The Washington Redskins are 4-1. They have come off major road wins against Dallas and Philadelphia. The St. Louis Rams are 0-4. They are coming off a bye week which saw their head coach fired. Trap game alert!
The last time the Rams and Redskins shared a field together, Steven Jackson rushed for 150 yards and added another 102 yards receiving. He topped it off with a 21-yard touchdown run in overtime to give the Rams a 37-31 victory. Of course, the Rams were on their way to an 8-8 season while the Redskins bottomed out at 5-11.
That was 2006 and neither team resembles anything like that now.
The Redskins are the NFL's buzz team after reeling off four straight wins and winning in Dallas and Philadelphia. The once-turnover laden Skins have committed just one this season and that was on a punt. The defense has slowed down each opponent they've played while the offense has come together to enforce their will.
St. Louis was one of the worst teams in the NFL last season and are continuing that trend this year. They are one of four winless teams and haven't really been close to getting one.
Historically, Washington has been dominant. They are 20-7-1 against the Rams in regular season play, though St. Louis won that last meeting in 2006. The Redskins boast the NFL's fifth-rated rushing offense and sixth-ranked overall. The Rams have the fifth-worst rushing defense and second-worst overall defense.
But all that can be thrown out the window if the Redskins don't slow down Jackson. Something the players say won't happen:
"Just watching film, man, their offensive line comes off hard," defensive tackle Anthony Montgomery said, "and he's running the ball hard. He's a big back, and he can run you over. We've got to have our mind right and be physical with him. If you come up there tiptoeing trying to tackle that man, it's not going to be pretty. You've got to come physical."
Washington has put themselves in position to have a special season and they are hearing about it now. They finally get to go back home and play a relatively easy game. The phrase "any given Sunday" didn't come from thin air, however.