The Redskins hope to put the sting of Sunday's OT loss to the Texans behind them this weekend when they face the Rams. The Houston loss exposed some weaknesses for the 'Skins though, and they may not be addressed by Sunday.
After being lit up (with historic numbers) by quarterback Matt Schaub, the Redskins clearly have defensive problems.
Compounding the problem is the fact that their running game has yet to materialize. That leaves Donovan McNabb in the position of not only being their only hope of moving the ball on offense, but having to compensate for the defense's inability to stop opposing teams. McNabb is a good quarterback but depending on him to throw for 400 yards every game is too much to ask. It is possible that Sunday's game was an anomaly though. After all, the Redskins beat the Cowboys the week before in a low scoring affair. The Cowboys are still playing like it's preseason, though, and that brings us back to this week's game.
The Redskins are 1-1 after facing tougher opponents than what they'll face this week. They actually had a chance to win Sunday, despite their glaring weaknesses. The St. Louis Rams have the dubious distinction of having the worst offense in the league. It's still early, and the Rams could get better as the season goes on, but the Redskins can take advantage now while they address their own issues.
Unfortunately, the Redskins are currently ranked last in defense, although Sunday's game has much to do with that. If the Redskin defense can bounce back and at least be average, the anemic Ram offense will continue to struggle. On the offensive side, Clinton Portis has yet to show his past season form, and if he comes alive this week, it will take some of the pressure off Donovan McNabb. The Rams have the third worst rushing defense in the league, so if Portis needed a team with which to break out of his malaise, The Rams would be it.
Washington's sideline will be missing a few players this weekend. Running back Larry Johnson was released, although coach Mike Shanahan says that there's a chance he'll be back later in the season. That isn't likely, considering the team just signed running back Chad Simpson, who played with the Colts last year.
Also gone, at least temporarily, is left tackle Trent Williams, who injured his knee Sunday against the Texans. Williams' injury could be a problem for the Redskins if he's out for any length of time, but for this week at least, they should be able to win without him.