Can the Colts Get to Donovan McNabb and the Redskins Tonight?


Right now, the match-up between the Indianapolis Colts and the Washington Redskins tonight looks pretty much even…on paper. For the 3-2 Colts, they need this win against the 3-2 Redskins. With a bye week coming up, ending at 4-2 wouldn’t be that bad at all.

And the Colts can do that, especially with their top-notch passing game. The Redskins’ defense so far have been allowing more than 410 yards. Mike Shanahan hopes to improve on this against the Colts’ high-powered offense.

“That’s been the ongoing saga for years with offenses and defenses,” coach Mike Shanahan said. “Is it total offense, or is it points scored? Total defense, or points given up? Then you get to turnover ratio. Honestly, if you look over the years, that’s probably the biggest factor.”

The Redskins got themselves on top of the NFC East division, surprisingly, after beating the Green Bay Packers with a game-winning field goal, 16-13. However, they allowed more than 40o yards again.

“We don’t care about you running up and down the field,” linebacker Brian Orakpo said. “We don’t care about that. We care about you scoring points and getting into our end zone. And that’s what we’re trying to defend.”

The Redskins need to watch out. Peyton Manning is coming to town, and he could put on a show on Sunday Night for the Colts. Indianapolis is so far having 401.6 yards per game on offense. Manning is leading the league with his eleven touchdowns and is in third place with his 1,609 yards.

Reggie Wayne is doing great as well, already having 531 yards receiving.

Indy will be without Donald Brown for the third straight game, but Joseph Addai will be able to play despite his shoulder injury. This would mean Mike Hart will have more playing time again after helping the Colts get a victory with his eleven carries for 50 yards and a touchdown in Indy’s 19-9 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

“Mike did a great job,” Manning said. “He had an interesting week practice-wise. He got injured during the week and didn’t know quite what was going to happen. Next thing you know, he comes out and does a heck of a job for us. That’s why you’ve got to have depth. Everybody’s got to be ready at any time.”

The Colts can get their rushing offense up, as the Redskins do have a pretty poor defense. But Indy can’t be too confident, as the Redskins are also a 3-4 defense, a defense the Colts have been struggling with for the past few years when trying to run the ball.

Indy will need to get their own rush defense up as well, already ranking 29th in the league in there. They will have a solid running back to face with Ryan Torain, and Indy’s defense needs to act up and play Colts’ football.

“(Torain) has the ability to be a top back,” Shanahan said, “and we’ll find out in time if he can do that and stay healthy.”

Indianapolis held the Chiefs to 261 yards last week. Most of the yards were on running as Jamaal Charles dug up the field.

“A lot of problems that happened are self-inflicted,” defensive end Dwight Freeney said. “And we came (last Sunday) and played the way we were supposed to play.”

However, the Colts need to improve their rush defense. Obviously, the Colts probably have been working on their rushing offense and defense, and if they keep doing that, their rankings will go higher.

Manning is 2-1 versus the Redskins as Donovan McNabb is 0-2 versus the Colts. The Colts need to watch out for playmaking No. 5.

Some keys to victory for Indianapolis:

  • Play like last year. The Colts were much more improved on running the ball and they need to apply that to this year. Their only good game on running the ball was against the weak Giants’ defense. They need to improve a lot more on their rush defense, like they did last year.
  • Cover the tight ends. The Colts’ secondary is pretty weak right now, and they need all the help they can get when eliminating McNabb’s favorite targets there.
  • Watch our for Ryan Torain.
  • Get Addai and Hart working against Washington.
  • Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis got a test for them as they will face Jamaal Thomas and Trent Washington. Can they be able to get past them and sack Mr. McNabb?

Looks to be a good game tonight!