With the St. Louis Rams in town to face the Washington Redskins, it will mark the eighth time in the past 10 seasons that the two teams will have gone head-to-head in the regular season.
Washington is still reeling from an injury-riddled loss to the Miami Dolphins in Week 1, while St. Louis is basking in the glow of a victory against the Seattle Seahawks. Based on recent historical evidence, the team that just beat Seattle should be highly favored over the team that just lost to Miami; the Dolphins have just one winning season in the last 10 years compared to the Seahawks' five.
But just for a moment, ignore the Week 1 results. Ignore the current makeup of each team, the players and the coaching staff. Ignore the never-ending storyline of the Robert Griffin III trade in 2012. Setting aside all those factors, the Redskins would still be the underdog, even at their home field, because they just can't seem to play the Rams well.
At time of posting, the Redskins are about three-point underdogs. There are many factors that go into that line, but consider that Washington has lost five of the seven games played between the two teams in the previous nine seasons. Or consider the most recent meeting, when the Skins got decimated 24-0 on their home field in Week 14 last year.
Washington is 54-90 over its past nine seasons; St. Louis is 43-100-1 in that time. Washington has averaged 19.67 points per game while opponents have scored 23.38 points per game against in that time; St. Louis has averaged 14.74 points for and 24.45 points against.
Yet in those seven meetings over those nine seasons, the Redskins have put up just 15.71 points compared to the Rams' 22.57.
Offense could be especially hard to come by this time for the Redskins. They will be without primary deep threat DeSean Jackson, who was their top receiver last year by both yards and touchdowns. The running game was their strongest offensive weapon against the Dolphins, but the Rams' front seven is terrifying and should not be underestimated.
The Seahawks were the top rushing team in the league last year by more than 400 yards, and they averaged 0.6 yards per carry more than any other team in football with 5.3 ypc. They were also the only team to pile up 20 rushing touchdowns in the season.
The Rams held the Seahawks to 124 rushing yards on 32 carries (3.9 ypc) in Week 1, with no rushing touchdowns. Also, Seattle's offensive line gave up just 42 sacks last year, but it surrendered six to the Rams defense last week.
The point is this: The Redskins generally don't play well against the Rams. Even when they win, it's not pretty, as evidenced by the excruciating 9-7 win in 2009 and the lackluster 17-10 win in 2011. More often than not in the past nine seasons, Washington should have won. Now, with the Rams looking like they might be on the verge of something good, if not great, the Redskins could be in a heap of trouble.
Then again, not much in Redskins World makes sense. Despite the numbers saying otherwise, this could be the year Washington puts up a 30-14 win, for some reason.
Stay tuned, we'll revisit the topic on Tuesday.