The Los Angeles Rams aim to carry over the momentum from their season-opening dominant performance when they host the Washington Redskins on Sunday. Los Angeles trounced Indianapolis 46-9 last week, with Jared Goff passing for a career-high 307 yards and a touchdown while the defense came up huge.
The Rams’ defense, which figures to be even stronger with the return of three-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Aaron Donald on Sunday, limited the Colts to 10 first downs and stopped all 10 of their third-down attempts while scoring 16 points. In the process, Los Angeles became the first team in NFL history to record two touchdowns off interceptions and a safety in a season opener. However, one area that needs improvement is the running game, as the Rams gained only 63 yards on 33 carries for a 1.9 average. Washington wasn’t much better on the ground in its 30-17 home loss to Philadelphia, rushing 17 times for just 64 yards - with quarterback Kirk Cousins tying for the team lead with 30.
TV: 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Rams -2.5. O/U: 46
ABOUT THE REDSKINS (0-1): Cousins, who was just 23-of-40 against the Eagles, recorded the same amount of completions in his last meeting with Los Angeles but needed only 27 attempts. Former quarterback Terrelle Pryor led Washington with six receptions and 66 yards in his first game with the club after converting to receiver with Cleveland last season. Ryan Grant made four catches for a career-high 61 yards following a 2016 campaign during which he hauled in a total of nine passes for 76 yards.
ABOUT THE RAMS (1-0): A three-time Pro-Bowler, Donald ended his contract holdout the day before the season opener and is expected to have a limited role against the Redskins. “We’ll see how he is,” defensive coordinator Wade Phillips told reporters. “He doesn’t seem to be bothered too much by the reps we’re giving him in practice. It’s not wearing him out, so we’ll make sure in the ballgame that we watch him.” Cornerback Trumaine Johnson was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week after returning an interception 39 yards for a score and recovering a fumble he forced.
1. The Rams were the first team to bring back two interceptions for scores in a season opener since 2007, when Minnesota accomplished the feat against Atlanta.
2. Washington LB Mason Foster made nine tackles last week, marking the fifth straight game in which he recorded eight or more.
3. Los Angeles coach Sean McVay spent seven seasons on Washington’s staff, including the last three as offensive coordinator.
PREDICTION: Redskins 27, Rams 14