<
>

How you feeling? Redskins vs. Rams

As you get ready for today's game against the Rams in St. Louis, here's one reason for Washington Redskins fans to feel good and one reason for concern:

Feeling good: The pass rush vs. Sam Bradford

Bradford has been sacked 11 times this season, and the Rams' pass protection has been an issue. Enter the Redskins, with outside linebackers Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan fired up about a chance to add to that sack total. The Redskins brought a lot of blitzes Monday night in Dallas to try and force Tony Romo out of the pocket and into bad decisions, and that's likely to happen again. They've had some success generating pressure up the middle with London Fletcher, and you'll probably see some of that, too. But the key to the Redskins' pass rush is Orakpo and Kerrigan, who should be able to take advantage of mismatches against the St. Louis tackles and cause problems for Bradford.

Cause for concern: Steven Jackson and the Rams' run game

The Redskins' defense has been good overall this season, but a disturbing trend has emerged in the second half in each of the past two weeks. In their Week 2 victory against Arizona, the Redskins allowed 87 rushing yards in the second half, including four Beanie Wells runs of 10 or more yards. Monday in Dallas, the Redskins allowed 93 second-half rushing yards, including Felix Jones runs of 40 and 29 yards. The Rams have Jackson back at full strength, and there's plenty of tape on how to run against Washington, especially in the second half. This is a potential issue that arises when your edge rushers are so good and so focused on getting to the quarterback -- they can forget that part of their job is to set that edge and force the run back inside. If the Redskins don't correct that, they could give up some big runs to Jackson and Cadillac Williams.