NFL games come down to a handful of plays and the Redskins’ Week 2 loss to the Colts was no exception.
Here are five plays that determined the outcome of Washington's 21-9 home-opening loss to Indianapolis.
Five plays that decided Redskins vs. Colts
1. Q1 (1:46) Chris Thompson right end to IND 46 for -3 yards (Moore II, Hairston)
The Redskins trailed 7-0 but they were on the move in Colts territory at the 43. On third and one, the call was a pitch to Thompson around the left side. The Colts reacted as though they were in the huddle. The pursuit was excellent; Thompson couldn’t get around the end and he didn’t have a cutback lane.
The play design didn't help things as Thompson was about seven yards behind the line of scrimmage when he took the pitch, giving the defense plenty of time to adjust.
He was brought down for a loss of three and a promising drive ended with a punt.
2. Q1 (:10) (Shotgun) Andrew Luck pass short left to T.Y. Hilton pushed out of bounds at IND 25 for 22 yards (Montae Nicholson)
It was third and 12 at the three. The Redskins had a chance to force a punt from the back of the end zone and get good field position when it still was 7-0.
But Hilton had a squadron of blockers in front of him and he had smooth sailing for 22 yards and the first down. It was an opportunity lost.
3. Q2 (9:35) PENALTY on WAS-Fabian Moreau, Defensive Pass Interference, 37 yards, enforced at IND 36 - No Play
On second and nine at the Indy 36, Luck launched one deep for Hilton. The flag on Moreau was legitimate as the cornerback had to grab the receiver to prevent a touchdown.
The question that arose was why Moreau was covering Hilton, the only Colts receiver capable of doing any major damage, deep without any help. Regardless, the Colts scored a touchdown five plays later to make it 14-3 and the Redskins played catch up the rest of the way.
4. Q3 (5:49) (Shotgun) Alex Smith pass incomplete short left to Josh Doctson (Desir)
Still trailing 14-3, the Redskins had a chance to shift momentum after D.J. Swearinger picked off a Luck pass and returned it to the Colts' 29. They got down to a third and four at the nine. Smith went for a fade to Doctson in the back left corner of the end zone.
It was just a little bit off as Doctson didn’t have quite enough room to bring the ball in and stay inbounds before cornerback Pierre Desir knocked the ball out. It would have been a four-point game with 20 minutes to play, but they had to settle for three.
5. Q4 (15:00) Alex Smith sacked at IND 29 for -10 yards (Leonard)
That field goal after the missed connection on the fade did make it a one-score game at 14-6. The Redskins defense forced a three and out and an Adrian Peterson run. A Jordan Reed reception got them into the red zone. On second and nine at the 19, Smith never had a chance as linebacker Darius Leonard blew in on a blitz and brought him down.
The Redskins had to settle for yet another field goal.
On their subsequent possession, the Colts drove for the clinching touchdown.
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