The Redskins were well aware of the Indianapolis Colts' quick strike offense, and for a half, their confidence in pulling off an upset grew. Washington stayed with the high-powered Colts, leading 14-13 at halftime at the RCA Dome and even getting some knocks on quarterback Peyton Manning.
The Colts were rested, ready, coming off a bye and playing before a sellout crowd at their home stadium. It showed in the third quarter. Manning led the Colts to three touchdowns building a 33-14 lead.
The final score was 36-22, and the Redskins' record dropped to 2-5 on the season. In a season that began with optimism all around, Washington is in last place in the NFC East.
"We have to find a way to play and coach better and work our way out of this," head coach Joe Gibbs said. "I'm going to come out swinging and do my absolute best to fix it."
The Redskins head into their bye week looking for answers.
"We'll work on some things," Gibbs said. "We'll get a breath fresh air [in the bye] and hopefully get some guys healthy for our next game."
Mark Brunell finished the game 27-of-37 for 226 yards and two touchdowns, but he was unable to direct the offense to any points in the third quarter, when sustaining a drive would have kept the Redskins close.
Brunell's counterpart, Peyton Manning, completed 25-of-35 passes for 342 yards and four touchdowns. He picked apart a struggling Redskins' secondary that has suffered a myriad of injuries this season. Wide receivers Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison combined for 14 catches for 195 yards and three touchdowns.
Early on, the Redskins' strategy was clear: Keep Manning and the Colts' offense under wraps by keeping them off the field. The Colts were up to the challenge, though, stuffing Clinton Portis for minus-3 yards on the Redskins' first two offensive plays.
The Redskins were forced to punt, and Derrick Frost's 53-yard punt pinned the Colts back to their 8-yard line.
Showing no rust from his two-week break, Manning guided the Colts offense downfield with precision passing, completing passes to Wayne and H-back Ben Utecht. Manning found tight end Dallas Clark for a 40-yard pickup, giving the Colts a 1st-and-goal at the Redskins' 1-yard line.
After two stops, Manning threw to a diving Clark for a 1-yard touchdown pass, giving the Colts an early 7-0 lead.
Late in the first quarter, Washington's Antwaan Randle El produced a 24-yard punt return to give the Redskins the ball at the Colts' 45-yard line.
Brunell quickly completed a 15-yard pass to Santana Moss and a 12-yard pass to Brandon Lloyd, giving the Redskins a first down at the Colts' 18-yard line. Brunell was sacked by Dwight Freeney, but the Colts' Pro Bowl defensive end was called for roughing the passer, a 15-yard infraction.
Two plays later, Brunell found tight end Chris Cooley, diving in the corner of the end zone, for a 13-yard touchdown pass to tie the game.
On the Colts' next drive, Manning responded with completions to wide receiver Marvin Harrison for nine yards, Wayne for 13 yards and running back Joseph Addai for 12 and 20 yards. Quickly, the Colts had moved to the Redskins' 17-yard line.
The Redskins were able to pressure Manning, with defensive ends Andre Carter and Phillip Daniels combining to put a hard hit on the Colts' quarterback. Manning was able to throw the ball away for an incompletion, but the Colts had to call time out to give him a breather.
The Redskins then stuffed Addai on a run up the middle, forcing the Colts to settle for a 30-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri.
Midway through the second quarter, the Redskins used a pair of big plays to get into field goal range.
On 3rd-and-10 at the Redskins' 28-yard line, Brunell found Randle El downfield for a 30-yard gain. Then Portis broke free for a 34-yard pickup to give the Redskins the ball at the Colts' 11-yard line.
The Redskins' offense self-destructed, though. On a 3rd-and-8 play, Brunell fumbled the ball, but was able to quickly pounce on it for a recovery. On the same play, Santana Moss was called for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty when he slammed a Colts defender to the turf.
That pushed the ball back, and instead of a 32-yard attempt, Nick Novak had a 49-yarder. Novak's kick hit the left upright and bounced away.
