The Washington Redskins appear to be vastly improved from last season, the first of the Mike Shanahan era, and they look to be built in a way that will allow them to compete for a playoff spot in the NFC. Appear is the key word though. It's still early in the 2011 season, and history suggests that it might be hard to win consistently enough without solid quarterback play from Rex Grossman. The once-disgraced QB of the Chicago Bears has resurrected his career admirably in Washington, but in Week 3 showed signs of why he has yet to be able to really piece together a complete season so far in his career.
In Week 4, the Redskins face an interesting test on the road against the St. Louis Rams. If they win, fans and scribes will be quick to say 'well they should beat the Rams, St. Louis is terrible.' There's some truth to that, but it doesn't tell the whole story. The Rams will be playing for their lives this Sunday. At 0-3, they desperately need a win to get their feet underneath them. Because they play in the NFC West, starting 1-3 is hardly an insurmountable hole. Expect the Rams to play as well as their injury-ravaged roster will permit. Consequently, a loss would not in my opinion be an indication that the Redskins' 2-0 start was necessarily a facade. A win though would suggest that Shanahan is well on his way towards restoring the 'Skins once-proud franchise.
How about a hodge podge of facts and figures for both the Redskins and the Rams while we anxiously await the start of Week 4 this coming Sunday?
Redskins Facts and Figures:
- QB Rex Grossman is 1-0 vs. StL (12/11/06, w/ Chi.), completing 13 of 23 (56.5 pct.) for 200 yards with 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 114.4 rating. In career as starter, when Grossman has 100+ rating, his teams are 8-0. Has 102.1 rating in 4th quarter.
- RB Tim Hightower has 334 scrimmage yards (111.3 per game; 273 rush, 61 rec.) & 2 rush TDs in past 3 at StL. Has rush TD in 4 of 6 career meetings. In past 2 at StL with 14+ att., has 219 yards (109.5 per game) & TD. When he has 15+ att. (incl. playoffs), his teams are 7-1 (2-0 with Was.).
- RB Roy Helu leads NFL rookies (91 yards, 16 att.) averaging 5.7 yards per carry (min. 10 att.).
- TE Fred Davis ranks 3rd in NFC among TEs with 214 rec. yards.
- WR Santana Moss had 6 catches for 124 yards (20.7 avg.) & TD in last meeting.
- Since start of 2005, TE Chris Cooley is 4th among TEs with 389 catches & 4,386 yards...
- S Oshiomogho Atogwe played 1st 6 years with StL (2005-10) & faces former team for 1st time.
- LB Brian Orakpo had sack in last meeting. Ranks 3rd among players who began career in 2009 with 20.5 sacks.
- Rookie LB Ryan Kerrigan aims for 3rd in row with sack. Ties for NFL rookie lead with 2 sacks.
Rams Facts and Figures:
- Have won 3 of past 4 in series.
- QB Sam Bradford won only career start vs. Was. Aims for 6th win in past 10 home starts.
- In 12/24/06 meeting, RB Steven Jackson had 252 scrimmage yards & 2 TDs. Rushed for 150 yards with TD & caught 6 passes for 102 yards & TD. Since 2006, averages 116 scrimmage yards per game (8,469 yards, 73 games), most in NFL (min. 50 games).
- RB Cadillac Williams had 122 rush yards in 11/19/06 game vs. Was. (with TB). His teams are 8-1 when he has 100+ rush yards.
- WR Danario Alexander is averaging 30 yards per catch (150 yards, 5 catches).
- WR Brandon Gibson aims for 11th home game in row with 3+ rec. Had 34-yard TD catch last week. Leads club with 12 catches & 157 rec. yards.
- WR Mike Sims-Walker is 2nd on team with 10 rec. (133 yards).
- DE James Hall aims for 3rd in row vs. Was. with sack.
- LB Chris Chamberlain had 1st career sack in Week 3.
- DE Chris Long ties for 7th in NFL with 3 sacks. Aims for 4th in row with sack. Has sack in 5 of past 6 games.