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Redskins-Rams GameDay Preview

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WEEK 4:
Redskins (2-1) @ Rams (0-3)

The Redskins travel to St. Louis to take on the Rams on Sunday, Oct. 2 at the Edward Jones Dome. Kickoff is 1 p.m. ET.

The Edward Jones Dome has an artificial surface. The stadium seats 66,965.

It's the second road trip of the season for the Redskins. They lost to the Dallas Cowboys 18-16 at Cowboys Stadium on Sept. 26.

Last year, the Redskins were 0-2 in dome stadiums. The Redskins' last win in a dome stadium was Oct. 26, 2008, in a 25-17 win over the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.

The Redskins are 1-0 against the NFC West. They beat the Arizona Cardinals 22-21 in Week 2 at FedExField.

The Rams, still seeking their first win of the season, are 0-2 against the NFC East. They lost to the Philadelphia Eagles 31-13 and the New York Giants 28-16 before losing to the Baltimore Ravens last week 37-7.

The Redskins-Rams game will be televised locally on FOX. Chris Myers handles the play by play and Tim Ryan provides color analysis.

On radio, the game will be broadcast locally on the Redskins Radio Network. Larry Michael calls the play-by-play with former Redskins and Hall of Famers Sonny Jurgensen and Sam Huff adding color commentary. Rick 'Doc' Walker reports from the sidelines.

The game broadcast can also be heard on Westwood One radio. Howard David calls the play-by-play with Tony Boselli providing color commentary.


PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS

**OFFENSE**
**Pos.** **Redskins** **Rams**
WR 89 Santana Moss 11 Brandon Gibson
LT 71 Trent Williams 76 Rodger Saffold
LG 78 Kory Lichtensteiger 63 Jacob Bell
C 63 Will Montgomery 60 Jason Brown
RG 66 Chris Chester 62 Harvey Dahl
RT 77 Jammal Brown 77 Jason Smith
TE 47 Chris Cooley 47 Billy Bajema
WR 10 Jabar Gaffney 16 Danny Amendola
QB 8 Rex Grossman 8 Sam Bradford
FB 36 Darrel Young 49 Brit Miller
RB 25 Tim Hightower 39 Steven Jackson

**DEFENSE**
**Pos.** **Redskins** **Rams**
DE 94 Adam Carriker 91 Chris Long
NT/DT 96 Barry Cofield 98 Fred Robbins
DE/DT 72 Stephen Bowen 95 Justin Bannan
LB/DE 91 Ryan Kerrigan 96 James Hall
LB 59 London Fletcher 51 Brady Poppinga
LB 52 Rocky McIntosh 55 James Laurinaitis
LB 98 Brian Orakpo 59 Ben Leber
CB 23 DeAngelo Hall 21 Justin King
CB 26 Josh Wilson 32 Bradley Fletcher
SS 30 LaRon Landry 43 Craig Dahl
FS 20 O.J. Atogwe 27 Quintin Mikell

**SPECIAL TEAMS**
**Pos.** **Redskins** **Rams**
P 6 Sav Rocca 5 Donnie Jones
K 4 Graham Gano 3 Josh Brown
H 6 Sav Rocca 5 Donnie Jones
LS 57 Nick Sundberg 44 Jake McQuaide
KOR 16 Brandon Banks 34 Jerious Norwood
PR 16 Brandon Banks 16 Danny Amendola


SERIES HISTORY

Sunday's Redskins-Rams game marks the 36th meeting between the two clubs. The Redskins have played the Rams throughout that organization's pro football tenure in Cleveland, Los Angeles and St. Louis.

Washington holds a 23-11-1 advantage in the all-time series (regular season and postseason), dating back to a 16-7 victory for Washington over the Cleveland Rams on November 21, 1937.

The Redskins have won nine of the last 15 meetings, most recently a 9-7 win over the Rams at FedExField in 2009.

Last year, the Redskins and Rams faced off in Week 3 at the Edward Jones Dome and the Rams won 30-16.

The Rams jumped out to a 14-0 first quarter lead thanks in part to a 42-yard touchdown run by running back Steven Jackson. Wide receiver Santana Moss caught a 21-yard touchdown pass from Donovan McNabb to help give the Redskins a 16-14 lead.

The Rams retook the lead when running back Kenneth Darby scored on a 12-yard touchdown run and sealed the win with three more field goals by kicker Josh Brown.

The Redskins and Rams have met four times in the postseason, once when the Rams played in Cleveland and three times when they were in Los Angeles. The clubs have split their four playoff encounters.

In 1945, Washington faced off against the Rams in the NFL Championship in Cleveland. Playing in sub-zero temperatures, the Rams fended off the Redskins and won 15-14.

