Redskins blame ‘low energy’ in Colts loss
LANDOVER Adrian Peterson heard the loud boos from the FedEx Field crowd when he and the rest of his teammates went into the locker room at halftime of Sunday’s 21-9 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
“It was a new experience for me,” the Redskins running back said of being booed during a home opener. “Yeah, that was different.”
The Redskins’ fans, however, had little reason to cheer.
As the Redskins struggled to explain why the team looked so flat compared to a week ago, multiple players kept circling back to the same reason: they had “low energy.”
“I couldn’t put my finger on [why], but I felt it,” Peterson said.
“I just felt the energy level was low,” guard Brandon Scherff said.
That might be hard to grasp given the Redskins had the chance to go 2-0 for the first time since 2011, and the fact Washington dominated Arizona last week. But the Redskins weren’t able to establish the run or get into any sort of flow offensively.
A week ago, the Redskins finished with 182 rushing yards. The Colts, by comparison, limited Washington to just 65 yards on the ground, 29 of which came from a wide receiver (Jamison Crowder).
What was the difference?
“We had to play better on first and second down,” left tackle Trent Williams said. “We didn’t get enough, so we had to pass the ball on third down. When you live in that world, the game is not in your control.”
Schematically, the Colts presented a lot of problems for the Redskins. Coach Jay Gruden said Indianapolis kept moving its defensive linemen pre-snap and had different looks. He added the Redskins were “pretty much one-dimensional.”
The stats backed that up. Peterson rushed for just 20 yards on 11 carries, the longest of which went 12 yards. Peterson didn’t display the same type of burst he had in Arizona, but that was partly because there were no lanes for him to crash through.
Running back Chris Thompson, who gashed the Cardinals for 65 yards on just five carries, wasn’t any more successful than Peterson. He finished with just one yard on four attempts.
Peterson pointed out when the Redskins trailed by more than 10 points, it made it harder for the team to stick with the run. By contrast, Washington controlled the clock against Arizona and was able to keep running to advance the clock.
And with the run game kept in check, the Colts eliminated the Redskins’ deep threat.
“They were playing pretty soft and weren’t going to give up big plays, make you check it down, they were going to rally and tackle, be disruptive up front,” quarterback Alex Smith said, “and I think they did a great job with all of those things.”
The Redskins defense, though, prevented the game from spiraling out of control. They forced two turnovers both interceptions by safety D.J. Swearinger but only managed to score six points.
Peterson said the offense left the defense on the field for far too long.
As for the low energy, Peterson said he tried to hype his teammates up on the sidelines during the game. But he remained perplexed since ultimately, the Redskins, he said, are ones who control their energy and focus.
“I promise you this it’ll change next week,” Peterson said.