So hey, remember those warm and fuzzy times when everything was perfect in Washington after Robert Griffin III made his regular-season debut, and he looked like some combination of Zeus and Aqua Man?
Yeah, that was a week ago. Now there’s this…
And Orakpo will have more time for this…
KILL IT WITH FIRE.
If I had to choose only three adjectives to describe this from the Redskins’ perspective, I’d go with crippling, crushing, and venomous. By losing Orakpo, the Redskins will now play without one half of their vaunted 3-4 outside linebacker pass rushing tandem, with the other LB of course being sophomore Ryan Kerrigan. Washington finished in the top 10 in sacks last year with 41, and Orakpo accounted for nine of them, while Carriker — a defensive end — finished with a career-high 5.5. Over his 49 games since being drafted with the 13th overall pick in 2009, Orakpo has 29.5 sacks.
He had one this year, and prior to this season he was averaging 9.5 sacks per year and 55 tackles (170 overall). With Orakpo gone, the blocking focus from opposing offensive lines turns solely to Kerrigan, who thrived last year during his rookie season when Orakpo was drawing attention on the other side. Kerrigan had 7.5 sacks, and the combination of the two was given the ultimate compliment when it inspired an awful nickname complete with stupid T-shirts.
That’s the bad news for Redskins fans who were seeing glistening rainbows this season following years of frustration, and those in IDP leagues who own either player, and especially Orakpo. But it’s great news for anyone who owns any quarterback on the remainder of Washington’s schedule.
The lineup begins with Andy Dalton next week, who threw three touchdowns and finished with a passer rating of 128.2 with 10.2 yards per attempt yesterday in the Bengals’ win over Cleveland. Next up is Josh Freeman, whose chemistry with Vincent Jackson is growing after he made several impressive throws yesterday in a loss to the Giants. With byes beginning in two weeks, Freeman becomes an ideal depth option for a Ben Roethlisberger owner (the Steelers are one of two teams with a Week 4 bye).
But the real juice doesn’t come until a little later. Matt Ryan will be comfortable against the Redskins in the pocket in Week 5 as he’s playing catch with Roddy White and Julio Jones, a game that will take place over 40 yards or so (or more…much, much more). Then in Week 7 Eli Manning — who just threw for 510 yards yesterday — takes his first of two cracks, and of course fellow division foes Michael Vick and Tony Romo will also get two swings at what’s now a front seven pinata in Washington.
Vick’s second game is in a prime spot, and it’s very deserving of several giant red calendar circles. He’ll face this depleted defense for the second time this year during Week 16. Yep, fantasy championship week.
(*Crosses all body parts capable of such an action and hopes that Vick is healthy, and that game matters to the Eagles*).