Joe Gibbs's Redskins played the Rams twice in the playoffs during the 1980s. On Jan. 1, 1983, the Redskins manhandled the Rams 51-7 at RFK Stadium. On Dec. 28, 1986, the Redskins again defeated the Rams 19-7 at RFK Stadium.

The other playoff game between the Redskins and Rams was on Dec. 22, 1974, when Los Angeles defeated the Redskins 19-10 at the Rose Bowl.


TALE OF THE TAPE
 

**REDSKINS 2011 RANKINGS**
**Offense** **Rank** **Yards/Game**
Total Offense 15 361.7
Rushing Offense 12 103.7
Passing Offense 14 258.0
**Defense** **Rank** **Yards/Game**
Total Defense 16 338.0
Rushing Defense 11 97.7
Passing Defense 15 240.3

**RAMS 2011 RANKINGS**
**Offense** **Rank** **Yards/Game**
Total Offense 21 315.3
Rushing Offense 11 108.3
Passing Offense 23 207.0
**Defense** **Rank** **Yards/Game**
Total Defense 31 426.30
Rushing Defense 32 174.3
Passing Defense 19 252.0

FAMILIAR FACES ON THE RAMS

Head coach Steve Spagnuolo served as a Redskins player personnel intern in 1983.

General Manager Billy Devaney worked as a scout for the Redskins from 1983-1990. He worked alongside Joe Gibbs and Bobby Beathard during that time.

Scout Russ Bolingerserved as a Redskins scout from 2005-09.

Running back Quinn Porter spent time on the Redskins' practice squad in 2010.


REDSKINS-RAMS NEWS & NOTES

Atogwe And the Rams

Oshiomogho Atogwe played the first six seasons of his NFL career with the St. Louis Rams, establishing himself as a starting-caliber free safety.

When he joined the Redskins as a free agent last March, it was his wife who circled the Rams game on the calendar.

"I left St. Louis in a good place personally," Atogwe said. "No bad blood."

Atogwe joined the Rams as a third-round draft pick (66th overall) in 2005.

After serving as a backup in his rookie year, Atogwe became a full-time starter under then-defensive coordinator Jim Haslett in 2006. He was a reliable starter in the Rams' secondary ever since.

Atogwe seemed to be a thorn in the Redskins' side, too.

In a 2006 game, Atogwe forced a fumble on a long run by Ladell Betts that helped the Rams defeat the Redskins in overtime in St. Louis.

And in 2008, Atogwe recovered a fumble in a FedExField game and raced 75 yards for a touchdown in another Rams win over the Redskins.

Now Atogwe is on the Redskins' side. He followed Haslett to Washington last offseason.

Atogwe should be able to provide some tips on the Rams' defensive scheme as well as the tendencies by second-year quarterback Sam Bradford, the top overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.

Atogwe said he was impressed with how Bradford prepared even as a rookie.

"He's going to be a great player," Atogwe said. "He'll be in the category of a [Peyton] Manning or a [Tom] Brady just in the way he prepares. He is going to study everything."

As for Atogwe, his transition to Washington has been seamless. In three games, Atogwe has posted 15 tackles and one pass defended. He is relatively low-key in the locker room, but his words seem to always carry weight.

Atogwe sees signs of progress in the Redskins' secondary, especially with LaRon Landry returning to action last week. The defense is ranked 15th overall against the pass through three games.

Atogwe marveled at Landry and referred to him as a "a monster" in the defensive backfield.

"We'll be as good as we believe we can be," Atogwe said. "When all four of us are jelling together, it's just going to help us continue to be a dominant force out there."

-- Fletcher And the Rams

Fletcher played for the Rams from 1998-2001 and emerged as a standout at middle linebacker for the so-called "Greatest Show on Turf" in St. Louis.

He was the Rams' Rookie of the Year in 1998. A year later, he started for the Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV, a game they won 23-16 over the Tennessee Titans.

Fletcher played four seasons with the Rams before moving on to Buffalo in 2002. He played for the Bills for five seasons and then signed with the Redskins as an unrestricted free agent in 2007.

Asked to reflect on his tenure with the Rams, Fletcher said the Super Bowl season remains a "special memory."

"We had a great group of guys," he said. "What we were able to accomplish, in a three-year run, was phenomenal. We played an exciting brand of football. We loved playing with each other and we loved coming to work. I still have the memories and I still think about it from time to time."

Fletcher has proven to be one of the NFL's most durable players through the years.

He has played in 211 consecutive games, which is tied with Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Ronde Barber for most in the NFL.

Fletcher has also made 171 consecutive starts, which is second behind Barber's 185.

-- How the Redskins' 53-Man Roster Was Built

The Redskins have 23 players on the roster that the team drafted, including each of the first-round draft picks (Ryan Kerrigan, Trent Williams and Brian Orakpo) of the last three years.

