The Rams are coming off of a 27-23 loss to the Detroit Lions. That defeat marked the eighth consecutive loss for St. Louis, which posted a 2-14 record last season.
This is the fifth straight season in which the Rams and Redskins have met, and the third consecutive matchup in St. Louis.
The Redskins are trying to open the season with a 2-0 mark for the 17th time in franchise history and for the second straight year.
After a day off on Tuesday, the Redskins return to the practice field today. Here are five areas to monitor as they prepare for St. Louis:
1. Garcon’s health — It didn’t take long for wide receiver Pierre Garcon to make his presence felt on Sunday, recording four catches for 109 yards and a touchdown in less than two full quarters of action as he missed the remainder of the game with an injured right foot. X-rays showed no breakage, so it’s a strain of sorts, according to Coach Mike Shanahan. Garcon’s status for Sunday is uncertain at this point. He’ll test out his foot in today’s practice to get an idea of how close or far off he is from returning.
2. Griffin’s follow-up – Quarterback Robert Griffin III became the first rookie quarterback to throw for more than 300 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in his debut, and his passer rating of 139.9 was the best in NFL history for a rookie in his opening game as well. Now what? As impressive as that outing was, plenty of challenges lie ahead, and there’s still room for growth. Today Griffin discusses his plan for continued improvement.
3. Response to the victory – Sunday’s game may be a better test for the Redskins than last week’s. Yes, the Saints are supremely more talented than the Rams, but Washington’s response following that upset will speak volumes. The Redskins of old have won games that they were expected to lose, but then go out and lose games they should win. The players say there’s a change within the franchise. We’ll see how much of a change this week.
4. Offensive line play – The Redskins did a good job of keeping Griffin clean on Sunday in what marked the first outing that featured all five starters that opened training camp together. But the running lanes didn’t come easily for rookie Alfred Morris, who had to fight hard for his 96 yards against the Saints. Left guard Kory Lichtensteiger played his first game since October of last season. We’ll see how his surgically-repaired right knee responded, and how continuity up front will benefit the offense.
5. New long-snapper – The Redskins on Tuesday signed Justin Snow to take the place of the injured Nick Sundberg, who will sit out the next eight games while recovering from a broken arm. Snow, a 12th-year veteran, and punter/holder Sav Rocca need to quickly develop timing and chemistry to ensure things proceed without a hitch in this week’s game.