The Washington Redskins’ most dominant defensive performance of the season so far has been a 31-6 Week Eleven victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. Unfortunately, the victory celebration was short lived: safety Brandon Meriweather, seeing his first regular season action, torn the ACL in his right knee. The injury effectively ended Meriweather’s 2012 season.
This is a major blow a defensive unit that has already lost defensive starters Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker to season ending injuries. Meriweather, a two time Pro Bowler, was returning to the lineup after suffering a left knee injury before the 2012 NFL season that kept him out of action. Washington’s secondary has struggled all season long, and Meriweather’s presence gave the team the lift they needed to beat the Eagles.
The Redskins have no time to lament the loss of their best defensive player in the secondary. Washington has a short week to prepare for their Thanksgiving Day game against their biggest rivals, the Dallas Cowboys. If the Redskins wish to keep alive their faint playoff hopes, they will need to come up with a great defensive effort to shut down Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo and the talented Dallas offensive unit.
How Washington’s defense responds to their latest defensive setback remains to be seen. Most likely, safety Reed Doughty will fill Meriweather’s spot. Redskins’ defensive coordinator Jim Haslett called his best game of the season against the Eagles, calling a variety of blitzes in an effort to contain Eagles’ quarterback Nick Foles. Redskins’ fans hope Haslett can conjure up a similar scheme without Meriweather’s services. If he can, Washington may have a chance to build on the momentum of the Eagles’ victory.