Sunday, October 2, 2011
Wrap-up: Redskins 17, Rams 10
By Dan Graziano
A few thoughts on the Washington Redskins' Week 4 victory over the Rams in St. Louis:
What it means: The Redskins have a ton of depth at running back, and Mike Shanahan likes to show it off. After not getting a single carry in the first two games while Tim Hightower started and Roy Helu backed him up, Ryan Torain went off in this Week 4 game to the tune of 135 yards on 19 carries. Hightower and Helu combined for 59 yards on 16 carries as the Redskins' offense for most of the game looked like something out of Mike and Kyle Shanahan's dreams. The Redskins are 3-1 for the first time since 2008, when they started 4-1 but fell apart in the second half of the season and finished 8-8.
Rex remains a potential problem: Quarterback Rex Grossman's two late-game interceptions allowed the Rams back into a game the Redskins should have put away. The Redskins' offense relies on the run in part because it's a way to limit Grossman's ability to get them beat with big mistakes. Fortunately for Washington, this year's schedule affords the Redskins more opportunities to play that way.
Kerrakpo: The outside linebacker tandem of Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan combined for 3.5 sacks as the Redskins' defense got plenty of pressure on Rams quarterback Sam Bradford and smothered the Rams' offense all day. Inside linebacker Rocky McIntosh also played an excellent all-around game, and Stephen Bowen and Adam Carriker contributed pressure from the interior of the defensive line.
What's next: The Redskins will take a week off, as Week 5 is their bye week. That will give everyone two weeks to speculate in vain on the running back rotation. Washington returns to action on Oct. 16 with a home game against the Philadelphia Eagles.