Redskins

NFL Capsule: Rams at Seahawks

NFL Capsule: Rams at Seahawks

ST. LOUIS (7-7-1) At SEATTLE (10-5)

Sunday, 4:25 p.m., FOX

OPENING LINE - Seahawks by 10

2012 RECORD VS. SPREAD - St. Louis 10-5; Seattle 11-4

SERIES RECORD - Seahawks lead 17-12

AP PRO32 RANKING - Rams No. 18; Seahawks No. 5

LAST MEETING - Rams beat Seahawks 19-13, Sept. 30

LAST WEEK - Rams beat Buccaneers 28-13; Seahawks beat 49ers 42-13

RAMS OFFENSE - OVERALL (24), RUSH (19), PASS (19)

RAMS DEFENSE - OVERALL (15), RUSH (16), PASS (15)

SEAHAWKS OFFENSE - OVERALL (16), RUSH (2), PASS (27)

SEAHAWKS DEFENSE - OVERALL (4), RUSH (11), PASS (5)

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Seattle has already wrapped up postseason berth and will be No. 5 seed in NFC playoffs at worst. A win over St. Louis and San Francisco loss would give Seattle division title and at least No. 3 seed. If both 49ers and Packers lose, Seattle could jump as high as No. 2 seed. ... Rams trying to finish with winning record for first time since 2003. Rams finished 8-8 in both 2004 and '06. ... Rams only NFC West team without division loss (4-0-1). ... Rams beat Seahawks in Week 4 19-13 on strength of special teams. K Greg Zuerlein kicked four field goals and P Johnny Hekker threw 2-yard TD pass in win. ... No Rams were voted as starters/reserves for Pro Bowl. ... QB Sam Bradford needs 63 yards passing to set career high for single-season. Has 3,450 yards. ... RB Steven Jackson has 990 yards rushing and would become sixth NFL player with eight straight seasons of at least 1,000 yards. ... Rams tied for third in NFL with 46 sacks. ... CB Janoris Jenkins has four TD returns this season - three by interception, one by fumble - most ever by rookie defensive player. ... Seattle trying to reach 11-win mark for the third time in franchise history, last coming in 2005 (13-3). ... Seahawks riding four-game winning streak, longest of coach Pete Carroll's tenure, and longest since 2007. ... Seahawks have outscored last three opponents 150-30. ... Seattle scored 100 straight points at home until giving up David Akers' field goal in the second quarter last Sunday, becoming first team since 1991 Redskins to score 100 straight points at home. ... QB Russell Wilson needs two TD passes to set NFL record for most TDs passing by a rookie. Wilson has 25 thanks to a four-TD night last week against 49ers. Peyton Manning holds record with 26 in 1998. ... With a win, Wilson becomes first QB to go 8-0 at home in rookie season. ... Seahawks have top scoring defense in NFL at 15.5 ppg. ... Seahawks fourth-ranked overall defense in the NFL. ... LB Bobby Wagner No. 3 in NFL for total tackles among rookies with 130. ... CB Richard Sherman won his appeal of a four-game suspension, and will be available for Sunday's game and playoffs.

---

Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Quick Links

One side of the Redskins' offensive line is struggling, and it's not the one you expected

One side of the Redskins' offensive line is struggling, and it's not the one you expected

One side of the Redskins' offensive line is made up of a 36-year-old tackle who showed up on July 31 and a guard who's played a grand total of two games at the position. The other side, meanwhile, features a third-round pick who signed a pricey extension in 2017 at tackle and a two-time Pro Bowler at guard.

The first pair, somehow, is holding up OK through two contests this year. It's the second pair that's having trouble. And no one really expected that to be the case.

In Washington's Week 1 loss against Philadelphia, Morgan Moses — the one with the hefty contract — committed two penalties, a holding and a false start. Another holding call was declined.

In the team's Week 2 loss to Dallas, meanwhile, Brandon Scherff — the one with the Pro Bowls — was whistled for holding twice.

