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Colts rookies trying to make most of 2nd chances

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Colts rookies trying to make most of 2nd chances

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Andrew Luck is getting a crash course in rematch etiquette.

The man who seemingly did it all in college never played the same team twice in one season until he jumped to the NFL. On Sunday, he'll get a second chance at playing a team twice when Tennessee visits Lucas Oil Stadium.

``It's different,'' the rookie quarterback said in Week 10 leading up to the Colts' second game against Jacksonville. ``It's interesting when you go back and watch before.''

Like his successor, Peyton Manning, Luck spends most of his time scouring game film for a couple of things: Mistakes and finding ways to beat defenses.

Luck is hardly alone in the film room. With one of the NFL's youngest teams, the Colts (8-4) have one of the most studious rookie classes, too.

Indianapolis drafted tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen in the second and third rounds, receivers T.Y. Hilton and LaVon Brazill in the third and sixth rounds, and running back Vick Ballard in the fifth.

Each has had a major hand in this season's turnaround from 2-14. Brazill and Fleener each caught a touchdown pass in Sunday's comeback at Detroit, Hilton already has had four 100-yard games, Allen needs seven catches in the final four games to set the Colts' rookie record for receptions by a tight end, and it was Ballard's backward, twisting flip that gave the Colts their first road win of the season at Tennessee on Oct. 28.

Now they'll have to do it all over again against a Titans team that hasn't forgotten that overtime loss.

The Colts expect Tennessee (4-8) to make some corrections, and Indianapolis has some adjustments in the works, too.

``What you learn is that it's all about us,'' Allen said. ``You can watch the film and see how they've progressed since that game, but at the end of the day, it's all about you and how did you do with your performance.''

In the first contest against Tennessee, Luck was 26 of 38 for 297 yards with one TD and one interception. Indy also rushed for a season-high 171 yards and Ballard's highlight-making dive won the game in overtime.

Interim head coach Bruce Arians expects even more from his team this time now that they have gotten up close and personal with the Titans on the field and have spent countless hours breaking down those tapes since then.

Arians remembers that's the way it was with Manning in his rookie season, too.

``The second time through the division his rookie year was night and day,'' Arians said before the Jacksonville game, describing Manning. ``It would be the same thing I would hope once (Luck) can study himself against an opponent and play them again, he should be better.''

The difference between the first and second games against Jacksonville was noticeable.

Luck's completion percentage jumped from 47.8 percent in Week 2 to a season-high 69.2 percent in the rematch. His quarterback rating went from 75.7 to 80.1, despite throwing two fewer touchdowns and the same number of interceptions (one). Plus, the Colts won.

Could it happen again this week against the Titans?

The Colts are hopeful.

``I think we made a lot of mistakes, but we realize it's a 60-minute game,'' Luck said of last week's performance against Detroit. ``We realize we'll have a chance at the end if we flush that out and you do everything you can to win.''

NOTES: Arians said running back Donald Brown and safety Tom Zbikowski would both miss Sunday's game because of undisclosed knee injuries. ... Sunday's game is sold out and will be televised locally. ... Head coach Chuck Pagano has finished his third and final round of chemotherapy, but it is still uncertain whether he will attend his third straight home game. Pagano has been on an indefinite leave since being diagnosed with leukemia Sept. 26. ... The Colts signed linebacker Jamaal Westerman to the active roster, activated offensive guard Seth Olsen from injured reserve and have placed linebacker Justin Hickman on injured reserve.

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—The brawl, the flinch, and following the money

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—The brawl, the flinch, and following the money

Here is what you need to know on Saturday, August 17, six days before the Washington Redskins host the Broncos in their third preseason game. 

Talking points

The Redskins week that was: A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskinsand NBC Sports Washington.

The 'Skins and Jets got into a brawl an hour into practice—I was about 10 yards away from where the fight took place, but I was only a few yards from where Morgan Moses hit the ground after taking what the Redskins interpreted to be a cheap shot. I can attest that the earth moves when Moses hits the ground. As to the dustup itself, I wouldn’t have cared at all if it had taken place in the middle of the field. But the fight spilling over into the spectator area made it a very dangerous incident. They need to do better. 

