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2018 Colts Season Preview: Colts/Redskins, Week 2

2014_1130_WAS_3953

INDIANAPOLIS — Heading into this matchup between the Indianapolis Colts and Washington Redskins, both fan bases will still be experiencing some newness.

The Colts should be in the second week of welcoming quarterback Andrew Luck back to the playing field while the Redskins will be getting used to Alex Smith after the last few years of Kirk Cousins.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

  • Sunday, Sept. 16, at 1 p.m. ET
  • Landover, Md. (FedExField)
  • TV — CBS

ALL-TIME SERIES

  • Colts lead, 20-10. Have won four of the last five dating back to 1999.
  • Last game — Week 13 of 2014. Colts won, 49-27.

COACHING STAFF

Colts:

  • HC Frank Reich
  • OC Nick Sirianni
  • DC Matt Eberflus
  • STC Bubba Ventrone

Redskins:

  • HC Jay Gruden
  • OC Matt Cavanaugh
  • DC Greg Manusky
  • STC Ben Kotwica

KEY NEW FACES

Colts:

  • OG Quenton Nelson
  • TE Eric Ebron
  • WR Ryan Grant
  • RB Nyheim Hines
  • DT/DE Denico Autry

Redskins:

  • QB Alex Smith
  • RB Derrius Guice
  • WR Paul Richardson
  • DT Da’Ron Payne
  • OLB Pernell McPhee

OTHER SIGNIFICANT CHANGES

Colts:

  • The Colts got an almost entirely new coaching staff this offseason, and general manager Chris Ballard went into his second offseason of flipping the roster.
  • With the coaching change came a switch to a 4-3, Tampa-2 style defense from the hybrid 3-4 defense.
  • From 2017 to 2018, there could be as many as a dozen or more new starters.
  • One of those new starters will be at running back. Frank Gore is now on the Miami Dolphins, so a new face will be stepping into the starting tailback spot.

Redskins:

  • It’s been mostly Robert Griffin III or Kirk Cousins under center for Washington since 2012, but this year the Alex Smith Era begins.
  • Washington’s receiver corps has changed quite a bit in the last few years. Out are the likes of DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garçon and Terrelle Pryor, and now Josh Doctson and Paul Richardson will be relied upon to man the boundaries with Jamison Crowder in the slot. Can rookies Trey Quinn and Simmie Cobbs crack the lineup?
  • How will Washington's secondary look after the departures of cornerbacks Bashaud Breeland and Kendall Fuller? After selecting cornerback Adonis Alexander in the sixth round of the supplemental draft, will he be ready to see any action on defense yet?

EARLY STORYLINES

  • Andrew Luck — This should be week two of Andrew Luck's return. How does he look so far?
  • Colts Running Backs Getting The Job Done? — Colts running back Robert Turbin, who is suspended for the first four games of the season, usually carries short-yardage and pass protection duty. Will the other Colts running backs successfully pick up the slack?
  • Offensive Additions — The Colts added former Redskins wide receiver Ryan Grant this offseason as well as former Detroit Lions tight end Eric Ebron. They also drafted running backs Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins, receivers Reece Fountain and Deon Cain as well as offensive guards Quenton Nelson and Braden Smith. As for Washington, with Alex Smith at quarterback and the addition of Derrius Guice at running back to go with Chris Thompson, Samaje Perine and Rob Kelley, will the Redskins try to establish a heavy dose of the run game? We'll also need to keep an eye on new Redskins receiver Paul Richardson. How are all these new offensive additions performing?

INTRIGUING MATCHUPS

  • Colts WR T.Y. Hilton/Ryan Grant vs. Redskins CB Josh Norman — It's a matchup of one of the NFL's best wideouts in Hilton against one of its best corners in Norman. This should also be the first time Grant faces Norman after the two were teammates the last two years in Washington. Will they get under each other's skin, or will it be cordial?
  • Colts OG Quenton Nelson vs. Redskins DL Da’Ron Payne/Jonathan Allen — The Colts' young stud guard faces off against the Redskins' defensive counterparts in former Alabama teammates Allen and Payne. It's a battle in the trenches of early first-round picks.
  • Colts DE Tarell Basham vs. Redskins OT Trent Williams — During the spring, Colts second-year edge rusher Basham ran with the theoretical first team at right defensive end. If he keeps that up and earns the starting spot then this is his first big test. Many consider "Silverback" to be the best left tackle in the league.
  • Colts S Malik Hooker vs. Redskins QB Alex Smith — Smith is partly known for his ability to take care of the football, as he hasn't thrown 10 interceptions in a season since 2010. Hooker's playmaking ability is definitely at an elite level. Will Smith be able to keep the ball out of Hooker's hands, or will the second-year safety have to find another way to affect the game?

RETURNING LEADERS

Colts:

  • Passing — QB Jacoby Brissett (3,098 yards)
  • Rushing — RB Marlon Mack (358 yards)
  • Receiving — WR T.Y. Hilton (966 yards)
  • Touchdowns — QB Jacoby Brissett, WR T.Y. Hilton, TE Jack Doyle (4)
  • Tackles — LB Antonio Morrison (108 total)
  • Sacks — DE Jabaal Sheard (5.5)
  • Interceptions — S Malik Hooker (3)

Redskins:

  • Passing — N/A (Cousins the only player to throw a pass last year)
  • Rushing — RB Samaje Perine (603 yards)
  • Receiving — WR Jamison Crowder (789 yards)
  • Touchdowns — WR Josh Doctson (6)
  • Tackles — ILB Zach Brown (127)
  • Sacks — OLB Ryan Kerrigan (13.0)
  • Interceptions — S D.J. Swearinger (4)

COMPARING 2017 STATS

Colts:

  • Total offense — 31st (284.8 YPG)
  • Scoring offense — 30th (16.4 PPG)
  • Passing offense — 30th (180.8 YPG)
  • Running offense — 22nd (103.8 YPG)
  • Total defense — 30th (367.1 YPG)
  • Scoring defense — 30th (25.2 PPG)
  • Passing defense — 28th (246.6 YPG)
  • Sacks — 31st (25)
  • Running defense — 26th (120.4 YPG)
  • Time of possession — 22nd (29:41)
  • Turnover margin — 13th (+5)

Redskins:

  • Total offense — 16th (324.9 YPG)
  • Scoring offense — 16th (21.4 PPG)
  • Passing offense — 12th (234.4 YPG)
  • Running offense — 28th (90.5 YPG)
  • Total defense — 21st (347.9 YPG)
  • Scoring defense — 27th (24.2 PPG)
  • Passing defense — 9th (213.8 YPG)
  • Sacks — 7th (42)
  • Running defense — 32nd (134.1 YPG)
  • Time of possession — 20th (29:45)
  • Turnover margin — 23rd (-4)

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