On the Colts' subsequent drive, the Redskins forced a quick 3-and-out, and punter Hunter Smith came in to kick to Randle El. Smith sent a 41-yarder down the middle of the field, where Randle El collected it at the Redskins' 13-yard line.
Special teams blockers opened a huge hole straight up the middle of the field, and Randle El took advantage, using his speed to break into open field. Only Smith remained in his way, and Randle El dashed past him for an 87-yard touchdown return, silencing the RCA Dome crowd and giving Washington a 14-10 lead.
Late in the first half, the Redskins self-destructed again, giving the Colts excellent field position for a late field goal.
First, Randle El was called for an excessive celebration penalty on his touchdown, forcing the Redskins to kick off from the 15-yard line. Then, Sean Taylor was called for a 5-yard off-sides penalty and Frost was called for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after he took his helmet off in anger at the referee before the kickoff.
All of a sudden, the Redskins were kicking off from their 5-yard line.
The Colts eventually took over at their own 47 with 2:15 left in the half. Marcus Washington was called on a 15-yard late hit penalty on Manning, and the Colts were within scoring distance.
Manning connected with Harrison on two passes to get the ball to the Redskins' 1-yard line.
The Redskins' defense stiffened, however. Running back Dominic Rhodes ran twice, and then on third down Manning appeared to connect on a touchdown pass to Harrison in the right corner of the end zone. But replays showed the Harrison did not get both feet in bounds, and the pass was incomplete. The Colts settled for a 19-yard field goal by Vinatieri.
In the third quarter, the Colts used a quick-strike offense to, in Gibbs' words, "overwhelm the Redskins."
After a 37-yard kickoff return by Terrence Wilkins to open the second half, Manning took command and directed the offense downfield on a four-play touchdown drive. Addai broke several tackles on runs of 21 yards and 9 yards, getting the Colts to the 4-yard line. Then Manning threw to Harrison, running a quick slant pattern against Shawn Springs, for a 4-yard touchdown pass.
The Colts struck even faster on their next drive, as Manning connected with Wayne on a 51-yard touchdown pass. Wayne got a step on defenders Adam Archuleta and Kenny Wright and hauled in a perfectly thrown pass from Manning for the score.
Later in the third quarter, Manning connected with Wayne again on a 38-yard pickup to get the Colts in scoring range again. Then Manning threw to Harrison, who got open by out-maneuvering Mike Rumph, for a 1-yard touchdown.
Suddenly the Colts had built a commanding, 33-14 lead.
Meantime, the Redskins' offense struggled to sustain drives in the third quarter. Brunell used the short passing game, throwing passes to Portis and Betts, but the Colts' fast linebackers minimized big gains.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Redskins were still hopeful to engineer a comeback, but Novak's 35-yard field goal attempt sailed wide left. Meantime, Indianapolis added a field goal on a 47-yarder by Vinatieri to build the lead to 36-14.
James Thrash caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from Brunell with 18 seconds left, but the outcome had long been decided.
The Colts remain undefeated and appear headed for another postseason berth. The Redskins appear headed for change as they head into the bye.
#### -- PRE-GAME COVERAGE
The Redskins travel to Indianapolis this weekend for a matchup with the undefeated Colts on Sunday, Oct. 22, at the RCA Dome. Kickoff is 4:15 p.m. ET.
The Redskins are 2-1 against the AFC South this season. They have defeated Houston and Jacksonville and lost to Tennessee. Sunday's game against the Colts is the 28th all-time between the two franchises, but it is the eighth matchup since the Colts relocated to Indianapolis from Baltimore in 1983.
The Redskins-Colts game will be broadcast on FOX. Locally, the FOX affiliate WTTG-5 will televise the game. Dick Stockton will call the play-by-play and Troy Aikman will provide color commentary. Pam Oliver will serve as sideline reporter.
On radio, the game will be broadcast on Triple X ESPN Radio (94.3, 92.7 FM and 730 AM). Larry Michael handles the play-by-play with color commentary from Redskins legends and NFL Hall of Famers quarterback Sonny Jurgensen and linebacker Sam Huff. Bram Weinstein will serve as sideline reporter.
