HOWARD FENDRICH, AP Pro Football Writer
LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — So here’s a nearly certain way to beat the Rams: Get the NFL to schedule a game against St. Louis right after it faces NFC West rival Seattle.READ MORE: Ribs RnB Music Festival Kicks Off This Weekend In Downtown Detroit
Dating to 2005, the Rams are 2-15 in regular-season games immediately following a matchup with the Seahawks.
The latest such loss came Sunday, when the Rams fell into a big hole, failed repeatedly on third down, gave up 123 yards and two touchdowns to Washington rookie running back Matt Jones, and were beaten by the Redskins 24-10.
No matter what the numbers say, St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher insisted his club did not have any sort of letdown after its 34-31 overtime victory over the two-time reigning NFC champion Seahawks in Week 1.
“Not at all,” Fisher said. “We had a really good week. I mean, it’s fair to assume that, but we guarded against it and we had a great week of practice.”
Perhaps. But the Rams (1-1) came out flat-as-can-be against Washington (1-1), trailing 17-0 at halftime. It’s the first time the Redskins shut out an opponent over the first two quarters since an Oct. 2, 2011, game against St. Louis.
Nick Foles was out of synch, overthrowing receivers, underthrowing receivers and simply flat-out throwing the ball nowhere near receivers. He finished 17 for 32 for 150 yards and said he was OK after a defender rolled up on his lower left leg on the Rams’ final drive.
“He missed a lot of opportunities,” Fisher said, “but I can’t say (if) it’s Nick, or his receiver or if it was a breakdown in protection.”
“I know it’s simple,” he said, “but we just did not execute.”
The Rams’ first six possessions each ended with a punt, and the seventh — which marked their first trip across midfield — petered out when the first-half clock expired.
In all, St. Louis was 2 for 12 on third-down conversions.
“We knew that in order for us to win the game we were going to have to run it, and stop the run, and get off the field on third down,” Fisher said, “and we didn’t do any one of those with any consistency.”
Jones, a third-round draft pick out of Florida, scored from 39 yards in the first quarter, and from 3 with about 2 1/2 minutes left in the fourth.READ MORE: Judge Says Michigan Gov. Whitmer Won't Have To Testify In Abortion Lawsuit
“He ran like his hair was on fire today,” Redskins left tackle Trent Williams said.
The Redskins finished with a 182-67 edge in rushing yards.
“If you don’t stop the run against that team, it’s going to be a long day, because that’s what they do well,” Rams defensive lineman Chris Long said. “Our strength — rushing the passer — we never got to do it.”
The Rams only had two sacks, after getting six against Seattle.
Tavon Austin had a team-high 40 yards on four carries for the Rams, but the Redskins kicked the ball away from him on punts, never allowing the speedy returner to try to take one back.
Tre Mason’s season debut was a quiet one, with seven carries for 26 yards, while first-round draft pick Todd Gurley was inactive again as he returns from knee surgery.
And yet, with all their problems, the Rams pulled within 17-10 in the third quarter when Foles connected with Kenny Britt on a 40-yard touchdown pass two plays after Jones fumbled.
Kirk Cousins — 23 of 27 for 203 yards, one TD and zero interceptions — led a 12-play, 77-yard drive that ate up more than 6 1/2 minutes of the fourth quarter and was capped by Jones’ second score, basically sealing the victory.
“We feel,” Mason said, “like we are a better team than that.”
NOTES: When St. Louis beat Washington 24-0 last season, Fisher tweaked the Redskins during the pregame coin toss, sending out six players acquired via the trade that allowed Washington to pick Robert Griffin III second overall in the 2012 draft. This time, Fisher went with captains such as Foles; Griffin, meanwhile, was not even in uniform, inactive as the No. 3 QB behind Cousins and Colt McCoy.
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