The Washington Redskins return home to Fed-Ex Field this Sunday to host the 0-4 St Louis Rams, kickoff is at 1 pm. After opening the 2008 season with four straight losses the Rams fired their head coach (Scott Linehan) and replaced him with new interim head coach Jim Haslett during their bye week. Haslett was the teams defensive coordinator but one of his first moves as head coach was to reinstate Marc Bulger as the starting quarterback, replacing Trent Green who was offensive coordinator Al Saunders choice at the quarterback. Although the Rams are win-less this season they are just two games out of first place in the NFC West. The Redskins are undefeated at Fed-Ex Field this season, after facing the New Orleans Saints and Arizona Cardinals at home; they are coming off consecutive road wins against divisional opponents. Clinton Portis turned in his best performance of the season in Sunday’s 23-17 win over the Philadelphia Eagles, rushing for 145 yards on 29 carries with one touchdown, as well as having two catches for 13 yards, and was named NFC offensive player of the week.
News, Notes, and Quotes:
-- The Redskins are the only NFL team without an offensive turnover after 167 carries and 155 passes and have a +6 turnover ratio through six games. They have intercepted five passes and recovered two opponent fumbles, while the Redskins’ lone turnover was a fumble on a punt return.
-- "I don't know how that happened; ‘You can't help how the ball bounces sometimes. We've had some plays on defense where we did a good job tipping the ball away from the receiver and either another receiver has caught it or the same receiver caught it for a touchdown. It's been unusual we haven't had that turnover yet with a tipped or batted ball or a last-second heroic throw to the end zone where the defense picks one off." — Redskins coach Jim Zorn on having a +6 turnover ratio
-- Jason Campbell is the only starting quarterback in the NFL to have not thrown an interception, he has 175 consecutive attempts without an interception and surpassed former Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann’s record mark of 161 consecutive attempts set 1983. As a team, the Redskins have gone 282 pass attempts without an interception in the regular season, dating back to last season. Campbell is currently ranked eleventh in passing yards with 1054, seventh in completions with 97, ninth in attempts with 153, fifth in attempts per game with 30.6, sixteenth in average passing yards per game with 210.8, eleventh in touchdowns thrown with seven, and eighth with a QB rating of 96.7
-- Running back Clinton Portis has more rushing attempts than any other back in the NFL after week five with 115, His 145 yard performance against the Eagles last week marks the first time Portis has rushed for more than 100 yards in back to back regular season games since weeks nine and ten of the 2007 season, he hasn’t put together three consecutive 100 yards games since 2005 when he closed out that season with five straight games of exceeding the century mark. The Redskins’ offense is ranked sixth overall through five weeks, and Portis is ranked second in the league in rushing with 514 yards, and yards per games with 102.8.
-- There are a number of other Redskins players at or near the top of the NFL Statistics Charts including Kick returner Rock Cartwright who has 380 yards on kickoff returns which ranks him 15th in the league, London Fletcher has 40 tackles which ranks him 4th in the league, and Wide Receiver Santana Moss is ranked 8th with 27 receptions, 7th with 421 receiving yards, 11th in yards per game with 84.2, his three touchdown catches has him tied for 8th, he has six catches over 20 yards which ties him with seven other players at 5th in the rankings
-- "I had a good career in college, and I was kind of upset when I got drafted" in the later rounds, 'But my dad, you know, he's funny, 'He knew I was upset, but he just kept telling me I got drafted in a good situation. He said it was a good situation to learn from London, Marcus and the guys here. And he was definitely right about that. These guys are the best group of guys I've ever been around. There are no egos here." - Linebacker H.B. Blades on being drafted by the Washington Redskins
-- Running back Clinton Portis is the NFC Offensive Player of the Week after rushing for 145 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries last Sunday against Philadelphia's then top-ranked run defense.
-- "When you can play the run in the NFC East against rival teams on the road, that doesn't go unnoticed, “We've done a good job the last two weeks in the running game. Hopefully it continues against Steven Jackson because the last time we played him he beat us in overtime with a long run. So we've go to be focused on him, and playing a good seven man in the box and doing a good job on him." — Backup Defensive End Demetric Evans commenting on the performance of the defensive line against the run
-- Linebacker Curtis Gatewood spent the 2008 off-season and training camp with the Redskins was re-signed to the team’s practice squad and he participated in practice on Thursday. Gatewood is replacing Johnny Baldwin, who suffered a knee injury on Wednesday. Baldwin had been on the practice squad since Sept. 24.