Washington is coming off a [disappointing 25-22 upset loss to the
](/news/article-1/a-real-downer-redskins-fall-to-titans/80976FF3-E557-4A3E-B5A3-51C4F3FCE04F) last Sunday at FedExField.
Indianapolis is the second of three teams the Redskins will face this season who are coming off a bye the previous week. The Colts last played in Week 5, when they defeated the Tennessee Titans by a score of 14-13 at the RCA Dome.
Down 13-7 in the fourth quarter, Peyton Manning threw a 2-yard touchdown to Reggie Wayne to give the Colts the win. It was the third consecutive week that the Colts had to come from behind to win--and stay undefeated.
Tennessee was able to keep the game low-scoring by focusing on a strong ground game. The Titans rushed for 214 yards against the Colts.
Indianapolis has won 28 of its last 33 games, regular and postseason. The Colts are 18-3 at the RCA Dome the last three years.
#### -- PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS
|WR||89 Santana Moss||87 Reggie Wayne|
|LT||60 Chris Samuels||78 Tarik Glenn|
|LG||66 Derrick Dockery||65 Ryan Lilja|
|C||61 Casey Rabach||63 Jeff Saturday|
|RG||77 Randy Thomas||73 Jake Scott|
|RT||76 Jon Jansen||71 Ryan Diem|
|TE||47 Chris Cooley||44 Dallas Clark|
|WR||85 Brandon Lloyd||88 Marvin Harrison|
|QB||8 Mark Brunell||18 Peyton Manning|
|FB/HB||45 Mike Sellers||87 Ben Utecht|
|RB||26 Clinton Portis||33 Dominic Rhodes|
|DE||99 Andre Carter||98 Robert Mathis|
|DT||96 Cornelius Griffin||90 Montae Reagor|
|DT||95 Joe Salave'a||79 Raheem Brock|
|DE||93 Phillip Daniels||93 Dwight Freeney|
|SLB||53 Marcus Washington||51 Gilbert Gardner|
|MLB||98 Lemar Marshall||58 Gary Brackett|
|WLB||57 W. Holdman||59 Cato June|
|LCB||22 Carlos Rogers||25 Nick Harper|
|RCB||25 Kenny Wright||42 Jason David|
|SS||40 Adam Archuleta||20 Mike Doss|
|FS||21 Sean Taylor||21 Bob Sanders|
|P||4 Derrick Frost||17 Hunter Smith|
|K||3 Nick Novak||4 Adam Vinatieri|
|H||4 Derrick Frost||17 Hunter Smith|
|LS||71 Ethan Albright||48 Justin Snow|
|KOR||46 Ladell Betts||10 Terrence Wilkins|
|PR||83 James Thrash||10 Terrence Wilkins|
|REDSKINS 2006 STATISTICAL RANKINGS|
#### -- NEWS & NOTES
- Redskins linebacker Marcus Washington will play his first game against his former team on Sunday. Washington was drafted by the Colts in the second round (59th overall) of the 1999 NFL Draft.
- Redskins defensive coordinator-defensive line coach Greg Blache coached in Indianapolis from 1994-98. He was the Colts' defensive line coach.
- The last time a Gregg Williams-coached defense played against Peyton Manning and the high-powered Colts offense was on Nov. 23, 2003, when Williams was head coach of the Buffalo Bills.
Williams's defense limited the Colts to just 17 points in a 17-14 loss. Manning was 26-of-42 for 229 yards, with no touchdown passes. Colts' wide receiver Marvin Harrison caught six passes for 47 yards.
- The Redskins are 16-3 (including postseason) when playing indoors under head coach Joe Gibbs.
Earlier this season, the Redskins defeated the Houston Texans in Week 3 with the roof closed at Reliant Stadium.
Sunday's game is the second of four games this season that the Redskins will play indoors, with road games still to come at New Orleans and St. Louis.
- Joe Gibbs is 1-1 all-time against the Colts, with both games played at the RCA Dome.
-- FAMILIAR FACES ON THE COLTS
- Colts defensive coordinator Ron Meeks served as cornerbacks coach for the Redskins in 2000.