Washington, DC - The St. Louis Rams and Washington Redskins each entered 2009 hoping to erase the memories of last year's poor season. Unfortunately for these teams, it doesn't look like much has changed.
St. Louis and Washington try to bounce back from disappointing season-opening efforts when they meet Sunday afternoon at FedEx Field.
The Redskins opened 6-2 last season but limped to an 8-8 finish and missed the playoffs, while the Rams lost a franchise-record 14 games in failing to reach the postseason for the fourth straight year.
Oddsmakers from online sports book BetOnline have made the Redskins –9.5 point spread favorites (View NFL odds) for Sunday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 80% of bets for this game have been placed on the Redskins –9.5 (View NFL bet percentages).
Last Sunday, it appeared each team picked up right where it left off.
Washington was thoroughly outplayed in a 23-17 road loss to the New York Giants and St. Louis was routed 28-0 at Seattle.
The Redskins' playoff hopes this year hinge on the play of Jason Campbell, and the fourth-year quarterback struggled in the opener. He threw an interception while across the line of scrimmage and was also stripped by Osi Umenyiora, who scooped up the ball and ran it back for a touchdown.
Campbell went 19 for 26 for 211 yards and a TD, which didn't come until the last drive of the game, when the Redskins scored their only offensive touchdown to make the final score close.
"We made too many mistakes and left a lot out there," defensive lineman Andre Carter said. "You can't do that against a team like this because it will hurt you. The downside of this is we are 0-1. The upside is we have 15 games left."
Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth clogged the middle and finished with four tackles in his Washington debut, but the Redskins allowed 351 yards.
"We're going to get better as we go along," coach Jim Zorn said. "We played in a disciplined fashion on the D-Line. I was happy with Albert's push at times."
Rams first-year coach Steve Spagnuolo, who served as the Giants' defensive coordinator the past two seasons, wasn't pleased with his team's play on either side of the ball last week.
St. Louis scored 232 points, fewest in the NFC and the franchise's lowest mark since 1993, last season and continued to struggle offensively against the Seahawks, amassing 247 yards.
Marc Bulger was 17 of 36 for 191 yards and got sacked three times, while Steven Jackson rushed 16 times for 67 yards.
"We'd drive the ball and then shoot ourselves in the foot," Bulger said. "We have to find a way to get past that 30 and start handing the ball to Jack. He's too good of a player to not be able to use, and that's on all of us."
The Rams committed 10 penalties for 85 yards and gave up 446 yards in losing their 11th straight and falling to 5-28 since the beginning of the 2007 season.
"The 2009 Rams stand on their own," Spagnuolo said. "They have nothing to do with teams coming forward or any teams going backward. It's all just about the 2009 Rams and we lost a football game, we lost one football game."
Spagnuolo may want to look at the effort last year's team put forth in a 19-17 victory at Washington in Week 6, when Josh Brown kicked a 49-yard field goal as time expired. That was the Rams' last road win.
Washington holds a 20-8-1 advantage in the series with St. Louis but has dropped the past two meetings.
Posted: 9/16/09 3:58PM ET