LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 17: Austin Collie #17 of the Indianapolis Colts moves the ball upfield after making a reception against Kareem Moore #41 of the Washington Redskins at FedExField on October 17, 2010 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
By the time you read this sentence, Peyton Manning just racked up 20 more passing yards.
That's how quick Manning and the Colts racked up yardage Sunday night against the Redskins' defense. Donovan McNabb and his offense tried to keep pace as best they could, but came up just a bit short, losing to Indianapolis 27-24.
Manning threw for more than 300 yards and the Colts as a team rolled up more than 450 yards of offense, thanks in part to quick play calling and a hurry-up scheme that kept the Redskins' defense winded most of the game.
But despite a lack of rest, the Redskins' D was able to bend but not break, keeping the high-octane Manning offense from blowing the game wide open.
They were able to do enough to keep it close and allow McNabb to perform some late-game magic. McNabb engineered a 12-play, 92-yard drive capped by an 8-yard TD pass to Keiland Williams to get the Redskins to within three at 27-24 with 2:46 left in the game.
The defense then forced the Colts to go three-and-out on the next possession, leaving the Skins in great shape with the ball on their own 38, more than two minutes left on the clock, all of their timeouts and the two-minute warning.
And the offense fell flat.
McNabb and Co. went four plays and out.
The defense once again contained the Colts, giving McNabb one last chance, and his longshot pass down the left side to Joey Galloway was picked off, ending the game.
While they didn't win, the Redskins showed that their improvement from a season ago continues. Ryan Torain showed that the team CAN run the ball by rushing 20 times for 100 yards and two touchdowns. LaRon Landry continued to impress on defense, showing continued mastery of the 3-4 defense.
But at the same time, some of the problems from last year continue to haunt this team, including the lack of big plays on defense. There were at least four potentials interceptions that were dropped by Redskins defenders (two by Carlos Rogers and two by Kareem Moore). And when you're facing an offense like the Colts, you have to accept those gifts when Peyton Manning decides to give them to you.
"We had a lot of opportunities," DeAngelo Hall said of the defense. "We didn't make those plays."
Linebacker London Fletcher agreed.
"Those are game-changing-type plays, especially early in the game," Fletcher said. "We got the offense the ball back with two minutes to go, which is what we wanted. But at the end of the day, we're still not happy with what we're doing. We have to take advantage of those opportunities."
So the Mike Shanahan era continues next week against Chicago. It will be another test for a team that has been able to hang tough in every game this season (let's just forget about that St. Louis debacle). And something tells us there will be plenty of opportunities to take advantage of against Jay Cutler and the Bears.
Quick Kicks: The Redskins were forced to face the Colts without several big names on defense, including Albert Haynesworth and Rocky McIntosh. Haynesworth was held out of the game by the coaching staff after missing all week to deal with the death of his half-brother in Tennessee. ... The team also lost Chris Cooley in the second half to concussion, leaving McNabb without one of his main targets on the team's late drives.