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Redskins-Colts Preview: Hard To Argue Against Vegas

It's hard to beat Vegas, too, but that doesn't mean it isn't possible

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    ST. LOUIS - SEPTEMBER 26: Head coach Mike Shanahan of the Washington Redskins yells at an official against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on September 26, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Rams beat the Redskins 30-16. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

    If a preview could have a soundtrack, this one would be rockin' along to Stealers Wheel's "Stuck in the Middle With You": the 3-2 Redskins are tied for first in the NFC East, and the 3-2 Colts are mired in an admirably unadmirable four-way tie in the AFC South.

    We're going 3-2 just thinking about it.

    Vegas, however, has Indianapolis as three-point favorites. It's hard to argue against that, with the Redskins needing a well-placed upright to beat Green Bay and taking Dallas and Philadelphia down to one final play. There's not a whole lot Washington could throw at Peyton Manning he hasn't seen before.

    Except maybe rubber chickens, but Roger Goodell frowns on those.

    Redskins on offense: Well....there is one. It's just not all that effective. Donovan McNabb is working with a 56.5 percent completion rate, his lowest since his rookie season, though he has managed to put himself sixth in the league with an average of 263 passing yards per game. Santana Moss and Chris Cooley are essentially his only targets, accounting for more than 50 percent of his passes.

    This sluggish show has been good for an average of only 17 points per game, a number that won't exactly propel the 'Skins past last year's Super Bowl contenders on its own. Even scarier: the Colts' defense is ranked third overall. 

    The matchup the Redskins can exploit is on the ground: Indianapolis gives up 142 rushing yards per game, and if Ryan Torain can churn through early, Washington won't be as devastated every time McNabb tosses a ball into the dirt. 

    And, oh, that will happen. At least five times.

    Redskins on defense: Despite giving up a league-high 410 yards, the Redskins have managed to bend-but-not-break themselves to a ninth-place showing in points allowed -- they give up just 18.4 per game.

    Still, befuddling Peyton Manning is no easy task for Jim Haslett and the still-adapting Redskins, and none of Indianapolis' three hobbled receivers is named Reggie Wayne. DeAngelo Hall and Carlos Rogers will have a tough task with the Pro Bowler, especially if tight end Dallas Clark demands attention from the safeties.

    The Redskins will certainly have their hands full -- but if Jacksonville can beat the Colts, we'll not panic unless LaRon Landry goes down. 

    Encouraging but probably meaningless stat: The Colts are 1-2 on the road this season, both straight up and against the spread. 

    YouTube video so embarrassing it ought to cause a complete Colts collapse: Yes, congratulations, Indiana. You beat the Chiefs.

    What will happen: Colts 24, Redskins 10. Sorry.