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Washington had their fits with Indianapolis throughout the day, struggling on both offense and defense in a variety of ways. The first half was not kind, the interior rush for the Colts wreaked havoc among the guards and center for the Redskins offensive line. The best rushing attack for the Redskins was jet sweeps to Jamison Crowder, leading the Redskins with 2 rushes for 29 yards after two quarters of play. The running backs for Washington combined for seven carries for two yards. It was a very questionable half for Jay Gruden in regards to play calling, it seemed his strategy was to create misdirection, causing the defense to pursue to one side and run in the opposite direction. Hence the decision to dial Crowder’s number multiple times as a ball carrier, and sending him on jet sweep looks a few times.
The Redskins finished the first half with 121 total yards offensively and just three points, mainly due to lack of a true ground game, pass protection, and missed opportunities which trickled into the second half as well.
Defensively the Redskins started out just as poorly as the Redskins offense, Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton connected often against the Redskins secondary. In addition to solid protection for Luck, the Colts were able to run the ball effectively too, allowing them to do whatever they wanted early. Granted, the Redskins defense settled down later into the half, generating pressure late and even forcing a turnover. However, more often than not the Colts have found themselves in favorable down and distances in key situations, 100 percent in the redone and over 50 percent on third down conversions.
Washington’s second half started off stronger than the first, but it was not strong enough to overcome the mental errors offensively and defensively. Washington forced Andrew Luck to commit two turnovers but the offense failed to turn them into touchdowns, settling for just six points. As a result of no touchdowns, the Colts responded to a Redskins field goal with a touchdown early in the fourth quarter to essentially put away the Redskins with just a 12-point deficit. In the end, the Colts executed greatly on both sides of the ball and that cannot be taken away from them. They were able to neutralize the Redskins ground game (Crowder the leading rusher for Washington), consistently generated interior pressure, and made Alex Smith look uncomfortable all game. Again, the Redskins leading rusher was a wide receiver today, that is how bad the ground game was. Offensively the use of rub routes and pick-plays created confusion amongst the Redskins secondary, and protection was solid for the most part allowing Luck safe pockets to throw from.
As the Redskins head into a tough week three match-up against the Green Bay Packers, it is vital that the Redskins address the offensive struggles the first two weeks. Washington has not scored a touchdown in six quarters and if the Redskins plan to come out of September with a 2-1 record, they need to come out of this offensive funk and help their defense out in a big way.