Top images from the Washington Redskins' Week 13 matchup with the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014, at Lucas Oil Stadium
Redskins.com's Andrew Walker takes a closer look at Sunday afternoon's matchup vs. the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.
FIRST IMPRESSIONSThe "close, but no cigar" outcome has really been a thorn in the Washington Redskins' side throughout the 2014 season — especially on the road.
Entering Sunday's Week 13 matchup against the Colts in Indianapolis, Washington was 1-5 in road games this season, but had lost those games by an average of just more than six points per contest. A big play here, a big play there, and the outcomes of those games could've certainly been different.
So the Redskins took the field Sunday against a talented Colts squad hoping to reverse that trend. They knew Indianapolis — which has the top offensive unit in the NFL — wasn't going to make it easy in their house, however.
But even after its defense forced two first-quarter turnovers on Sunday, the Washington offense just couldn't find a way to cash in, giving the Indianapolis offense a chance to get into a rhythm. They scored on a long pass play (30 yards) in the first quarter and a long run play (49 yards) in the second quarter to take an early 14-3 lead, and never looked back, defeating the Redskins 49-27 in front of 65,352 fans at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Ryan Kerrigan's Hoosier Homecoming started off with a bang – literally.
After winning the coin toss and receiving the opening kickoff, the Colts began their first drive of the day from their own 24-yard line. On their very first play from scrimmage, Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck, on play action, dropped back to pass, and he was almost immediately assaulted by Kerrigan, who both earned the sack and forced a fumble on the play.
The ball was scooped up by defensive end Jason Hatcher, giving the Redskins prime field position at the Colts' 15-yard line. Three plays later, kicker Kai Forbath converted a field goal from 25 yards out to give Washington an early 3-0 lead with 13:18 left in the first quarter.
The play for Kerrigan represented sack No. 9.5 on the season, establishing a career-high for the 2012 Pro Bowler. Kerrigan, a Purdue product, on Sunday was also playing the first professional game of his career in his home state of Indiana. He hails from Muncie, Ind., a 45-minute drive northeast of Lucas Oil Stadium.
The forced fumble was also the 13th of Kerrigan's career, tying him with Ken Harvey for the most by a member of the Redskins since 1994.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Redskins quarterback Colt McCoy – making his first start since Washington's Week 8 overtime victory over the Cowboys in Dallas – certainly showed his never-quit attitude early in the third quarter.
With Washington driving, they faced a 2nd and 5 from the Indianapolis 16-yard line. McCoy dropped back to pass and immediately sensed danger. He was flushed out of the pocket to his right.
Jonathan Newsome sack attempt. Missed.
Bjoern Werner sack attempt. Missed.
D'Qwell Jackson sack attempt. Missed.
McCoy evaded three would-be tacklers to find tight end Logan Paulsen wide open at the seven-yard line, who was able to get into the end zone for the unlikely touchdown.
It was the second passing touchdown of the day by McCoy, who had earlier found running back Roy Helu Jr. for a 21-yard score.
The catch for Paulsen, meanwhile, was his first touchdown of the season and his longest reception of the year.
The play, meanwhile came on the heels of a great catch on third down by Andre Roberts, who was able to drag both his toes along the sideline to convert the first down.
Colts head coach Chuck Pagano challenged the ruling on the field, which was ultimately upheld by the officials.
PLAYER OF THE GAMETight end Jordan Reed finally looked comfortable Sunday against the Colts.
He turned in a career day for Washington, catching nine passes for 123 yards, with a long of 30 on a nice play down the seam in the fourth quarter.
Reed has been battling hamstring issues throughout the season, and on Sunday was playing in just his seventh game of the season. But the team knows how talented the Florida product can be, both in his elite route-running skills and with the ball in his hands.
After playing in nine games as a rookie in 2013 -- catching 45 passes for 499 yards and three touchdowns -- Reed was named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team. If the Redskins could consistently get Reed onto the field, then he's certainly capable of putting up numbers with the best tight ends in the league.
The second early turnover forced by the Redskins' defense was a beaut.
With 12:03 left in the first quarter, Luck – lined up in the shotgun with an empty backfield – dropped back to pass on 2nd and 9. Hatcher, a Pro Bowler a year ago, did a great job penetrating into the backfield and getting into Luck's face, forcing him to attempt a pass across the middle.
That throw was batted in the air by rookie cornerback Bashaud Breeland and right into the hands of veteran safety Ryan Clark, who made a nice, over-the-shoulder catch and a decent return to give Washington the ball back at the Indianapolis 45.
The play featured everything the Redskins could want defensively: pressure up front, a tremendous play from the cornerback and great positioning by the safety to be at the right spot to grab the interception. It was the first interception of the year for Clark, a 13-year veteran who also had a fumble recovery later in the game. He now has at least one pick in seven straight seasons and nine of the last 10.
WHAT'S NEXTWith today's matchup against the Indianapolis Colts officially a thing of the past, the Washington Redskins turn their attention to another talented team from the Midwest.
A look back at top images in games between the Washington Redskins and St. Louis Rams.
The Redskins next Sunday play host to the St. Louis Rams at FedExField. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.
The Rams entered today's action with a 4-7 record — putting them in fourth place in the tough NFC Western Division — and took on the Oakland Raiders (1-10) today at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.
Here's some notes of interest about the Redskins-Rams Week 14 matchup, courtesy of Redskins Public Relations:
- The game will represent the teams' eighth meeting in the last 10 seasons but the first at FedExField since 2009. The Redskins played the Rams in St. Louis three times across the 2010-12 seasons.
- The Redskins are 24-12-1 all-time against the Rams, including postseason play.
- The Redskins are 11-5 all-time in regular season home games against the Rams.
- A win would give the Redskins a second consecutive home win against the Rams for the first time since earning back-to-back playoff victories against the Rams following the 1983 and 1986 seasons.
- Dating back to 2006, five of the last six games between the Redskins and Rams have been decided by seven points or less.