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5 plays that decided Redskins vs. Colts

5 plays that decided Redskins vs. Colts

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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With 2 TDs in 2 games, Josh Doctson headlines Redskins stock report

With 2 TDs in 2 games, Josh Doctson headlines Redskins stock report

After an important road win in Tampa, the Redskins stock is soaring. The team is 6-3 and two games up in the NFC East.

For individual players, Josh Doctson headlines the stock surge but a pair of defenders are moving the other way. Let's dig into the Redskins stock report.

Stock up - Josh Doctson - The third-year wide receiver has scored in two straight games and has caught seven of 10 balls thrown his way. The yardage numbers don't jump off the page, but all four catches in Tampa were important. Further, Doctson rebounded from a tough game against Atlanta where he dropped two passes and got flagged for a (wrong) taunting penalty. Most impressive with Doctson? The touchdown in Tampa came off schedule and showed that he kept working back to his QB once the play broke down. That will garner more trust from Alex Smith, and maybe more chances for big plays down the backstretch of the year.

Stock down - Danny Johnson - For an undrafted free agent out of Southern, Johnson has had a remarkable season. In Tampa, he did not have a remarkable game and got replaced on the field by Greg Stroman. Let Jay Gruden explain, "Danny had a good week of practice. He filled in for Stroman when Stroman had the hip issue last week and we thought we'd give Danny a shot to start. Danny was playing a little soft [coverage] there for a little while, so we decided to give Stroman a crack at it." Once Stroman got in, he grabbed an interception and had a nice pass breakup downfield. Johnson has a firm roster spot - the Redskins just released Josh Holsey - but looks like he fell behind Stroman on the depth chart. 

Stock up - Kapri Bibbs - With Chris Thompson on the shelf and a murky timetable for his return, Bibbs is getting more and more chances on the field. And increasingly, he's delivering when he gets looks. Against Tampa, he ran the ball three times for 28 yards and added two catches for 13 yards. He also had a huge gain just before halftime, the Redskins first big chunk play in weeks that Bibbs took after a screen pass, but it got called back on a holding flag. 

Stock down - Pernell McPhee - No player wants to be a healthy scratch, but that's just what happened to McPhee last week in Tampa. Jay Gruden explained: "Unfortunately I had to sit McPhee, not performance related, but just I had to get another body on the offensive line because we're banged up." It was mostly a work of roster construction that landed McPhee on the inactive list, but still, Cassanova McKinzy made the active roster after being on the practice squad. McKinzy showed some ability rushing the passer, and he can play special teams. This could be a situation worth monitoring. 

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Dustin Hopkins isn't 100-percent so the Redskins reportedly worked out five kickers

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Dustin Hopkins isn't 100-percent so the Redskins reportedly worked out five kickers

Lost in the fact that Tress Way is having a stellar season is that his fellow specialist, Dustin Hopkins, is getting it done, too.

The Redskins' kicker has made 17 of 19 field goals so far in 2018, giving him an 89.5-percent conversion rate on kicks. Against Carolina, he nailed a career-long 56-yarder, plus he's 17-for-17 on extra points.

But on Tuesday, a report came out saying that Hopkins is "a bit banged up." As of now, the Redskins don't know if they'll have Hopkins or not this weekend vs. the Texans, which is why they worked out five kickers five days before the Houston matchup, per Field Yates.

Among the group of free agents was former 'Skin Kai Forbath, who made 32-of-38 three-pointers for the Vikings in 2017. He was with the Burgundy and Gold from 2012-2014 and also briefly in 2015. 

Washington also reportedly tried out two maligned kickers in Roberto Aguayo and Blair Walsh. 

The Bucs drafted Aguayo in the second round of the 2016 draft but he flamed out in Tampa and was gone after a single year and poor 2017 preseason. Walsh, meanwhile, hasn't been the same since missing a 27-yard game winning playoff attempt versus Seattle while he was with Minnesota.  

Rounding out the group was Sam Ficken and Jon Brown.

The Redskins have been very reliant on both Hopkins and Way this season, seeing as their offense has had its issues. They've needed Hopkins to cash in on field goals to avoid wasting points and Way to help win the field position battle each week.

For some franchises, losing a kicker for a week or two wouldn't be much of a problem. And while Washington could very well be OK without Hopkins, they'd rather not have to bring in a new foot for any amount of time.

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