October 17, 2010

Redskins Vs. Colts: Pregame Notes And A Prediction

About an hour before kick-off for the Redskins first ever homecoming game. GM Bruce Allen devised the homecoming game as a means to bring back Redskins alumni into the fold. Tonight, the Redskins have over 60 former players and coaches in the building to watch the Burgundy and Gold take on the Colts in under an hour.

Russ Grimm will receive his hall of fame ring in a halftime ceremony featuring legends like Joe Bugel, Larry Brown, Charley Taylor, Deacon Jones, Jeff Bostic, Joe Jacoby and others (including Darnerian McCants...remember him?).

Pregame Notes

Anthony Armstrong will start at WR for Joey Galloway (coach's decision). HB Blades will start for Rocky McIntosh at MLB (concussion).


Both teams are on the field warming up. The stadium is starting to fill up for a prime time game under the lights. The Redskins are in their burgundy jerseys and gold pants. The Colts are all white with blue trim.

Prediction


Time of possession is the key to this matchup. Washington has been out-possessed in every game except for last week against the Packers. Donovan McNabb has to find ways to extend drives be it by establishing the run early with Ryan Torain or getting multiple receivers involved.

The Colts have a dreadful run defense and look for Torain to receive plenty of carries in an effort to keep the ball away from Peyton Manning.

Defensively, the Redskins will have to limit big plays and make Manning work to move the chains. With Albert Haynesworth inactive, the Redskins don't have a strong presence in the middle for tonight. I don't understand the logic of keeping Haynesworth out. He's the best option at nose tackle.

Pressure is another key. If Peyton is given time and a pocket to throw from, he will make any defense pay. The Redskins are no exception. The unfortunate thing is that, Manning avoids pressure with his quick release and spot-on decision-making. The Redskins will have to time their pressure well for it to have an effect; they can't simply blitz for the sake of blitzing.

Unlike the Houston game, this showdown with an AFC South opponent will be a bit closer to the vest. The 'Skins know they can compete with the Colts and Indy hasn't be able to blow anyone out as of yet. Despite the promising omens, I don't like the secondary against Manning. He will pick them apart over the middle while Torain anchors the Redskins offense. The Colts drive down the field late to win 23-20.

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