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Redskins schedule preview: Will Andrew Luck play a role vs. Washington in Week 2?

Redskins schedule preview: Will Andrew Luck play a role vs. Washington in Week 2?

We’re previewing every game of the 2018 season with a look forward and a look back. Up today, the Indianapolis Colts. 

Week 2, September 16, FedEx Field

2017 Colts: 4-12, tied for third in AFC South 

Projected 2018 wins per Westgate SuperBook: 6.5

Key additions: G Quinton Nelson, TE Eric Ebron, WR Ryan Grant

Key losses: RB Frank Gore, LB Jon Bostic

Notable: QB Andrew Luck missed all of the 2017 season with a shoulder injury.

Biggest questions: 

  • Will Luck, who has not thrown a regulation NFL football since his injury, bounce back and become a top QB?
  • Can RB’s Marlin Mack and rookie Nyheim Hines adequately place the aging but productive Gore?
  • Will former Redskins WR Ryan Grant get it done was one of the top two receiving options?

Key matchup: Redskins’ secondary vs. Luck and WR T.Y. Hilton

Series history

Colts lead the all-time series 20-10; the recent trend has Indy with three straight wins and four of the last five.

Series notables

The first time: October 25, 1953, Memorial Stadium — The Redskins rallied from a 10-point deficit to pull within 20-17 on a 10-yard Charlie Justice touchdown run. But the defense could not hold, and the Colts clinched a 27-17 with a late touchdown run. 

The last time: November 30, 2014, Lucas Oil Stadium — Colt McCoy got the start and he passed for 392 yards and three touchdowns. But the Redskins defense didn’t show up as Luck and the Colts got out to a 21-3 lead in the second quarter and never looked back in a 49-27 win. 

The best time: October 27, 2002, FedEx Field — Remember the time that Shane Matthews outdueled Peyton Manning and Steve Spurrier outcoached Tony Dungy? Manning and Matthew both threw for just over 200 yards and two touchdowns, but Manning threw two interceptions to none for Matthews. The real difference in Washington’s 26-21 win was on the ground. Indy’s Edgerrin James ran for just 33 yards while for the Redskins’ Stephen Davis got 80 and Kenny Watson chipped in 67.

The worst time: December 22, 1990, Hoosier Dome — The Redskins rushed for 223 yards and held the ball for nearly 40 minutes, but they could not put the Colts away. Washington took a 25-14 lead early in the fourth quarter on a 53-yard TD pass from Mark Rypien to Gary Clark. But the Colts eventually tied it up on a Jeff George touchdown pass. Then with Rypien trying to set up a winning field goal with a minute left, Rypien threw an interception to Alan Grant, who bolted untouched down the sideline for a 35-28 Colts win. 

More 2018 Redskins

- 53-man roster: The Redskins' roster bubble — Offense
- The draft: Grading the Redskins' draft
- The O-line: Lauvao is back
- The buzz: Fans approve of draft picks Guice, Payne

Redskins schedule series

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Vernon Davis pulls off memorable proposal in Ocean City

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USA Today Sports Images

Vernon Davis pulls off memorable proposal in Ocean City

Vernon Davis has long been a fan favorite in the D.C. area since his University of Maryland days. The 34-year-old is almost always well-dressed and respectful to the media. 

More recently, he has been outspoken about his interest in acting after his football career. A true renaissance man who just so happens to be a force in the National Football League. 

In April, NBC Sports Washington ran into Davis at the Team USA Awards where he was serving as guest speaker. 

He took his smooth nature to a whole new level Tuesday while vacationing in Ocean City, Md. with his girlfriend Kayla. 

Dressed in all white on the beach, Davis proposed in an epic way. 

The best motivation I ever had. #shesmyrock

A post shared by Vernon Davis (@vernondavis85) on

Check out the whole video produced below. We won't spoil it for you, but there were skydivers involved. Take a look: 

Davis will suit up for his third season with the Redskins when training camp opens July 26 in Richmond. 

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Redskins 2018 position outlook: Inside linebacker

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Bob Youngentob for NBC Sports Washington

Redskins 2018 position outlook: Inside linebacker

Redskins Training camp opens next week, and we have a break here, giving us time to put the depth chart under the microscope.

Between now and the start of camp, we will look at every position, compare the group to the rest of the NFL, see if the position has been upgraded or downgraded from last year, and take out the crystal ball to see what might unfold.

Inside linebackers

Additions: Shaun Dion Hamilton (drafted in the fifth round)

Departures: Will Compton (free agent)

Starters: Zach Brown, Mason Foster

Other roster locks: Josh Harvey-Clemons

On the bubble: Hamilton, Zach Vigil, Martrell Spaight

How the inside linebackers compare

To the rest of the NFL: This is a difficult comparison to make since only about half of the teams use the 3-4 with two inside linebackers and there are many variations when they go out of their base defense. Brown certainly is in the upper tier of players at his position. Foster’s skill set may not be coveted by many teams around the league, but he is a perfect fit in the Redskins’ defense in many ways. The player who could differentiate this group from others around the league is Harvey-Clemons. If he turns into a top-notch nickel LB the inside linebackers will be a great asset. 

To the 2017 Redskins:  This is about health. In 2017, Foster missed 11 games, Brown was hampered by a variety of injuries before sitting out the last three games. Compton was the top backup to both players and he went to injured reserve after just three starts. They did re-sign Vigil, who had spent training camp with the team, and he played pretty well near the end of the season. If the front-line players can stay on the field for most of the season this should be a much better group than the one that was partially responsible for the league’s 32nd-ranked rushing defense. 

2018 Inside linebacker outlook

Biggest upside: The 2017 season was supposed to be a redshirt year for Harvey-Clemons as he transitions from college safety to NFL linebacker. He played a lot in the base defense during the offseason practices and that indicates that they are considering him for a bigger role beyond just playing nickel. You have to wonder how his size (6-4, 230) will affect his ability to get off of blocks. 

Most to prove: Spaight was a fifth-round pick in 2015 and he has yet to establish a regular role in the defense. It was telling that when they needed someone to start in the latter part of last year they brought back and started Vigil and mostly kept Spaight is going into the last year of his contract, but it would not be surprising to see Vigil beat him out for the last roster spot.  

Rookie watch: The Redskins traded up in the sixth round to get Hamilton. It wasn’t a blockbuster deal but the fact that they thought enough of him to move up says something. Gruden has said that he thinks Hamilton could be a starter at some point. He was one of the leaders on a strong Alabama defense before injuries struck. Hamilton is not going to start this year barring multiple injuries, but he should develop a role as the season goes on and be ready to compete in 2019.

Bottom line: The Redskins have not invested much in terms of free agent dollars or draft capital in the inside linebacker position in recent seasons. That changed somewhat this offseason as they made sure to spend to retain Brown and Foster. Neither commanded a huge contract but they did make a commitment and that is important. Last year Brown gave the defense a sideline-to-sideline dimension it hasn’t had in quite some time and retaining him was critical. Inside linebacker may not be a major strength for the defense this year but it should be able to get the job done. 

2018 Redskins position outlook series