It was a long day for the Redskins offense in their match-up against the Indianapolis Colts. Washington could not move the football down the field against a defense that, truthfully, is not as good as the Redskins made the Colts look. The Redskins gave up extensive pressure in pass-protection off of stunts and regularly failed to block defenders at the line of scrimmage, resulting in a disastrous day on the ground.
It was a terrible game in the trenches, a seemingly catastrophic reversion to last-season form on the ground, a performance that is confusing to the majority of those witnessing the contest after the Redskins’ positive steps forward in the running game just one week ago from Adrian Peterson.
The Redskins had just 22 running yards on 16 carries by their running backs on Sunday, and in fact were led in rushing by wide receiver Jamison Crowder. In an attempt to establish a ground game early, Washington ran jet-sweep looks to deceive the eyes of the Colts defense and beat them on the edge. Twice the Redskins handed it off to the receiver on the sweep, netting them 29 yards on the two handoffs. However, the look was run on multiple occasions without the sweep, but it did not move Colt defenders out of the tackle box.
The Colts remained disciplined defensively, and the Redskins not only didn’t get the desired outcome they wanted but got dominated up front in the process. The biggest gaffe of the day was a third and one late in the first quarter, where Washington called a fake jet sweep and pitched it to Chris Thompson who lost 3 yards on the play. A situation that called for a north/south run or play-action, Washington got too cute and killed a critical drive in the first half.
The Redskins play the Green Bay Packers next, and Chris Thompson perhaps said it best post game, “It’s very important. I mean, its Aaron Rodgers coming in, if we don’t have it together then we get embarrassed again.”
Thompson’s message was not just for his teammates, but indirectly to Jay Gruden as well. As one of the team’s leaders, Thompson would never blame his head coach blatantly and publicly, but overall Coach Gruden was out of character for the majority of the game, and I am sure Jay holds himself to a high standard. He has to get this offense, who has not scored a touchdown in six quarters, back on course immediately.