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Redskins vs. Colts checklist: a mixed bag

Let's take a look at how effectively the Redskins accomplished their keys in Sunday night's game against the Colts, starting with the offense.

Run the Ball: Yes. The Redskins were able to have success running the ball against the Colts, which helped them win to five-minute advantage in time of possession.

Protect the quarterback: No. Donovan McNabb was sacked just three times, but much like the other games, this is a deceptive number. The Colts put intense pressure on McNabb and the offensive line.

Keep Colts defense off balance in the passing game: Yes. The Redskins did a good job in the passing game. McNabb made some big plays.

Convert third downs: No. The Redskins converted just four of 13 third downs, which might have been their most costly offensive shortcoming in this game.

Cut down on penalties: No. Seven penalties for 53 yards -- not good in game where both teams were battling for inches.

Now let's take a look at the defense ...

Stop the run: No. The Colts were able to have enough success on the ground to balance their attack.

Limit Peyton Manning in the passing game: Yes and no. The defense did not do a terrible job in coverage, but Manning was still able to throw the ball into the end zone.

Pressure Manning: Yes and no. Brian Orakpo had the only sack of the day, but one sack and not many hits against Manning will get you beat.

Force turnovers: No. Even though Orakpo caused a turnover, the defense as a whole had too many blown opportunities. This was the most costly key on defense. If the Redskins had come up with those turnover opportunities, they win.

Finally, the special teams ...

Return the ball: Yes. No big returns but solid enough.

Cover well: Yes. These coverage units are really good.

Kick the ball: Yes and no. Graham Gano missed a crucial field-goal attempt but made another

Punting: Yes. Hunter had another solid day punting the ball.

It was a very close game, and in the end if the Redskins had converted third downs and turnovers, I believe they would have won. Those are correctable errors, so even though the Redskins lost, I left this game knowing they have a legit team.

What were your keys to the game? and what were your thoughts on the game?

By LaVar Arrington  | October 18, 2010; 9:44 AM ET
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I basically agree. Those missed interceptions were HUGE! But we still got a total of 3 turnovers and we had a chance to win the game in the end but the offense laid an egg when it mattered most. I still don't understand why Galloway is our only long ball threat. Armstrong needs to be that guy or Moss. Looks like the Skins are still learning what they have and who they are. One thing is for sure. We are a hard hitting team and no one wants to play us right now. Torrain looked amazing and Banks is always a return threat. We have the pieces and I agree that we proved to be a LEGIT team last night. We just need to put it all together. The schedule sets up nicely and it would be great to go into our buy with 2 straight wins (@ Bears, @ Lions).

Posted by: jojamo | October 18, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

The last I checked, the 'Skins had 3 TO in the game (Manning, Addai and Kenny Moore on the Punt Return). I would be more at yes and no on that simply because the offense couldn't capitalize on said TO's and of course the drops by Mr. Unreliable (#22) and by #41. I swear, #22 couldn't catch a loaf of bread even if it was tossed right to him.

Posted by: EKamenski | October 18, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Right LaVar...a Legit team is correct....hopefully we make it through the year with minimal injuries and consistancy to improve each week. How about the ending play of the Colt DB jumping for the 1 handed INT, yet our 3 opportunities we had were WAY easier BUT never happened....UGH! IF ONLY the player could play and MAKE the plays they are in position to make, we are talking about a victory not a defeat. To be 3-3 and 2-0 in the NFC East is a good sign....we just have to take care of what we have to take care of and it all will play out in our favor....being 3-3 is NOT that bad.....Great game, wanted a win, but we are improving.

Posted by: talbottj | October 18, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I hoped the Skins had finally overcome the morass of losing games they "should" win. While there is a huge improvement with the Skins, the problems seem to be with players/coaches which appear basic. D5 is missing too many open receivers. 3-4, really? I understand the whole Red Zone shut down ability of this team, but my point is: keep em away from the Red Zone to begin with, with a better defensive plan other than, "we'll get em in the Red Zone". Calling a stretch play when you only need a yard, and your running back is blowing up the Colts D? Missed field goals in basically perfect weather. Again, these appear to be basic football inabilities which should be fairly easy to correct. That's the good news. The bad news is, these problems continue to be repeated nearly every game, and so do the results.

Posted by: MTalleyMon | October 18, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I am very glad we got Mc Nabb. Unlike quarterbacks in the pass. in a game like this, we would had lose badly. It is true that I loss is a loss, whether or not it was 'pretty or ugly'. However they will get better in the things that they were not able to do and win these type of ball games. We got Shanny and Mc Nabb, a wonderful combination. We are going to get better, I see it!

Posted by: roallenc | October 18, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Redskins have been a mixed bag all season long thus far. Special teams are holding teams deep and positioning the offense with good field positions. But the Offense has been a rollercoaster ride. There are ups and downs to their ability to score and to make plays. Last night was the first time I saw an effective running game. Anthony Armstrong, Galloway and Moss are interchangable as our deep threats but we seem to be missing more than we make these big plays. On defense, we have holes that Peyton exploited last night. He hardly was preasured at all, adjusting to the disguises and seeing the advantage of either throwing deep or running the ball down the Redskins throat. This isn't last years Redskins by any means but they aren't quite a contender yet either. I expect them to tease us all year long and come up short but it's far better to have a chance than none at all I suppose. There are missing pieces still to the Redskins run to the Superbowl but at least we are now back on that road. I hope they improve, because thus far I love mixed bag as an improvement over the last decade but can only take the teasing for so long.

Posted by: DethBlosm | October 18, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

3rd down killed the Skins - the more carries Torain gets the more he tries to bounce every run outside.

Posted by: coparker5 | October 18, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

The Skins are at 500 and I can't figure out if the glass is half empty or half full.

Posted by: tgl57 | October 18, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

3rd down killed the Skins - the more carries Torain gets the more he tries to bounce every run outside.

Posted by: coparker5

great observation. as big as torain is, i don't have a problem with him trying to cut back every once in a while but lil shanny needed to call more up the gut plays...especially on the 3rd and 1 play where we called that stupid pitch play that caused us to go backwards.

Posted by: charronegro1971 | October 18, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Lavar, we took the ball away 3 times in the second half! Should we have had 1-3 more - you bet! But we were +2 in meaningful turnovers (Oh, that last INT was so close to a TD! So make that +1.)

One thing that I love about the new coaching is that we have given up fewer penalty yards AND fewer turnovers than our opponents by a substantial margin. That's how a marginally talented team can give us exciting football every week!

Given that Rocky and Lardbucket were sidelined, I'm amazed that the game came down to 1" of vertical leap by Francisco!

Posted by: fr3dmars | October 18, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

BTW - do you know where we can get a couple of barrels of stickum for Rogers and Moore?

Posted by: fr3dmars | October 18, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

I've been watching Carlos Rogers from the beginning and he needs to go. He cannot cover his man. He cannot stop anyone from catching a pass. He is never in position to stop a catch. Oh he can tackle someone after a catch is made for valuable yardage, usually a first down, and sometimes he'll accidently get a ball thrown his way, but he can't catch the ball, can he??? The guy needs to be replaced. I'm not seeing much more from his counterpart on the other side either. He and DeAngelo both play too far off their assignments! It is so fustrating to watch! Comments???

Posted by: stoney43 | October 18, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Carlos' problem is not his coverage, he's the best we have and a top quality cover DB. Now if we could do something about his hands-of-stone.... Look at it this way, the man's got to be be pretty doggone good to be able to drop THAT many INT chances!

Posted by: fr3dmars | October 18, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

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