Redskins release CB Orlando Scandrick—When an out-of-the-blue move like this takes place, follow the money. If Scandrick had sustained an injury during the preseason that was serious enough to put him on injured reserve, the Redskins would have been on the hook for his entire 2018 salary of $1.72 million. In addition, his salary would become fully guaranteed if he had been on the roster in Week 1. The Redskins decided to cut their losses, which was his signing bonus of a cool $1 million. 

How Davis' injury affects the Redskins' WR depth chart—Robert Davis was not a lock to make the Redskins’ roster, but he certainly was a contender. But that all changed in an instant a week ago when he got tangled up with cornerback Danny Johnson during practice. Johnson bounced right up, Davis did not, having sustained a broken leg and knee ligament damage. Davis spent most of last year on the practice squad so this will be a second straight season without game action for the 2017 sixth-round pick. 

Redskins starters training camp one-liners, offense—You hear plenty of talk about the backups and bubble players during training camp and often the front-line players get overlooked. So there is your look at how the offensive starters fared in camp, one-liners style. You can find the defense here

Tweet of the week

We didn’t expect him to say anything but we had to ask Terrelle Pryor if he had any comment after the “flinching” incident with D.J. Swearinger. This was all he was willing to say as he jogged towards the locker room with a smile on his face. 

It would be inaccurate to say that Pryor is a polarizing figure among Redskins fans because that would mean that that he had an equal number of supporters and detractors. It’s pretty much all haters. And it’s probably not fair.

From my point of view, I don’t have a problem with Pryor. He was always a stand-up guy when dealing with us. And while he was a free agent bust with the Redskins he didn’t cost a ton of money. Besides, he is hardly unique in that regard. 

The agenda

Today: Practice at Redskins Park 2; Jay Gruden news conference and player availability after practice, approx. 3:30

Upcoming: Preseason Broncos @ Redskins (Aug. 24) 7 days; Final cut (Sept. 1) 15 days; Season opener @ Cardinals (Sept. 9) 23 days

In case you missed it

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page,Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS and on Instagram @RichTandler

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Injuries to Marshall and Perine will open the door for Kapri Bibbs to make the Redskins

Injuries to Marshall and Perine will open the door for Kapri Bibbs to make the Redskins

Following the Redskins' Week 2 preseason win over the Jets on Thursday, Jay Gruden said both Byron Marshall and Samaje Perine were "OK" after the two running backs each left the game with injuries. Marshall's was labeled a lower-leg issue, while Perine's injury was called a twisted ankle.

Timetables for their recoveries were then reported on Friday, and while the two members of the backfield escaped anything too severe, they will each be sidelined for decent chunks of time.

Perine will miss a week, according to Mike Garafolo. Marshall, meanwhile, is looking at a longer two-to-four week recovery, per Tom Pelissero. Those pieces of news hurt them in more ways than one.

Derrius Guice's torn ACL in Week 1 of the team's exhibition schedule meant that Marshall and Perine both had a big-time opportunity to step up and earn a spot on Washington's 53-man roster, spots that were harder to envision for them when Guice was healthy.

Overall, the two were slated to compete with Kapri Bibbs for what will likely be two spaces on the depth chart behind the absolutely safe Chris Thompson and Rob Kelley. Now, though, they'll be forced to sit until they're healed up, giving Bibbs more chances in practice and the two remaining August contests to earn Jay Gruden's trust.

Against New York, Bibbs struggled on the ground but led the offense with seven grabs, including a 29-yard gain off a screen play. That performance absolutely brought him closer in the race with Marshall, who scored vs. the Patriots a week earlier. Next, he'll need to prove he can run effectively between the tackles vs. the Broncos in Week 3, which will put some heat on Perine as well.

The 'Skins have 15 days left until they have to finalize their regular season roster. As things stand now amongst the running backs, Bibbs presently has a real shot at stealing a job from the two shelved RBs. But with the way this race has unfolded thus far, that can all change in a split second. 

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