Opportunistic Colts blow out Redskins 49-27
Dec. 01, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Andrew Luck took advantage of every opportunity Washington provided.
He exploited the Redskins' blown coverages. He watched Coby Fleener turn a missed tackle into a 73-yard score. He enjoyed watching linebacker D'Qwell Jackson break open the game with a 35-yard fumble return in the third quarter.
And now, after throwing for 370 yards and a career high five touchdowns on Sunday in a 49-27 victory over Washington, Luck expects the Colts to keep it up.
"I think we have incredibly explosive players all over the field," Luck said. "You see a running back take it for 60-some yards to the house. You see Fleener run by defensive backs. You see our wide outs making monstrous plays.
The combination made Indianapolis (8-4) virtually impossible to defend.
Fleener had four catches for 127 yards with two TD catches, becoming the first tight end since Rich Caster in 1972 to have TD catches of 30 or more yards and 70 or more yards in the same game.
Rookie Donte Moncrief had three catches for 134 yards, scoring on plays of 48 and 79 yards.
Running back Daniel "Boom" Herron scored on a career-long touchdown of 49 yards to give Indy a 14-3 lead.
Luck continued to pile up the milestones, too. He broke Peyton Manning's franchise record for most 300-yard games in a season (10), became the fifth quarterback since 1970 to win 30 games in his first three seasons, joined Manning and Dan Marino as the only players in NFL history with 4,000 yards in two of their first three seasons, and joined Manning and John Unitas as the only Colts' quarterbacks with 30 TD passes in a season.
His first TD pass, the 30-yarder to Fleener, gave Indy a 7-3 lead. His second, a 3-yarder to T.Y. Hilton made it 21-3. The third and fourth, a 48-yarder to Moncrief and the 73-yarder to Fleener broke open the game, and the last one to Moncrief made it 49-24 early in the fourth.
Washington didn't have an answer. Colt McCoy was 31 of 47 for a career high 392 yards and three touchdowns — also a career-high and one more than Robert Griffin III threw this season before getting benched — the Redskins (3-9) couldn't keep up. Washington has lost four straight.
"A lot of teams look good in a quarter, a drive or a half or maybe a couple games even," Redskins coach Jay Gruden said. "Really good teams can do it week-in and week-out, and that's what we're trying to figure out."
Here are some other takeaways from Sunday's game.
JOB SECURITY: McCoy didn't get the win, but he certainly got Gruden's endorsement to start next week. While Gruden acknowledged he would have done something things "differently" during the game, in terms of play calls and execution, he liked the way McCoy "competed."
TURNOVER TROUBLE: Colts coach Chuck Pagano spent all week preaching the importance of taking care of the ball, then watched the Colts give it away on their first two series. Herron also lost a fumble. Afterward, Pagano again started talking about the necessity of ball protection — something the Colts must fix before the playoffs.
INJURY PROBLEMS: The long list of injured players certainly hurt Gruden's team Sunday. They could have a long lasting impact, too. The list includes: Receiver DeSean Jackson, bruised leg; cornerback Chase Minnifield, concussion; safety Brandon Meriweather, sprained toe; linebacker Will Compton, sprained cervical spine; defensive lineman Kedric Golston, lower back; linebacker Keenan Robinson, medial collateral ligament in his knee; linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, wrist.
UP-AND-DOWN DEFENSE: The Colts allowed just 92 yards in the first half. In the second half, they gave up 333 yards and 17 points, a reflection of some of the problems that have popped up this season. While Pagano said Indy's defense was on the field a long time in the second half because of the big plays, he wants to see more consistency.