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2018 opponent scouting report: Week 2 Redskins special teams and a prediction

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NFL: Denver Broncos at Washington Redskins Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Overview

On September 16, 2018 the Indianapolis Colts will make the trip to the nations capital to square off against the Washington Redskins. In this week two match-up I sought to understand our opponent and get a better idea of how they may attack our new look Colts.

The Redskins finished 2017 with 7 wins and 9 losses. The last time these two teams faced off our Colts blew the ‘skins out of the water winning 49 to 27, way back in 2014. In 2014 our defensive coordinator was Greg Manusky and it was Redskins coach Jay Gruden’s first season in charge. The 2018 Redskins have retained Gruden and now employ Manusky as their DC. Neither team looks much like it did in 2014, but we can all hope the outcome of this game resembles the contest four seasons ago.

Let’s figure out what we can expect in week two.


Kicker:

NFL: Denver Broncos at Washington Redskins Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Dustin Hopkins is a career 84.1% field goal kicker. In 2017 he went 14 for 17 on field goals and 18 of 19 on extra point tries. I expect the game to be close so both Hopkins and Adam Vinatieri should play a large part in Sunday’s contest.


Punter:

Tress Way has a better arm than Alex Smith. Seriously, he might. He also has a career 46.2 yards per punt average. 2017 saw Way down 33 balls inside the red zone, a career high. If we can slow down the ‘skins run game I actually believe we may see quite a few punts (and hopefully no fakes) from Way on Sunday.


Returner:

Both Jamison Crowder and rookie Danny Johnson will return punts and kicks respectively. Johnson is in his second professional game and Crowder has only one return for a touchdown. With that said Crowder has all of the physical tools to be a great return man.

I wouldn’t feel great punting the ball to Crowder even if history tells us it should not be a big problem.


Final Thoughts for The Week:

This game could go either way. The Redskins are not a bad football team. They’re very talented along their defensive front seven and they have nice talent on the back end of their defense as well.

Their offensive line will be a problem for our defense and they will gain yards on the ground. The Colts can overcome all of these things by using effective, quick hitting passes for four quarters. There will eventually be a few opportunities to throw the deep ball, but by and large crossing receivers and running effective rub routes (lookin’ at you Eric Ebron) should be the Colts bread and butter exploiting their man to man coverage. The Colts also need to look over the middle with their tight ends to fill the void that will often be left by the blitzing linebackers.

I’ve made my prediction below, but just know this game could go either way. Nothing would surprise me. Hopefully the Colts come out on top, but even if they drop to 0-2, don’t panic. The NFL had seven new coaches this season, after week one their combined record is 0-7. We’re in good company, this will take time.


Prediction

Colts 27

Redskins 24