Cowboys. The Rams have a chance to steal this game at home.

The Redskins cannot fall into the trap that they have so many times in years past, by finding a way to lose to a team they should beat.

That’s the key to this game. The Redskins need to play as if their backs are against the wall, like there is no tomorrow, like it’s the Super Bowl. Otherwise, the Rams will have a surprisingly good performance, somehow. Sam Bradford will be the next coming of Joe Montana and the Redskins will be 2-2 with a long, long time to hear how they are no different from the team of years past.