Colts-Redskins Notebook; Colts Win 27-24 on Road
ADDAI LEADS RUSHING ATTACK
Joseph Addai passed former Colts running back Randy McMillan (3,876) for eighth place all-time on the Colts career rushing list with his 17-carry, 128-yard performance Sunday night.
And more importantly, Addai helped lead the Colts to a 27-24 win over Washington at FedExField, improving the Colts to 4-2 as the team heads into its bye week.
Addai rushed nine times for 43 yards in the first half and took off for the longest run of his career--his previous best was 41 yards as a rookie against Cincinnati in 2006--in the third quarter.
On first-and-10 from the Indianapolis 34-yard line, Addai went over the left side of the Colts offensive line for a 46-yard burst. Three plays later, he charged up the center of the line for a 13-yard score to put the Colts up 24-14.
"I thought Addai's two runs on that one touchdown drive were just huge," Peyton Manning told NBC field reporter Andrea Kremer following the game. "At that point it really put a little pressure on Washington because it says, 'Hey, they can do more than just throw the ball, they can run it,' and that keeps the defense off balance."
It was Addai's eighth career 100-plus yard performance and his third-best effort after running for 171 yards versus Philadelphia in 2006 and 136 yards against Denver in 2007.
"Joe was excellent," Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell told Colts Radio. "He gave it an unbelievable effort out there and had some big runs. You'd also have to give some kudos to our offensive line as well."
Indianapolis' offensive line opened up holes throughout the game for Addai and Mike Hart, allowing the pair to compile 170 yards on 29 carries. That total more than doubled the Colts' rushing average for the season.
"I thought Joe and Mike both did a great job of making cuts," Colts center Jeff Saturday said. "We blocked them up pretty good. Any time you come in on the road and run the ball you will have a chance to win."
Indianapolis' defense has held strong when it has meant most.
In the red zone. And on third down.
The past two games, the Colts have held Kansas City and Washington to a paltry five-of-23 third-down conversions. The Chiefs were 1-of-10 for 10 percent two weeks ago and Washington converted four-of-13 third downs for 31 percent Sunday night.
"There were a couple of times when (Washington) had pretty good field position and (the defense) was able to hold them to a field goal, and I think that is something our team has been able to do off and on," Caldwell told Colts Radio. "They were pretty good on third down stops as well."
Several Colts defenders came up big when the defense needed a big play.
Indianapolis turned a Jerraud Powers' interception into a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, and Powers continued to play effectively throughout. Powers totaled a team-high 11 tackles, had two tackles for losses and two passes defensed.
"Defensively, to get a pick early and get some confidence and some momentum going on our team," Powers told Colts Radio. "You see when we get a pick and (get) the ball to Peyton, the next play, touchdown. (If) we can cause more turnovers and give the ball to Peyton, we are going to be all right."
Colts safety Aaron Francisco, starting his second consecutive game after joining the team as a free agent October 5, clinched the game with his one-handed interception of Donovan McNabb with :32 remaining. The interception was his first as a Colt and the third of his career.
"It was definitely great to come back here in my second game back from some time off and make a big play in the game and send us off to a good bye week," said Francisco, who had seven tackles.
Both forced turnovers impressed Caldwell.
"Some great interceptions, both guys had one-handed interceptions," Caldwell said. "Jerraud's was unbelievable and obviously Aaron's was nice on the sideline and just in the nick of time as well."
"EXCITED TO GET BETTER"
Rookie middle linebacker Pat Angerer, filling in for Gary Brackett, also had a strong performance in his first career start.
Angerer broke up a pass on third-and-10 with just over two minutes remaining in the game to force a fourth-and-10 that Washington would fail to convert. He also recorded the first sack of his NFL career, dropping McNabb for an 8-yard loss in the first half.
But Angerer, who tied Powers with 11 tackles on the night, recognized for all the good he did, there always is room for improvement.
"There were some plays that I didn't make so it goes both ways," Angerer told Colts radio. "I felt like I did some good things, and obviously I made some mistakes. There is definitely room to grow and I'm excited to get better."
BIG PLAY THREAT IN BIG GAMES
Following Powers' interception on Washington's first possession of the game, Peyton Manning immediately targeted receiver Pierre Garcon.
That target gave the Colts back-to-back big plays and a 7-0 lead.
As Garcon sprinted down the right sideline, splitting two Redskins defenders, Manning placed the ball perfectly on his hands for a 57-yard touchdown.
It was Garcon's longest touchdown reception of his three-year career, but not by much.
He caught his first career touchdown pass at Miami last season on Monday Night Football, going 48 yards for the winning score in the Colts' 27-23 victory.
The next week at Arizona in a Colts 31-10 win over the Cardinals on Sunday Night Football, Garcon caught a 53-yard touchdown pass.
And while Garcon's 57-yard touchdown was his most important play Sunday night at Washington, his most impressive catch came on a one-handed grab in the second quarter.
Slipping behind a Redskins cornerback and in front of their safety, Garcon leapt high into the air, reaching up with his right hand and plucking it out of the air. While falling to the ground he cradled the pass for a catch and a 21-yard gain.
The catch was impressive on several television replays, but Caldwell said it was quite impressive from his vantage point as well.
"You don't see those very often, but he did an unbelievable job of leaving his feet and pulling that in," Caldwell said.
Garcon's description of the catch following the game was a bit more modest.
"I just reached my hand up and tried to grab it and it just stuck, really stuck to my gloves," Garcon said. "I tried to get up and get a touchdown out of it and the guy hit me after I got up."
Garcon finished with four catches for 103 yards, his third career 100-plus-yard game.
-Indianapolis has now won six of its last seven games heading into the bye week.
-Peyton Manning threw for 300-plus yards for the 60th time in his career, completing 25-of-38 passes for 307 yards and two touchdowns for a 108.1 QB rating.
-Reggie Wayne needs five yards to become the 34th player in NFL history to amass 10,000 career receiving yards.
- Three Colts' defenders had double digit tackles: Jerraud Powers (11), Pat Angerer (11) and Clint Session (10).
-Austin Collie has six touchdowns in six games this season. Collie had in his rookie season in 2009.
-Pat Angerer registered the first sack of his NFL career, an 8-yard loss.
-Robert Mathis recorded 1.5 sacks, giving him a team-high 5.5 for the season.
-Jerraud Powers recorded his third career interception in the first quarter.