Like last week, I was able to speak with a Featured Columnist for the Green Bay Packers who could provide some insider information on what to expect from Green Bay and get an outsider view on the Redskins.
I am continuing that again this week.
The Redskins are playing the Indianapolis Colts this week, with Peyton Manning and crew coming to town I personally know more than a few people who are frightened by Manning vs. the Skins secondary.
Colts Featured Columnist Alek Frost was kind enough to answer a few questions for me. For all your Colts knowledge and to see the answers to his questions that I provided you can check out his page here.
Here is this weeks questions:
Brandon Keener—Joseph Addai has been looked at as just an average running back by many of the other teams around the league but he is still on pace to match the stats he had last year, or come close to it. I know he has been battling some injuries this season. Will this cause problems for him against the Redskins run defense and what do you think we can expect from him on Sunday?
Joseph Addai is like your first car, you know at one point he was brand new and ran like a dream but now he’s a little older, has some wear and tear and although he can still get from point A to point B, he’s just not as electrifying as he was years ago. Last week he was replaced by Mike Hart after injuring his right shoulder, he says his shoulder and neck are sore but he might be able to manage.
Hart did a terrific job on Sunday after Addai went down and remember that the Colts’ bye week is in week seven. So if Addai missed this game it wouldn’t shock me. He should play but splitting carries with Hart is a likely scenario.
BK—Peyton Manning is still one of the best, if not the best, quarterbacks in the NFL. He has plenty of weapons at his fingertips. Do you see him having a monster day against Washington’s weak secondary that let Matt Schaub pick them apart in Week 2?
Peyton Manning struggled to find his receivers against Kansas City, a rarity as you eluded to but still a bit of a concern. The oddest part about his mediocre performance on Sunday was that he wasn’t under constant pressure like in previous weeks, it just seemed something was off.
I do believe he will have a bounce back week against the ’Skins but his numbers will not be as gaudy as in week one against the Texans, expect more of a performance like he had against Jacksonville.
BK—I saw in the preseason how the hurry up offense that the Colts like to run was hindered a little bit because of how the referees are positioning themselves now. Is this still a problem the Colts are struggling to overcome?
The NFL adjusted the position of the official again after complaints from Peyton and others, and the change seems to have eliminated most of the timing issues teams have with the speed of ball placement in the hurry-up offense. It may have a small effect a few times a game but I haven’t noticed it being a big problem.
The biggest issue for the Colts isn’t official placement or how it affects their pace, I would say their biggest issue right now is on the defensive end of the ball. Manning and the Colts cannot be expected to average 28-30 points a game to win, it won’t happen. This defense is 29th in rush defense and 23rd in total yardage. The bend and break defense is in full effect.
BK—Antoine Bethea is a hometown guy who attended college at Howard University in Washington D.C. Aside from him, who is the best player the Colts have in their secondary with the status of Bob Sanders always up in the air while he battles his numerous injuries?
Jerraud Powers without a doubt is a big part of this secondary, he performed admirably last year as a rookie and is continuing to impress in 2010. He currently has 23 tackles and one interception and has big play ability when he gets his hands on the ball.
He should continue to progress and it wouldn’t surprise me if he earned a few Pro Bowl selections down the road.
BK—When talking about the best tight ends in the NFL, the two taking the field on Sunday have to be considered in the top five. Dallas Clark is an amazing talent and a textbook style tight end who always provides a big target for Peyton Manning, just like Chris Cooley does for Donovan McNabb here in D.C. Do you see Clark having a big day? Or will Manning try to spread the field to different wide receivers?
Dallas Clark is one of many “go-to-guys” for Peyton Manning, (you can add Austin Collie to that list) but I still see him having a huge day against the Redskins’ secondary. Clark only had three receptions against the Chiefs last week and those type of numbers are highly unusual for the former Iowa Hawkeye.
On the season he has 31 receptions for 295 yards and three touchdowns. I suspect he will will get 10 plus targets in this game and improve on last week’s numbers.
So what does all this mean for the Redskins this week? It appears that with Hart and Addai splitting carries, if Addai plays at all, their calls will be limited and Peyton Manning is going to be throwing a lot of passes all over the place. Let's hope the secondary is ready for them.
Again, a special thanks to Alek Frost for helping out this week and on this article.