The Redskins were dealt crippling blows to their defense last week, losing starting cornerback Josh Wilson, top pass rusher Brian Orakpo, and starting defensive lineman Adam Carriker in the game against St. Louis. The trio played 52, 18, and 2 of 71 snaps respectively. The Redskins’ poor defense had a ton of trouble stopping a Rams offense that isn’t great to begin with and after the game, they were forced to put Orakpo and Carriker on IR. Carriker’s loss isn’t huge. He’s a marginal starter and they have 2011 2nd round pick Jarvis Jenkins waiting in the wings. However, Orakpo was their best pass rusher and they had no depth behind him. The mediocre Rob Jackson, a 2008 7th round pick and a career backup, will take his place in the lineup, a huge downgrade.
The good news is that Wilson is expected to play this week despite suffering a concussion last week. He’ll continue to start opposite DeAngelo Hall. Neither of those cornerbacks are that great, but if Wilson had to miss and Cedric Griffin were forced to start, it would have been bad for the Redskins’ defense. Griffin is a decent nickel back, but he’s struggled when counted on to start in the past.
Luckily for the Redskins, they get an easy matchup at home against the Bengals this week. Cincinnati ranks 31st in points per play differential and their defense might be just as bad as the Redskins’ defense. Andy Dalton and compnay will move the ball in this one, but Robert Griffin should have another huge game in an eventual winning effort.
Griffin will be without top receiver Pierre Garcon again, but he didn’t miss him too much last week, completing 20 of 29 for 206 yards, 1 touchdown, and an interception, while rushing for another 82 yards and 2 scores against a solid Rams defense. The Redskins have plenty of wide receiver depth with Santana Moss, Aldrick Robinson, Josh Morgan, and Leonard Hankerson, who had the big game last week, catching 2 passes for 68 yards and a score. Unfortunately for Garcon owners in fantasy leagues, it’s still unclear who the Washington receiver to own in his absence his. 7 players had between 3 of 5 targets last week. They like to spread it around.