Usually by Tuesday, you can start getting over a gut punch of a loss.

But Monday was especially unkind to Redskins fans, delivering a day-after gut punch. The news that Adam Carriker would be out for the season wasn’t especially shocking since it was expected on Sunday, but after the Rams game, the phrase being used in regards to Orakpo was “will miss at least one game.”

Make it at least 14.

Youch. That things change from week to week in the NFL is no news to any of us. But this swing is as wild as they come. After Week 1, it’s sitting on top of the world, cautiously optimistic but eyes opened to the possibility that the Redskins could play with and beat the NFL’s best. And then the next it’s reinforcement that they can still lose to some of the NFL’s worst, throwing away opportunities in maddening fashion.

A few topics to kick around this morning:

Who’ll be more successfully replaced, Orakpo or Carriker?
I’d say the prevailing wisdom is that Jarvis Jenkins, who already rotates in and the team had high hopes for last season, is the replacement who sparks more optimism. Chris

Brian Orakpo (Associated Press)

Wilson and Rob Jackson have shows flashes as pass rushers, but as Jason Reid wrote in Tuesday’s column, the job of 3-4 outside linebacker also involves being capable in coverage and stout playing the run. Orakpo’s loss might also mean more blocking attention devoted to the team’s next-best pass rusher, Ryan Kerrigan.

The secondary, is it the group from Week 1 or Week 2?
Most of you thought the back end of the Redskins defense held up pretty well against New Orleans, but the Rams ended up looking like the Saints, and Sam Bradford played the role of Drew Brees. Danny Amendola did what he does, exploiting the underneath stuff and making short catches. But 12 in the first half and 15 overall is too much. So can Josh Wilson (who had a fumble return TD), DeAngelo Hall, Cedric Griffin and the gang cover or not?

Replacement refs: Debacle, or just cool to complain about?
Do you ever get the feeling that people just whine about things because they hear other people whining, and it feels cool to join in? Here’s an example: “The prevent defense prevents you from winning.” That’s something people say because it sounds cool to say, because if you think about it, no matter how many five-yard completions a team allows, it’s better than losing the game on a 70-yard bomb, or a 69-yard pass interference call and a 1-yard run. All that is a long way to ask the question, Are the replacement refs really that terrible?’ Or rather, ‘Are they really that much worse than regular officials?’ I sense your answer might be yes, and I too would welcome the return of Mike Carey, Gene Steratore and Terry McAulay. But I also have found the replacements to be more awkward and uncomfortable than downright incompetent (although it sounded like Monday Night Football was a disaster).

Josh Morgan, all his fault or no?
This is a bit of a softball, because no one play ever loses a football game. I spent many a fall in my younger days having coaches’ cliches drilled into my head, and that’s one of them. Another is that most football games are decided by five or six plays, but since you don’t know when those will occur, you have to play all 85 or 90 plays hard. Given that Morgan’s blunder — and it was one — came as the Redskins were driving for a tying field goal and there are no guarantees Washington would have won, it’s fair for the Redskins to share the blame. When you give up 452 yards and are 4 of 13 on third downs, there’s plenty to go around. It stood out to me more that Morgan was quoted earlier in the week saying how you have to keep your cool around Cortland Finnegan.

No Pierre, no problem?
Despite professing my undying love for Division III’s other favorite son (the first being London Fletcher) in a recent Opening Kick, it didn’t seem like Pierre Garcon was missed all that much on Sunday when Leonard Hankerson went streaking down the field on a play-action pass to haul in a 68-yard RGIII TD bomb. What did you think of the wide receiver play the rest of the game? Aldrick Robinson had a 28-yard catch, and Morgan led the team with five receptions. Were you encouraged, or are you dying for Garcon’s return?

Hopefully a few of these topics lead to something that helps cheer you up. If not, you can always laugh at the Cowboys.