When the Skins take the field on Sunday in their first home game of the year, there'll be a familiar face across the sideline leading the Rams.
Steve Spagnuolo will be coaching his second game with the Rams after having served for two years as Giants defensive coordinator and a whole bunch of years before that as an assistant with the Eagles.
Spags interviewed for the Skins coaching job that Jim Zorn eventually got. And depending on who you listen to, he either turned down Danny Boy's offer, or he wasn't offered the job at all.
He knows the Skins well, but the Rams aren't the Giants. And what he wants to do is different than what his players are able to do for him.
The Rams are a mess, coming off a miserable season and a terrible first game. But that hot mess also beat the Skins last year in FedEx on a last-minute field goal. (That's the game that featured the epically failed Pete Kendall fumble-recovery-turned-fumble-turned-Rams-TD.)
They hope to rely on the terrifically haired Steven Jackson. Their most dangerous player carried the ball only 16 times for 67 yards in the team's first game, owing mostly to the huge early deficit the Rams found themselves in.
These aren't the "Greatest Show on Turf" Rams anymore, and their receivers haven't yet proven that they're stars. With the danger that Jackson presents, the Skins are likely to stack the box to shut down the run, forcing an aging and increasingly less mobile Mark Bulger to try to make big plays down the field.
With Albert Haynesworth clogging the middle, the Skins should be able to contain the Rams offense. When he played last week, the Giants ran away from him. They ran in his direction just 3 times for a total of -2 yards, according to Hogs Haven.
If he can maintain that kind of presence, Jackson's going to have to bounce to the outside where London Fletcher and the linebackers hope to contain him.
If the defense plays as it should, then it's just up to the offense to put a few points on the board. There's no need to play conservative there; everyone is certainly looking for the jugular.
It's a game the Skins should win fairly easily. But then we thought that about last year's game, too.