Brian Orakpo ties Redskins' record with four sacks

Washington records eight sacks, four by Brian Orakpo, during a victory in Oakland.
By Rick Maese
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, December 14, 2009

OAKLAND, CALIF. --Because he has played in only 13 NFL games, it's not saying much to note that Brian Orakpo's sack total Sunday marked a career high.

But going back to his youth football days in Houston, the rookie quarterback hunter couldn't recall any other time in which he had tallied four sacks, as he did in the Washington Redskins' 34-13 win.

"I had three one time. It was in high school, I believe," said Orakpo. "I didn't even have three in college. So this is really a huge number for me, and hopefully we can build on it."

Orakpo's four sacks tied a franchise record for sacks in a single game, etching his name in the team's record books alongside Dexter Manley, Ken Harvey, Phillip Daniels and Diron Talbert.

"That doesn't happen around the NFL, to be able to dominate that well," Coach Jim Zorn said. "He had some near misses last week, and I think he was determined this week to finish it."

Orakpo's big day was just a part of the team's ferocious pass rush Sunday. The Redskins totaled eight sacks against the Raiders, their most since Sept. 23, 1990. Defensive end Andre Carter added two, and Lorenzo Alexander and Reed Doughty chipped in one apiece.

Carter and Orakpo have quickly grown into one of the league's top sack combos. In fact, statistically, the pair overtook Indianapolis's Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis as the NFL tandem with the most sacks this season. Orakpo and Carter share the team lead with 11 apiece, one more than Freeney and Mathis's combined total of 21. Individually, Orakpo and Carter are tied for fourth in the NFL.

The pair has developed a friendly competition, sharing banter at practices and in games.

"One thing about him and I, we always compete," said Carter, who at 30 is seven years older than Orakpo. "He calls me Old Man now and then. But I say, I'm still young, man. . . . It's good that we compete that way because it makes us both better."

On Orakpo's fourth and final sack of the day, the rookie wrapped up Oakland quarterback JaMarcus Russell near the Raiders goal line and forced a fumble. Carter was nearby and seemed to have a gift-wrapped touchdown -- if he could've only held on to the ball.

"I told him, he's getting too old," Orakpo said. "He can't bend the knees no more."

Zorn said of the play: "I was thinking about his hands and all of the goop and stuff that was on his hands -- dirt, all the tape, there was no way. They were like salad tongs, and he just couldn't get it."

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