Beyond the penalties, though, Moses and Scherff haven't helped out the running backs. At all.

So far, according to the NFL's logs, the Burgundy and Gold have had 11 runs to the left for 46 yards, which comes out to an average of 4.18 yards per carry. There have been 14 carries to the right, on the other hand, for just 27 yards, which comes out to an average of 1.92 yards per carry.

To be fair, it's not like Donald Penn and Ereck Flowers are totally tearing it up at left tackle and left guard. But those stats show they've been surprisingly effective as run blockers and, overall, they're giving the Redskins all they could've hoped for. Moses and Scherff simply aren't.

Now, on the list of problems Jay Gruden's squad is facing, the defense's discouraging start is at the top, while injuries and poor adjustments follow. They need to seriously evaluate how they're trying to stop opposing offenses and what they are (or aren't) doing at halftime.

But Moses and Scherff's slumps are high up on that list of problems as well, because they were supposed to be two reliable veterans and pave the way when they were asked to.

Instead, they're holding the offense back, sometimes literally, sometimes because of sloppy play. The right side of the O-line is currently on the wrong side of things, which wasn't supposed to be the story up front.

MORE REDSKINS NEWS

Quick Links

Talent, scheme or coaching, something needs to change for Redskins defense

Talent, scheme or coaching, something needs to change for Redskins defense

After two games, the Redskins defense clearly does not appear ready for some of the expectations that arrived before the season. That's obvious. What isn't is why. 

In consecutive losses, Washington's defense has given up more than 30 points-per-game and more than 400 yards-per-game. With just two sacks, the defensive front hasn't generated much pressure at all. The sack numbers are low, but opposing quarterbacks aren't taking many hits or pressures either. Heck, on Sunday against Dallas, Dak Prescott completed every pass he threw during the second half. 

Before the year started, the Redskins defense looked poised for a breakout. The team had strong young talent up front with Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, Matt Ioannidis. The edge rushers were a pair of first-round picks in veteran Ryan Kerrigan and rookie Montez Sweat. Landon Collins was supposed to provide Pro Bowl play at safety. 

It just hasn't worked. 

The biggest Redskins struggles have come on third down. The defense just can't get on the field. In a Week 1 loss, the Eagles converted 11 of 17 third downs and went on long drives throughout the second half. Against the Cowboys in a Week 2 loss, Dallas never punted in the second half.

Against Philly, the Redskins gave up 4 yards-per-carry, which is usually a losing formula. Against Dallas, the Redskins gave up more than 6-yards-per-carry, which is definitely a losing formula. 

There are plenty of stats to show how bad the Redskins defense has been. These are just a sample. The bigger issue, however, is why it's happening.

And there aren't easy answers.

Injuries are a part of the equation. Losing Allen hurts a lot, as does losing cornerbacks Quinton Dunbar and Fabian Moreau for the Dallas game. But still, injuries aren't a full explanation. 

Scheme is part of the problem. The Redskins tend to play conservative defense, without much blitzing or disguised looks. And if the defensive front isn't getting home, it's big trouble for the secondary when the quarterback has plenty of time. 

Coaching is a problem too. Defensive coordinator Greg Manusky is in charge of the conservative scheme. He could change that, and maybe should change that, but so far he has not. In his post-game comments, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said his staff isn't "reaching" the defensive players yet. That doesn't sound like a vote of confidence. 

Players also need to play better. Sweat, Ioannidis and Kerrigan aren't generating much pass rush, and that's a major problem. Josh Norman needs to be better too. 

There are no easy fixes here. There's no silver bullet, no singular answer. 

Gruden said there would be no coaching changes because it's so early in the season. That doesn't mean the questions won't keep coming. 

"There are no excuses to be had. We have to look at ourselves, and we have to play better," the coach said of his defense after the 31-21 loss to Dallas.

"We’re minus a couple pieces in the secondary, that has an issue. But really, we should be better than this."

Through two games, the Redskins defense should be much better than it has been. Gruden knows it. Fans do too. 

MORE REDSKINS NEWS: