I've got three keys to victory this week, but I'll expand upon my keys with a few players who need to play particular roles well.
1. Stop the run. This Rams team isn't intimidating, because last year's team lost a run game. This year's team hasn't run effectively one week into the season, but they're a running team with a coach and gameplan which rely on running the rock. If you get beat on the ground, Sam Bradford will beat you through the air. Shut them down, make Bradford try to beat you, and force turnovers.
2. Run the football. I said on Twitter last week that if the Redskins' passing game could be even 3/4 as efficient as they were against the Saints, that they'd not have to worry so significantly about literal handoff rushes. It was very Peyton Manning-esque. Short routes with close to guaranteed completions to keep the clock moving and take chunks of yards up the field. Morris can run, and teams can run vs. St. Louis. Passing won't be as easy vs. this secondary, but keeping them honest with handoffs will give you the throwing rush attack.
3. Tackle. The team did a solid job last week limiting yards after the catch and after first contact, but they let a few things go. Pierre Thomas had a run that got through 4 or 5 arm tackles... the Rams will run through more than that if we're not safe. Attack the football and limit yards to a minimum.
Robert Griffin III needs to play decisively. If he can continue to keep his eyes downfield, make wise decisions, and play for fun, the Redskins can win this game easily. I don't expect anything to be easy, so he's going to have to prove for another week that he has poise.
Alfred Morris needs to keep running physically. This is a style that will wear him down and ultimately could sideline him, but what we need out of him is to be physical, sure, and fall forward at the end of his runs. I don't know that he'll get even one touchdown this week, but if he keeps fighting for yards, he'll be one of our most important contributors.
Leonard Hankerson needs to get open. Watching the film of last week's game back, I saw a lot of him getting lost on pass plays. The Saints did put a safety over the top a few times, but his routes didn't look as clean as they did last season before the injury. He blocked well in the run game though, and on screen passes, so if he can keep that up, life is easier for Griffin and Morris.
Fred Davis has to catch.
Kory Lichtensteiger needs to cut back on the penalties. There was a questionable call, but the guy has to be more responsible than he played. He has another week back under his belt, so he should be better today. Also don't want to see him helping chip Trent Williams' blocks. The Silver Back can handle himself.
Barry Cofield needs to do a little more to blow up the middle of the line. He played a helluva game last week, but he didn't make an impact like Bowen did. If Cofield can get penetration in the backfield to make Bradford step to his side to avoid the rush, sacks will be created and bad throws forced.
Perry Riley needs to use his speed a little more. Out of all of the linebackers on the Redskins who touched the field last week, London Fletcher was the only who showed explosive burst and speed... and he's almost twice as old as Perry Riley is and not known for his speed like Riley is.
The secondary, as a unit, need to play smart every play. Keep being aggressive and physical, but limit penalties. The entire unit gets hurt when one player makes a mistake, and another mistake. I'm glad this is all I have to say about this unit.