Rams vs. Washington: Who has the edge?

RAMS (1-0) vs. WASHINGTON (0-1)
When: Sunday, 1:25 p.m.
Where: the Coliseum
Line: Rams by 2.5
TV/radio: Ch. 11; 710-AM, 100.3-FM, 1330-AM (Spanish)

Good news: the Rams gained 373 yards last week against Indianapolis, fifth-most among all NFL teams. Bad news: the Rams had an average of 1.9 yards per rushing attempt, worst in the league last week. That’s not sustainable. Last week, Washington allowed Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz to pass for 307 yards and two touchdowns, so it’s entirely possible that Rams quarterback Jared Goff will have another big game, but expect Washington to make some adjustments to its pass rush and remember that the Washington coaching staff is very familiar with Sean McVay’s offense. Washington also will have to tighten up on third down, as the Eagles converted 8 of 14 attempts last week. EDGE: WASHINGTON

The Rams’ defense, which contributed 16 points last week and allowed a league-low 10 first downs to the Colts, now gets to plug Aaron Donald into the middle of the line. That sounds like horrible news for Washington, but the Washington offense should be far better than that of Indianapolis, which lacked its starting quarterback and center. Washington features talented quarterback Kirk Cousins and a handful of solid receiving options, but Washington wasn’t very balanced against Philadelphia, getting called 44 pass plays and only 17 run plays. The Rams dealt with a couple minor injuries in their secondary this week, but the addition of a fresh and motivated Donald should be a major boost. EDGE: RAMS

Rams punter Johnny Hekker somehow managed to improve. Hekker, brilliant last season, didn’t get a lot of work against the Colts last week, but he put all five of hits punts inside the Indianapolis 20-yard line, and the Rams’ coverage unit didn’t allow a single return yard. Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein did fine also, as he hit field goals from 50, 35 and 44 yards. Zuerlein hasn’t missed since the start of the preseason. Washington kicker Dustin Hopkins is reliable. He made his only attempt last week (from 33 yards), and in three seasons, Hopkins is 55 of 60 from inside 50 yards. Washington did not break any long kickoff or punt returns last week, and punter Tress Way averaged 40.5 yards per attempt. EDGE: RAMS

Is this two sides of the same coin? Rams coach Sean McVay and Washington coach Jay Gruden worked together for four seasons, first in…

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