By: Aaron Greenberg
The Colts come to Washington, in week two a game which features two former number one overall pick quarterbacks. The Redskins dominated an Arizona team led by new head coach Steve Wilks and QB Sam Bradford, winning 24-6, scoring 21 points unanswered in the second quarter. The Colts and come off a loss in week one at home to the Cincinnati Bengals, after holding a 23-10 lead mid-way through the 3rd quarter. Quarterback Andrew Luck came back from over a year away from football, and looked rusty, but still good. This matchup looks to be another one the Redskins are not only expected to but should win. I’ll be looking at the matchup and seeing who has the advantage overall.
IND: The Colts offense under new head coach Frank Reich seems to be much more catered to Luck’s play style. In week one Reich made it easy for Luck who released the ball on average 2.52 seconds, after the snap. Giving him a chance to get the ball out before the pressure got to him. With no real dominant running back on this roster, look for the committee of rookies Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines to get most of the snaps for the Colts backfield. With the Colts already weak offensive line missing Anthony Costanzo. The Colts will struggle to run the ball against the Redskins strong front seven, putting the game in Luck’s hands if they have any chance to win. The key matchup will be T.Y. Hilton vs. the Redskins Secondary especially first year starting corner Quentin Dunbar who had a strong week 1 vs. Larry Fitzgerald.
WAS: The Redskins offense looked good against a decent Arizona defense in week one. The combination of Chris Thompson and Adrian Peterson seems to be gelling well early in the season. Alex Smith looked comfortable in the new offense and continues to build a rapport with his new receiving corps but seems to have a good connection with star tight end Jordan Reed who caught 4 passes for 48 yards and a touchdown in week one. The strength of this Indy defense is upfront and in their new athletic linebackers, this will force Smith to stretch the field more which isn’t necessarily in his comfort zone. Look for the running backs to continue to have success, opening more of a play action deep threat for Smith to take advantage of.
IND: The Colts defense played better than I expected last week, they were able to make red zone stands multiple times in the game and force field goals. This will be important for them again this week as the Redskins offense has struggled in the red zone in recent years. The Colts defense is young and has a lot to prove, but I don’t think this will be their week as Alex Smith is smart and good at protecting the ball and not taking sacks.
WAS: The Redskins defense had a strong showing vs. Arizona. Their front seven led by Rookie Daron Payne and second year defensive end Jonathan Allen, held David Johnson to just 67 yards from scrimmage and one garbage time touchdown. The young secondary led by veterans Josh Norman and DJ Swearinger, allowed just 145 yards passing. The Skins also forced two turnovers and had two sacks. Star linebacker Ryan Kerrigan could have a big game rushing against back-up LT Joe Haeg. That will be my key matchup for this defense.
IND: The colts and kicker Adam Vinatieri at age 45 is still one of the most consistent kickers in the league. He made three field goals last week including a 55 yarder. Second year punter Rigoberto Sanchez has been steady so far in his career. The Colts have a strong return team with WR Chester Rogers and RB Nyheim Hines. If the Colts have any advantage in this game it lies here.
WAS: The Redskins bring the same squad into the special team’s department as they have for the last three years featuring kicker Dustin Hopkins and punter Tress Way, one of the stronger groups in the NFL in my opinion. The Redskins lost punt returner Trey Quinn to ankle surgery last week, so it will be interesting to see if they put WR Jamison Crowder back to return punts after he struggled with ball security last year. Rookie corner Greg Stroman has a strong resume as a return man from his college days at Virginia Tech, we’ll see if he gets a chance to show his stuff on Sunday.
Advantage: Draw (but I’ll give it to Indy)
Prediction: The Redskins coasted to victory easily last week against the Cardinals and I expect this game to be a little bit more of a test, Andrew Luck is an elite quarterback and one that can win games on his own. But, this Redskins defense will be in his face all day, so I’m going with the home team Washington 27 Indianapolis 17.
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