Records: Redskins (1-0, 0-0 in the NFC East); Rams (0-1, 0-0 in the NFC West)
Past results: Two most recent meetings -- Oct. 2, 2011: Redskins 17, Rams 10; Sept. 26, 2010: Rams 30, Redskins 16. Series record: Redskins lead 22-9-1.
What matters: The Redskins’ front seven might not have a superstar, but it has a lot of good players. The Rams have a horrendous offensive line, in part because of injuries. A year ago, Washington took advantage of this with seven sacks. NT Barry Cofield and DE Stephen Bowen in particular could have big days against a weakened interior.
Who matters: Rookie QB Robert Griffin III will matter every week, but especially after his sterling debut. Griffin and the Redskins stayed one step ahead of New Orleans with their zone read options. Griffin rarely forced passes, but the zone fakes resulted in clear passing lanes. But what sort of impact will it have now that there’s film of him running this offense? The Rams have the edge pressure, with DE Chris Long and Robert Quinn, that could provide problems – and keep him contained in the pocket.
Key matchups: RT Tyler Polumbus struggled in the opener -- and did so throughout most of the preseason -- but must somehow handle Long. The Redskins WRs excelled at yards after the catch in the opener, but the Rams counter with a good, aggressive corner in Cortland Finnegan, who could make life a little tougher. ILBs Perry Riley and London Fletcher must lead the effort to stop RB Steven Jackson.
Inside stuff: Something that can’t be understated is the attitude of Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan. Both play with an aggressive, attacking style. That helps in the run game as both are excellent blockers. But it also helps on plays such as the bubble screen in which they must run aggressively to pick up yards.
Connections: LB London Fletcher (1998-2001) and DE Adam Carriker (2007-09) both played for St. Louis. Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett held the same position with the Rams from 2006-08 and served as an interim coach that final season. Rams LB Rocky McIntosh (2006-11) played for Washington.
Stat you should know: The Redskins’ running game was more efficient than anything else in the opener. Rookie running back Alfred Morris gained three yards or less on 20 of his 28 carries and his long was only 18 yards. Last season the Redskins had only 10 running plays for 20 yards or more.
Bulletin board quote: Griffin III: “Teams will try to adjust to what you’ve done. You try not to show them the same thing twice… With the zone read there are so many things to do off it. It’s like pick your poison. What do you want to stop?”
Looking ahead: The Redskins have their home opener vs. Cincinnati in Week 3 before heading to Tampa Bay in Week 4 and hosting Atlanta in Week 5. The opportunity for a 3-1 start is real -- it would be their second straight such start under Mike Shanahan.