On Sunday, A.J. Green and the Cincinnati Bengals will make the trip to FedEx field to take on the Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins in thier home opener. After taking a win in New Orleans and losing a heart-breaker in St. Louis, the Redskins and their “savior” will take the home field for the first time this season. Here are a few important notes and numbers, heading into the match-up this weekend.
Defense: The Redskins linebacker core will be without arguably their best player in Brian Orakpo, who was lost for the season in the first half against the St. Louis Rams. Orakpo tore his left pectoral muscle while making a tackle, then ran to the sidelines in obvious pain. The defense will also be without defensive end Adam Carriker for the remainder of the year, who went down with a knee injury early in St. Louis. It is a possibility that former Clemson standout Jarvis Jenkins could fill the roll for Carriker, while Rob Jackson and Chris Wilson compete for Orakpo’s roster spot
RG3: After only giving up one interception against a tough Rams defense, Griffin III with have a much easier time throwing the ball against the Bengals, who rank 30th in yards given up(434.5) and 29th in points allowed(35.5). Rookie cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick will be alert, but may not be able to keep up with veteran Pierre Garcon if his foot is fully healed
Special Teams: After last week’s blocked punt, you better believe that the Bengals will be taking extra time to review Danny Smith’s squad, who have allowed two blocked punts in as many games, one being returned for a touchdown. The Redskins must execute their punt coverage assignments in practice this week, or else Sav Rocca might be on the ground more than we like
Coaching: While both teams have an excellent pass attack, run game, and decent defense, this game will ultimately come down to coaching. Both teams have respected veteran coaches in Mike Shanahan and Marvin Lewis, and one will out-smart the other to win the game.