1. Who won't play?
We knew Jon Jansen and Chris Horton would not. We worried about Cornelius Griffin – and with good reason. He did not play and that certainly hurt the middle of the D-line. Shawn Springs did play and started in place of Carlos Rogers.
2. What impact will the injuries have?
We thought they would have minimal impact. After all, they were facing a team with 23 players on IR. But there clearly was some impact. The Redskins could not run the stretch runs as often as desired with new tackles Stephon Heyer and Jason Fabini. But, still, they should not have had a major impact. And defensively they should not have collapsed minus Griffin. However, it would certainly have helped to have him on the Bengals final drive.
3. How will these tackles impact the running game?
We thought the Redskins would run more straight-ahead power. That's what they did. But see above for the rest. The tackles were not perfect; Heyer got pushed back on a few runs and Fabini missed a couple things. But so did Randy Thomas and Casey Rabach. The tackles weren't the issue.
4. Are the Redskins in too much disarray to win?
We didn't think so because this group has overcome a lot. However, we were wrong. The Redskins said they had a good week of practice (most teams say this), but they came out looking flat and unprepared and almost as if they didn't give a darn. Pretty sad.
5. How will Portis respond?
Not very well. Portis was OK with 77 yards on 25 carries. But that's hardly the response needed from a guy who mouthed off on his radio show. The longer I think about it, the more unforgivable it was. Players are frustrated but he emasculated his coach with the ‘'genius'' comment. He also dropped a pass. Remember when he was a legit MVP candidate? Too many guys worry about one thing: themselves. Santana Moss is one of my favorites, but getting a penalty for his little touchdown celebration was not smart, either. That stuff hurts everyone.
6. Can the Bengals do anything well?
The Bengals, we thought, had a good run defense and it showed. Typically they wear down late but that was not the case Sunday thanks to an offense that actually moved the ball for a change. The Redskins had 113 yards rushing. We also thought the Bengals had a good corner in Leon Hall and he played a solid game. But S Chris Crocker was also highly effective and LB Corey Mays had the play of the game, swiping the ball from Mike Sellers at the goal line.
7. Is this the game the offense gets healthy?
Here's what we said: If it's not, it never will. Which means this: it never will. We thought the Redskins would get some explosive plays. They had one – one! – from scrimmage. And it went for only 20 yards. Pathetic.
8. What about the Bengals offense?
We worried about the receivers because that's where Cincy has talent. They combined for 12 catches, but the most damage came from Chris Henry, who had 54 yards on four catches and caught a 15-yard scoring pass over Carlos Rogers.
9. Is this the game Jason Taylor has a big day?
We thought someone from the D-line would do something against a line that has allowed 48 sacks. But, once again, zippy. Oh, the Redskins did manage two sacks, but their pressure wasn't an issue. Taylor did have half a sack. Might as well celebrate all night over that one.
10. Will the Redskins win?
You know, we're just not that bright. We thought despite all this stuff going on the Bengals were the one team the Redskins could beat. We thought with all those players on IR and with only one win and with the Redskins still fighting for the playoffs, they could actually, you know, WIN. We even predicted a 27-7 score. How dumb we were. How dumb we won't be again. At least not this season.
John Keim covers the Redskins for the Washington Examiner and is a contributing editor for Warpathinsiders.com. He has covered the team since 1994. Some of his other stories can be found at dcexaminer.com
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