Last weekend's victory over the hapless St. Louis rams was due largely to the Washington Redskins' defense. This week's version of SB Nation D.C.'s Washington Redskins Player Power Rankings reflect that, with seven of the team's best players lining up on the defensive side of the ball. A bright spot for the offense was the re-emergence of running back Ryan Torain, which is also reflected in this week's rankings.
Going into the bye week at 3-1, with time for practice and film study, maybe the next round of rankings will feature more offensive players. Unfortuantely for quarterback Rex Grossman, votes for one half of a split personality do not register.
Your voters: TJ Doyle, JP Finlay, Scott Jackson, Mike Prada, Martin Shatzer and Daniel Shiferaw.
1) Brian Orakpo (53 votes)
Orakpo takes over the top spot for the first time this year on the heels of a dominant 2.5 sack performance in St. Louis. Orakpo blasted Rams quarterback Sam Bradford and toyed with the St. Louis run game. Repeatedly beating offensive tackles and causing scared linemen to start plays early, Orakpo was a disruptive force and figures to be all year. Orakpo took the No. 1 spot from five of six voters, with only TJ Doyle placing him lower.
2) Ryan Kerrigan (52 votes)
Kerrigan continues to be the right compliment to Orakpo at linebacker. In St. Louis, Kerrigan registered a sack and forced fumble on battered Sam Bradford, to go with five tackles. The rookie from Purdue also made a nice play in coverage, one of his weaknesses earlier in the season. Redskins fans have dreamed of a pair of bookends like Kerrigan and Orakpo since the days of Charles Mann and Dexter Manley.
3) London Fletcher (41 votes)
The defensive captain leads the Redskins to victories. It is that simple. Fletcher falls from his previous top spot in the rankings after a quiet statistical game against the Rams. For whatever reason, Fletcher did not land anywhere on Scott Jackson's list.
4) Santana Moss (32 votes)
The highest-ranking player from the offensive unit, Santana Moss provides the Redskins offense with their only game-changing talent. At age 32, Moss can still beat defenders one-on-one and find gaps in zone coverage. Moss caught a pretty touchdown from Grossman in the St. Louis game to take a lead the team would never relinquish. Moss did have a key drop that led to Grossman's first interception in the Rams game, though.
T5) LaRon Landry (26 votes)
Last week's No. 1 ranked player, Landry is a beast on the field. His presence gives the Redskins a dynamic playmaking specimen in the backfield and forces opposing receivers to protect themselves from big hits on pass patterns. The threat of Landry surely had an impact on the many drops by Rams receivers, his weird absence during the second half withstanding. Landry did not receive a vote from Jackson or Daniel Shiferaw. aybe they are anti-bathroom break.
T5) Ryan Torain (26 votes)
In the first tie in power rankings history, Ryan Torain bursts onto the list, much as he did the field against the Rams. Torain's running on Sunday was like no other Redskins back has done all year. He had burst. He had power. He had the look of a Mike Shanahan running back about to go on a tear that will give the Redskins offense another weapon the unit sorely needs. If Torain can stay healthy (a big if), he could put up huge numbers in this offense.
7) Stephen Bowen (25 votes)
Bowen had a monster game in St. Louis, registering 4.5 tackles and 1.5 sacks. His play late in the fourth quarter to sack Sam Bradford swung the momentum of the game after Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman had just thrown his second interception. Bowen plugs holes and eats up blockers. Just when things can't get any better with Bowen, remember he was signed away from the Dallas Cowboys, hurting their defensive line while strengthening the Washington unit.
8) Rocky McIntosh (20 votes)
McIntosh played his best game in years against the Rams. His stat line may only show five tackles, but Rocky was all over the field and seemed to always make a play when the Redskins needed it. This is McIntosh's first week landing on the power rankings. Perhaps the linebacker from The U is starting to find his place in the 3-4 defense.
9) Sav Rocca (17 votes)
The Punting Thunder from Down Under is a valuable weapon for the Redskins. If not for some ugly personal foul penalties on over-zealous Redskins special-teamers, Rocca's stats from the Rams game would be even more impressive. Despite the penalties, Rocca boomed seven punts for an average of 45 yards and placed three kicks inside the opponents 20-yard-line. Cheers Sav, cheers.
10) Barry Cofield (12 votes)
Cofield gives the Redskins defense exactly what it needs from the nose tackle position. He occupies space and offensive linemen, allowing pressure from the ends and linebackers to make tackles. A great, unheralded signing from ShanAllen, again taking a key cog from a division rival.
Others receiving votes: Trent Williams (11), Oshiomogho Atogwe (4), Adam Carriker (2), Chris Cooley (2), Tim Hightower (1), the Rams' offensive line, Lance Kendricks.
Others not receiving votes: Good Rex (1), Bad Rex (1 million), Kyle Shanahan (1/2) and Zero Blitz (3/21).