Redskins-Colts: Matchups to Watch

TE Dallas Clark (Andy Lyons/Getty)

Get the matchups and game plans for both teams here from the experts at the Sports XChange ...

Colts TE Dallas Clark vs. Redskins SS LaRon Landry: Clark had three receptions for 20 yards in last week's win over the Chiefs. Opposing defenses have been bracketing Indianapolis' versatile tight end, not allowing him much room to operate this season.

Redskins QB Donovan McNabb vs. Colts MLB Gary Brackett: McNabb can hurt defenses with his head, his arm and, most importantly to Indianapolis, with his legs. The Colts have done a pretty good job in past meetings with mobile quarterbacks, but McNabb presents a big challenge. Brackett is questionable after missing the week of practice.

Colts DEs Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis vs. Redskins OTs Trent Williams and Jammal Brown: The Colts have only one individual sack over the last 12 quarters, with Mathis picking that one up against Denver three weeks ago. Freeney was a force last week against the Chiefs in forcing Kansas City quarterback Matt Cassel out of the pocket. Their job this week, though, is to keep Donovan McNabb in the pocket and contain him.

Redskins FS Kareem Moore vs. Colts QB Peyton Manning: Having started just five NFL games, Moore is not going to outthink the NFL's smartest quarterback, one whom former teammate Hunter Smith called "an offensive coordinator." Moore will need plenty of help from defensive coordinator Jim Haslett and veteran signal caller London Fletcher to not be hopelessly outclassed in the battle of wits with the future Hall of Fame QB.

COLTS GAME PLAN: Be more consistent on both sides of the football. Take advantage of red-zone opportunities on offense and force turnovers on defense. The Colts have to be able to run the football well enough to keep the chains moving and to keep Washington's offense off the field. Indianapolis can't let the Redskins settle in on offense. Washington QB Donovan McNabb likes to create outside the pocket and make big plays downfield. He must be contained and that comes from a big push from the middle of the defensive line.

REDSKINS GAME PLAN: Indianapolis struggles to stop the run, but Washington is struggling at running the ball, so the focus figures to be on the passing game. QB Donovan McNabb largely looks to WR Santana Moss and TE Chris Cooley, but first-year WR Anthony Armstrong has made the longest catch in each of the past two games, so the Colts will have to watch him, too. The Colts are lousy on the ground, but as always, they are very dangerous through the air with four-time MVP Peyton Manning throwing to WRs Reggie Wayne and Austin Collie and TE Dallas Clark (107 catches, 1,272 yards and 10 touchdowns between them). Blitzes don't rattle Manning, so Washington's back seven will have to be at its best in coverage.


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