Less than three years after the St. Louis Rams essentially traded Robert Griffin III to the Washington Redskins, the teams are heading in very different directions. The Rams received three first-round picks and a second-round selection in exchange for the No. 2 overall choice that the Redskins used to take Griffin, and devoted some of those picks to draft players who have helped the team win four of its last seven games heading into Sunday's road contest. The Redskins, meanwhile, enter this home game having lost four straight contests and benched Griffin in favor of Colt McCoy prior to their latest defeat.
“I think their ability to rush the passer with their front four is obviously tops in the league,” McCoy said this week of the Rams, whose front four includes defensive tackle Michael Brockers, a player that was chosen with a draft pick that indirectly came from the Griffin trade. St. Louis has defeated Seattle, San Francisco and Denver since mid-October and is coming off a resounding 52-0 win over Oakland. “It wasn’t difficult for us,” Rams coach Jeff Fisher told reporters this week, thinking back to the Griffin deal. “We looked at our roster and it wasn’t difficult to see that we had a lot of holes. So, it was easy for us to do.”
TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Rams -3. O/U: 44.5
ABOUT THE RAMS (5-7): St. Louis had played nine straight games against teams with a winning record prior to last week's matchup against the Raiders, who they limited to 4-of-18 third-down conversions and 244 total yards in their first shutout since 2006. Tre Mason, a third-round pick from Auburn, ran for a career-high 117 yards and scored two long touchdowns while adding three catches for 47 yards and another score. Robert Quinn led the defensive effort with three sacks and two forced fumbles, giving him nine sacks and four forced fumbles in his past seven outings.
ABOUT THE REDSKINS (3-9): McCoy set career highs with 392 passing yards and three touchdowns in last week's 49-27 loss to Indianapolis while DeSean Jackson caught one of those TD passes, although a leg injury has him listed as questionable for Sunday's contest. Despite using three quarterbacks this season, the Redskins are 10th in the NFL in passing yards, although only two teams in the league have a worse turnover margin than Washington (minus-7). After setting a franchise record with a league-leading 113 receptions last season, Pierre Garcon has 49 catches this year - a total of 10 in the last four games - and has not scored a touchdown since Oct. 19.
1. Rams DT Aaron Donald leads all rookies with six sacks, including one in each of the last three games.
2. Redskins TE Jordan Reed, who had nine catches for 123 yards last week, is aiming to post back-to-back 100-yard games for the first time in his career.
3. Washington is one loss away from suffering at least 10 defeats for the fifth time in six seasons.
PREDICTION: Redskins 26, Rams 19
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