By Stu Jackson, Rams.com
Following a brief return to SoFi Stadium, the Rams (3-1) head back on the road to face the Washington Football Team (1-3) on Sunday in Week 5, seeking to go 4-0 against the NFC East this season. Kickoff from FedEx Field is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. pacific time on FOX.
In advance of the contest, here is your first look at Rams-Washington on Oct. 11, including notable Washington additions, some of Washington’s top statistical performers in Week 4 and key storylines:
Notable Washington additions
Drafted defensive end Chase Young second overall in this year’s draft. The Ohio State product made 8 total tackles and 2.5 sacks before sustaining a groin injury in Washington’s Week 3 loss to the Browns. That same injury also kept him out of their Week 4 game against the Baltimore Ravens. Washington head coach Ron Rivera told reporters last week that Young would be re-evaluated this week.
Signed cornerback Kendall Fuller to a four-year deal in March. Though he missed the first two weeks of the season due to injury, Fuller has quickly made up for lost time. Just recently, he had a pair of interceptions in Washington’s Week 4 loss to Baltimore and was named to Pro Football Focus’ Team of the Week for his overall performance. Those two picks lead Washington’s defense on the season.
Top Performers in Week 4
QB Dwayne Haskins completed 32 of 45 pass attempts for 314 yards in Washington’s 31-17 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. He did not throw a touchdown or an interception.
Rookie RB Antonio Gibson paced Washington’s backfield with a team-high 13 carries for 46 yards and one touchdown. He also did damage as a receiver with four catches for 82 yards, second only to WR Terry McLaurin’s 118 on 10 catches.
Besides Fuller’s two interceptions, veteran linebacker Jon Bostic’s 14 combined tackles led Washington’s defense.
On special teams, kicker Dustin Hopkins made 1 of 2 field goal attempts and both of his extra point attempts.
Early storylines to watch, and what they mean for the Rams
The Washington Football Team, in some ways, is similar to the Giants.
Like the Giants, Washington has struggled with giveaways. Its eight so far are tied with the Giants and the Denver Broncos for third-most in the league. At the same time, Washington has still been able to create takeaways – its six through four weeks are tied with the Bills, Rams, Titans and Jets for ninth-most in the league.
Washington’s offense also has two dynamic playmakers who can stress defenses in McLaurin and Gibson. McLaurin has averaged 15.5 yards per catch in 18 career games so far, while Gibson took a screen pass 40 yards against the Ravens last week.
So while the Rams’ defense will have its opportunities to force turnovers, of perhaps greater importance will be their offense’s ability to score points off those turnovers and take care of the football, simultaneously keeping the ball out of the hands of McLaurin and Gibson.
Additionally, Young’s status will be important to monitor. If he is in position to return against Los Angeles, it would provide a big boost to Washington’s pass rush and obviously impact L.A.’s pass protection plans.