With linebacker Brian Orakpo and defensive end Adam Carriker on injured reserve, and safety Brandon Meriweather still sidelined, the Redskins’ defense was expected to struggle some on Sunday.
But it wasn’t expected to surrender as many points as it did in a 38-31 loss to Andy Dalton and the Bengals. In all, the visitors racked up gaudy 478 yards of total offense – 385 of which came in the air – in improving to 2-1.
Dalton, a Pro Bowl selection last season a rookie, passed for 328 yards and three touchdowns and A.J. Green hauled in nine passes for 183 yards as the Bengals offense, at times, looked unstoppable.
That’s not to say Robert Griffin III (21 of 34 for 221 yards, a passing touchdown and a rushing score) and the Redskins did nothing of note in their home opener at FedEx Field. After surrendering a 73-yard touchdown on a trick play only 17 seconds into the game, and trailing by 24-7 late in the second quarter, the Redskins mounted a comeback.
Late in the third quarter, Griffin passed to Santana Moss for a three-yard touchdown that pulled the home team even, 27-27.
Then Washington’s suspect defense struck again. After surrendered 32 and 31 in the first two weeks, the Redskins couldn’t stop Dalton and/or Green as they fell to 1-2. The Pro Bowlers connected on a 31-yard pass that set up a score the Bengals would not relinquish.
One possession later, Dalton hit Andrew Hawkins for a 59-yard touchdown that iced the win.
The manner in which they lost, however, wasn’t the Redskins’ only concern. Starting left tackle Trent Williams suffered a right knee injury in the first quarter, then left for good four plays into the third quarter. Running back Evan Royster also suffered a knee injury and cornerback Cedric Griffin left with a hamstring strain.