Washington has used free agency to acquire 23 players, including Mike Sellers in 2004, London Fletcher in 2007, DeAngelo Hall in 2008, Rex Grossman in 2010 and Barry Cofield and Stephen Bowen in 2011.

Four Redskins players were acquired as undrafted rookie free agents. This group includes cornerback Byron Westbrook, wide receiver Brandon Banks, tight end Logan Paulsen and offensive tackle Willie Smith

The team has acquired six players via trade: Santana Moss (Jets) in 2005, John Beck (Ravens), Jammal Brown (Saints) and Adam Carriker (Rams) in 2010 and Jabar Gaffney (Broncos) and Tim Hightower (Cardinals) in 2011.

-- Haslett Returns to St. Louis

Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett was the interim head coach of the St. Louis Rams in 2008.

He replaced Scott Linehan, who was fired after five games, and coached the Rams the final 11 weeks.

Haslett was initially hired as Rams defensive coordinator. He served in that role in 2006-07 and the first five games of 2008.

Haslett's first game as Rams head coach was against the Redskins. The Rams were 0-5 at the time, but they upset the Redskins at FedExField by a 19-17 score.

-- Redskins' Strength of Schedule

The Redskins have the NFL's 29th toughest schedule in 2011, according to the NFL. (Or, in other words, the Redskins have the NFL's fourth easiest schedule.)

The Redskins' opponents for the 2011 season produced a 121-135 record last year, a .473 winning percentage.

Only the Arizona Cardinals (.441), Baltimore Ravens (.457) and San Francisco 49ers (.465) have easier schedules than the Redskins.

The Redskins play six games against teams who finished .500 or better in 2010. They play five games against 2010 playoff opponents.

In the NFC East, the Dallas Cowboys have the 15th toughest schedule (.504), the Philadelphia Eagles have the 17th toughest schedule (.504) and the New York Giants have the 23rd toughest schedule.

-- Shanahan File

With the Redskins' Week 2 win over the Arizona Cardinals, Mike Shanahan recorded his 162nd career win (regular season and postseason) as a head coach.

Shanahan's career record is 162-114, a .586 winning percentage. That win total is 15th best among all-time NFL head coaches. He surpassed Bill Cowher with the win over Arizona.

Among active head coaches, Shanahan's record is second only to New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, who has a 179-101 record.

Shanahan has won games against every NFL opponent. He is 2-4 all-time against the Rams including 0-3 in road games.

-- On the Road Again

The Redskins will travel 12,342 miles during the 2011 regular season, which is the 22nd most in the NFL. The team's longest road trip of the year is to Seattle on Nov. 27.

The San Francisco 49ers travel the most miles of all NFL teams, at 29,196. Seattle is second at 26,918 and San Diego is third with 26,740. (A trip around the globe is approximately 25,000 miles.)

Among divisions, NFC East teams travel the third-most miles at 61,278, trailing the NFC West (95,346) and AFC West (82,826). Dallas travels the most miles in the NFC East at 20,232.

-- Grossman And 300

Rex Grossman's 305-yard passing performance in the Redskins' season-opening win over the New York Giants on Sept. 11 was his fourth career 300-yard passing game.

Three of his four 300-yard games have come in his five starts with the Redskins.

Grossman passed for 322 yards on Dec. 19, 2010 against the Dallas Cowboys and 336 yards on Jan. 2 against the Giants to go along with his performance on Sept. 11.

-- Coming a 'Long' Way

St. Louis Rams defensive end Chris Long played college football at the University of Virginia. He was the Rams' first-round draft pick (second overall) in 2008.

Long has had some great tutors in his career, including his father Howie, a Hall of Fame defensive lineman. (Howie Long had five sacks in a game against the Redskins on Oct. 2, 1983.)

Chris Long practiced against some top offensive tackles while at the University of Virginia, including D'Brickashaw Ferguson (New York Jets), Branden Albert (Kansas City Chiefs) and Eugene Monroe (Jacksonville Jaguars). All of them were first-round picks.

-- Bartell a Local Product

St. Louis Rams cornerback Ron Bartell played college football at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Bartell visited Redskins Park in a pre-draft Rookie Camp in April 2005.

He was eventually selected by the Rams in the second round (50th overall) of the 2005 NFL Draft.

-- What's Next?

It's time for byes as the Redskins get a midseason week off. Since the NFL introduced the bye in 1990, the Redskins are 11-11 in games following a bye, including a seven-season winning streak from 1996-2002. In 1993, the NFL schedule included two bye weeks and the Redskins lost both times following their byes.

In Week 6, the Redskins will face NFC East rival Philadelphia on Sunday, Oct. 16. Kickoff is 1 p.m. ET at FedExField.

It's the first meeting of the year for the two clubs and the second consecutive year that the Redskins will face the Eagles at home following their bye. Last year, the Redskins lost that contest 59-28.

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