-- “To be honest, I haven’t really thought about the streak, ‘I just play the game and if something is there I try and take it. If not, I don’t force the issue. I just try to keep our team in good field position and try not to turn the ball over, We make a point to emphasize not turning the ball over every day in practice ’Our defense does a good job of trying to knock the ball out of our hands. They’re always trying to make us aware of it.” — Quarterback Jason Campbell on passing Joe Theismann’s team record for consecutive passes without an interception
-- The Redskins have faced five of the NFL’s top ten offenses (first-, third-, fifth-, fourth- and ninth ) yet opposing offenses are averaging just 4.1 yards per carry and gaining on average 103 yards per game against Greg Blache’s defensive unit. Running back Brandon Jacobs ran for 116 of the New York Giants 154 yards in week one and he is the only running back the Redskins has yielded more than 100 yards to this year. St Louis Rams running back Edgerrin James came close with 93 yards in week three but Brian Westbrook (33 yards last week), Marion Barber (26 yards in week four), and Reggie Bush (28 yards in week two) combined for less yards than James.
Comparing the Team Leaders & the Tale of the Tapes:
The St Louis Rams are lead by QB Marc Bulger who has a QB rating of 73.2 with 519 passing yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions; Jason Campbell is leading the Redskins with a QB rating of 96.7 with 1054 passing yards and has thrown six touchdowns and no picks. Steven Jackson leads the Rams ground attack 269 yards on 74 carries and averaging 3.6 yards per carry and has one touchdown while Clinton Portis leads the Redskins with 514 yards on 115 carries and averaging 4.5 yards per carry and has four touchdowns. Torry Holt is the Rams top receiver with 187 yards and a touchdown on fifteen catches while averaging 12.5 yards per catch. The Redskins top receiver is Santana Moss averaging 15.6 yards per catch with 27 receptions for 421 yards and three touchdowns. Will Witherspoon leads the Rams defense with 23 tackles, Chris Long leads the team with two sacks, and O. J. Atgowe has the only interception for the team. London Fletcher continues to lead the Redskins in tackles with 40 while Chris Wilson, Kedric Golston, H.B. Blades, Jason Taylor, and Cornelius Griffin have one sack each and Chris Horton leads the team with three interceptions.
Total Offense: Washington is ranked 6th with 351.2 yards per game and The St Louis Rams ranks 30th with 246.8 ypg.
Rushing Offense: Washington is ranked 5th with 146.2 yards per game and The St Louis Rams ranks 28th with 84.0 ypg.
Passing Offense: Washington is ranked 17th with 204.6 yards per game and The St Louis Rams ranks 26th with 162.8 ypg.
Total Defense: Washington is ranked 13th, giving up 303.0 yards per game and The St Louis Rams ranks 31st with 411.8 ypg.
Rushing Defense: Washington is ranked 9th, giving up 85.4 yards per game and The St Louis Rams ranks 28th with 166.0 ypg.
Passing Defense: Washington is ranked 21st, giving up 217.6 yards per game and The St Louis Rams ranks 27th with 245.8 ypg.
WR Malcolm Kelly (Ankle) is Probable
The swelling in Kelly's left knee subsided shortly after Sunday's game, his participation was limited in practice this week
OL Randy Thomas (Knee) is Probable
Thomas returned to practice on Thursday after sitting out Wednesday’s session
CB Shawn Springs (Hamstring) is Probable
Springs "showed quickness" in practice Thursday, and said he will play Sunday
OL Pete Kendall (Knee) is Probable
Kendall returned to practice on Thursday after sitting out Wednesday’s session
S Reed Doughty (Back) is Doubtful
Doughty was not at practice on Thursday
OL Stephon Heyer (Back) is Doubtful
Heyer was back on the practice field on Wednesday, participating in limited work
DT Cornelius Griffin (Shoulder) is Questionable
Griffin participation was limited in practice this week
LB Marcus Washington (Hip) is Doubtful
Washington did not participate in Wednesday's or Thursday’s practices
DE Jason Taylor (Calf) is Questionable
Taylor was a limited participant in practice Thursday, but said he hopes to get some snaps Sunday
The following players are done for the 2008 season:
DE Alex Buzbee (Achilles Injury)
DE Phillip Daniels (Knee Injury)
LB Matt Sinclair (Back)