This Sunday the Indianapolis Colts (7-4) host the Washington Redskins (3-8) in a game that was originally going to feature a quarterback duel between Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. Instead, however, it will be Luck quarterbacking the Colts but Colt McCoy quarterbacking Washington. Here's our preview of Sunday's matchup.
What Happened Last Week?
The Colts defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 23-3 at Lucas Oil Stadium despite a less than impressive performance overall from the team. The Colts were up just 6-3 at halftime and fumbled six times in the game and gave up five sacks on Andrew Luck, but they improved as the game went on and ended up winning by 20 to improve to 7-4 on the season.
The Redskins lost 17-13 to the San Francisco 49ers on a late fourth quarter touchdown by San Francisco. Washington amassed just 213 yards of total offense and scored just 13 points, though they did hold the 49ers to 17 points and force 3 turnovers.
Matchup to Watch: Colts Offense vs. Redskins Defense
While there are a couple of areas that we could look at here, it's actually pretty easy - the matchup to watch is the Colts' offensive line vs. the Redskins' pass rush. Last week in the first half against the Jaguars, the Colts' line was as bad as I've ever seen it - and that's saying something considering the bad lines the team has had recently. They couldn't protect Andrew Luck at all, and though the second half was better, this week won't be any easier for them. Ryan Kerrigan (the former Purdue standout) is eleventh in the NFL with 8.5 sacks on the season and Jason Hatcher has 5 sacks. The Redskins have shown that they can rush the passer, but the bigger concern for the Colts isn't how good the Washington pass rush is but rather how bad their own offensive line is. We'll definitely be watching how the Colts' offensive line does.
Matchup to Watch: Colts Defense vs. Redskins Offense
While we have to be careful to compare the Patriots and the Redskins, after seeing what Jonas Gray did to the Colts' run defense two weeks ago they will have a tough test in Alfred Morris. Unlike Gray, Morris has established himself as one of the league's best running backs. He has rushed for 826 yards and 7 touchdowns on the season while averaging 4.3 yards per carry, and the Colts don't have a strong defense against the run. Washington has two quality receivers in DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon, but especially with the quarterback mess that the team has right now it would be surprising if they came out with any other gameplan but to run Morris and run him often.
Why the Colts Will Win
Just by looking at the records, the Colts should win this game. The Colts are a good team and the Redskins, well, aren't. The Colts are playing at home. And, perhaps the most obvious reason lies with the quarterback: the Colts have a star in Andrew Luck while the Redskins meanwhile have benched Robert Griffin III for Colt McCoy. If for no other reason, the fact that the Colts have Luck is a big reason why they could win
Why the Colts Won't Win
If they can't protect Andrew Luck and can't stop Alfred Morris. And, as we know, the Colts have struggled with both pass protection and run defense before.
The Redskins are the second team in a row with a bad record, but they'll provide the Colts with a bigger test than the Jaguars did. With that said, however, at home and with Andrew Luck at quarterback instead of Colt McCoy, I'm taking the Colts in this one.
Colts 30, Redskins 17
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