Run Ryan, run.
As Redskins fans got a glimpse of last year, running back Ryan Torain has the ability to put the team on his back and flat-out produce. He finished the day with 19 rushes for 135 yards, and a 7.1 yards per carry average. This was his fourth career 100-yard game, and the second-highest production of his career.
He was also your runaway (pun intended) winner of Most Valuable Redskin with 68 percent of the vote.
But credit cannot be taken away from Tim Hightower today, either. Despite getting bottled up on the ground, he was solid in pass protection, and once again saved the day by keeping Rams points off the board. In Week 1 against the Giants, it was Hightower that was the last line of defense against a fumble recovery for a touchdown. Today, it was Hightower again who chased down Justin King’s interception return to prevent the touchdown. These are the unselfish efforts that make or break a team on the field and in the locker room.
Also recall that Hightower has been sure to mention Torain to the media, when discussing the Redskins’ talent at running back. This guy definitely has a place on the team.
The Redskins offense won today by doing what they do best: controlling the clock with a methodical offense. The final numbers were nearly 35 minutes vs. 25 minutes, and were far more skewed before the final quarter.
With three talented backs in the Redskins stable, the Redskins should have an answer to any rush defense that they encounter this year.
On the defensive side of the ball, Jim Haslett’s crew was primed to explode today, and came away with six sacks and a takeaway. The Redskins are getting great pressure from their edge tandems of Stephen Bowen-Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker-Ryan Kerrigan. All four ended up with sacks (Kerrigan 1; Carriker 1; Orakpo 2.5; Bowen 1.5), and worked with the rest of the front-seven to hold the Rams ground game to 45 yards.
Even though they yielded points on both redzone drives today, they continued to pin their ears backs and be aggressive in the redzone. With the ability to create pressure from all positions and directions, this is what the Redskins defense looks like this year. At any point on the field, it behooves them to stick with what works best.
This is another example of the Redskins winning with a total-team effort. This is a much better Rams team than their 0-4 record indicates, and the Redskins needed the 60-minute effort to win. They also redeemed a loss in St. Louis last year and showed that they can win the games that they’re “supposed to win.”
Sitting at 3-1 after Week 4, in first place in the NFC East for the fourth-consecutive week, the Redskins can take a breather going into the bye. The Redskins have a lot to be proud of through the first quarter of the season, and have already exceeded most preseason predictions.
Any win is a good win, but this one answered a lot questions about the character of this team. That’s all from St. Louis, Redskins 17, Rams 10.