The Indianapolis Colts have been struggling for the past few weeks. But they finally got things back on tract last night against the Washington Redskins, improving to 4-2 and dropping Donovan McNabb and his ‘Skins to 3-3.
It wasn’t all that perfect like normal Colts’ football, but they played the way they should be playing all season long. Despite the three fumbles and three possible, but dropped, interceptions Peyton Manning threw, the Colts were able to hang on to a 27-24 victory. The Redskins are tougher than they look, and they showed that, putting up a fight on Sunday Night.
The Colts offensive game was just tremendous. So far, in my opinion, their best game offensively. Peyton Manning was 25-of-38 for 307 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions, going for a 108.1 rating. Joseph Addai had his first 100-yard game in a while, having run the ball 17 times for 128 yards and a touchdown. This also included a huge 46-yard scamper.
Pierre Garcon led Indianapolis with 103 yards on only four catches along with a 57-yard touchdown. He also made a fantastic, athletic, and leaping one-handed catch. It was something you’d rarely see. Reggie Wayne was not far behind, having caught six passes for 71 yards.
Donovan McNabb was 25-of-49 for 246 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions, along with a 67.5 rating. Ryan Torain ran the ball 20 times for 100 yards. Santana Moss had eight catches for 77 yards and Anthony Armstrong had five catches for 46 yards.
The Colts totaled up 469 yards of total offense.
“It’s one of these games where you just got to keep your poise,” said Colts cornerback Jerraud Powers, who had an interception in the first half of the game.
“The standards and expectations of our team are so high that whenever we have a few bumps in the road, people seem to panic. ‘The Colts are going to have a bad year.’ Well, we’re going through the same stuff, if you look around the league, it’s pretty balanced right now, there’s no real dominant team out there. We’re working on being more consistent and finding our identity.”
Manning brought himself to 60 games of 300-yard games, ranking third in NFL History. He is only four more games away from beating Dan Marino’s record of 64 games.
Mike Hart added to the great performance, carrying the ball 11 times for 43 yards.
With the Colts up 27-17 and with little time to go, McNabb drove the Redskins down the field for 92 yards with a five-yard touchdown. This cut the Colts lead to three, clinging on to a 27-24 lead. For their next drive, Manning failed to help the Colts get first downs and convert, having passes broken up by guys like Laron Landry and Phillip Buchanon.
“We got looks that required us to throw the ball,” Colts coach Jim Caldwell. “We certainly know the situation there … but we needed to get a first down in that situation.”
The Redskins got the ball back off a punt, but their drive failed when McNabb made a crucial turnover, throwing an interception with a minute to go. It would be caught by safety Aaron Francisco, one-handed. Thanks to Francisco last-minute heroics, the Colts won.
The Redskins had so many opportunities to take the game away. They had two possible interceptions, both dropped by Carlos Rogers. Another one got dropped by Kareem Moore. DeAngelo Hall, known as one of the best defensive backs in the game, let Garcon score easily on his 57-yard touchdown.
“We just didn’t make the plays,” Hall said. “We had wide-open layups, just didn’t make the layups.”
The highlight of the night had to be Garcon’s amazing one-handed catch.
“Man, it was just really luck, man,” Garcon said. “I raised my hand and I tried to grab it and it really stuck to my gloves.”
Indianapolis has a bye week next week. Nice way to end their first half of the season.