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Redskins Facing Tough Test this Week Against Rams

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The Washington Redskins kicked off the 2017 season with a gut-wrenching loss to their division rivals, the Philadelphia Eagles. The team now has to put their disappointing season opening loss to the Eagles behind them, and turn their attention to their week two opponents, the Los Angeles Rams.

Since they were picked by many experts to finish fourth in the NFC East, the Washington Redskins season winning predictions are still on track.

The Rams are coming off a season opening win against the Indianapolis Colts. Sean McVay, the Redskins 2016 offensive coordinator, gets his first chance to go up against his former team as the head coach of the Rams. The game between the two teams is scheduled to start at 4:25 PM. ET.

McVay, who turned 31 in January, is the youngest head coach in NFL history. At the same 31-years-old, Washington coach Jay Gruden was coaching in the Arena League as the head coach of the Orlando Predators.

McVay spent seven seasons with the Redskins and three years under Gruden; he is no stranger to the organization. The meeting will likely be bittersweet for him as he is going up against the organization that he spent most of his professional career with.

The Redskins and Rams last met in 2015, about a month before the then St’ Louis Rams decided to relocate to Los Angeles. The Redskins won the meeting at FedEX Field, 24-10.

Quarterback Kirk Cousins, who was then in his first full season as the Redskins starter, had an efficient game, finishing 23-of-27 for 203 yards and a touchdown.

This time around, things might be a little different because the Rams are very talented on the defensive side of the ball. Furthermore, quarterback Jared Goff, who looked lost a lot last season, played very well against the Colts and led his team to victory on Sunday.

The Redskins on the other hand, did not look good against the Eagles. Cousins finished the game 23 of 40 for 240 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception. He also fumbled the ball on the Redskins last chance to get back into the game, and the Eagles took it to the house to drive home the final dagger.

The Redskins were unable to win because they couldn’t find any offensive balance against Philadelphia. Their running game was virtually non-existent and finished the game with 64 rushing yards on 17 attempts. In fact Cousins, hardly known for his scrambling skills, finished as the team’s top rusher. Obviously moving forward, that can’t continue if the Redskins hope to be successful.

The passing game also left a lot to be desired as Cousins was still getting familiar with his new targets, after the team let two 1,000 yard receivers leave in free agency in the offseason.

One of the replacements was Terrelle Pryor, the quarterback turned receiver, who came over in the offseason from the Browns. Expected to be the Redskins’ number one receiver, he struggled despite hauling in 6 passes for 66 yards. He dropped a few balls that he definitely should have caught. If that continues, the Redskins passing offense will struggle in a lot of games this year, and subsequently, the entire offense will suffer.

On the other hand, the Rams offense looks to have improved this year, as the team made some offseason moves. They landed receiver Sammy Watkins from the Bills, giving Goff a legitimate deep threat to play alongside receiver Tavon Austin.

With Todd Gurley in the backfield, they also have a very capable runner that should help maintain a balanced attack on offense.

Washington will need to play strong defensively to keep the Rams offense in check. The question is, will it matter if the Redskins offense can’t turn things around by Sunday?

More By Mark Solway

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