Now in his fifth season out of Kansas State, outside linebacker Rob Jackson got his first NFL start in place of injured starter Brian Orakpo.
His impact was felt almost immediately.
On the third defensive play from scrimmage, the Redskins had the Bengals backed up to their 2-yard line, with Andy Dalton dropping back into the end zone to pass.
Fellow Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan blitzed untouched from the left side of the line, forcing Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton to throw off-balance or risk a safety.
Dalton made the ill-advised pass to the goal line, where Jackson was ready for the interception and defensive touchdown.
"I had the running back in coverage and the pressure by Ryan [Kerrigan]," Jackson explained after the game. "[Dalton] had no choice but to throw it or take the safety.
"It allowed us to get seven [points] instead of two."
Jackson was joined by Dalton in crediting Kerrigan with the pressure on the play.
"It was early in the game; it was a freak thing," Dalton said. "I had the light blitz called to our protection and stuff like that doesn't happen very much."
The play evened the score at seven, and made up for a 73-yard Bengals touchdown to open the game. This was the second-consecutive week that the Redskins opened the scoring with a touchdown on defense.
"Our backs were up against the wall when they came out and scored first," Jackson said. "I went in there and scored.
"It happened pretty quick, so I just reacted and made a big play. Great call, great play, great pressure."
After registering three tackles, one for a loss, an interception and touchdown, Jackson took pride in his individual performance and ownership in the team loss.
"I felt like I had to capitalize and take advantage of my opportunities and it felt great," he said. "Unfortunately, we couldn't come out with the win.
"That's the biggest thing: I went out there and played for the victory."
Through the first three games, the Redskins defense has allowed 101 points, a number unbecoming of a unit aiming of Top-10 status.
Jackson vowed that the defense would play more consistently in coming weeks, ending the shootout strategy
"There's no reason the offense is averaging 35-40 points and we're not winning," he said. "It's something we still have got to go back and work on, make some changes and do whatever we've got to do to eliminate that."