Each week Coltzilla will preview the upcoming game by speaking with fellow bloggers who write about the upcoming opponent. The Colts face the Redskins this weekend, who are 3-2 and have not hosted Indianapolis since 2002. Joining Coltzilla this week is Philip Lacovara, who previously wrote at Hogs Haven and currently blogs for the Arizona Diamondbacks at AZ Snakepit.
CZ: Freeney will be motivated to hit his friend (Donovan McNabb), how do you see the Redskins offensive line holding up against the pass rush of Freeney and Mathis? Specifically, how do you feel about the match-up of Dwight Freeney with an injured Trent Williams?
PL: O-line? What’s that? I suspect that in two-TE sets, we’ll have Fred Davis doubling up on Freeney the majority of the time (since Cooley is McNabb’s main TE target). Trent Williams and Jammal Brown have both had injury issues at OT, and I suspect that we’ll choose to double Freeney because of his rep, meaning that Mathis may out-sack him. If TW’s toe doesn’t act up, I actually think he’ll be able to hold his own fairly well against Freeney. If he can’t go, or has to leave, backup OT (and former starter) Stephon Heyer is better at run blocking and will NEED a double team to hold Freeney in check — he is NOT good at pass protecting.
Conversely, while Brown has practiced this week, if he has to leave, Heyer will get plugged in at RT and will probably get TE help against Mathis, leaving Freeney one-on-one against the rookie TW.
CZ: LaRon Landry is putting himself in the top five safeties in the NFL with his play this year. What would be the weak point of his game if there is one?
PL: Landry’s main weakness is that he is just TOO awesome for his own good.
No, but seriously, Landry hits HARD, especially while blitzing, and he’s shown a lot of ball-hawking tendencies. He’s got soft hands and can make a catch, and he really IS playing at an All-Pro level under Jim Haslett, now that he’s been moved back to his natural spot at strong safety. (Remember, the guy was drafted to play SS and pair with FS Sean Taylor, RIP) If there’s a weakness, it’s one that you’ll find with many safeties who follow that profile — coverage. He’s not a fantastic cover safety, and he’ll still occasionally whiff on a play by taking a lousy angle.
CZ: Free safety Kareem Moore has been “rusty” thus far, taking wrong angles on two plays vs. the Packers. Are you worried about this going into the game against the Colts?
LP: Kareem Moore’s return has been a godsend — not that Reed Doughty is a bad safety, but Moore’s just better. He IS a little out of practice thus far, and is learning a new defense, but he can cover and hits hard. (Witness him and DeAngelo Hall making a Vick sandwich in the Eagles game)
I’m not too terribly worried about it, per se, even against the Colts’ receivers, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see Peyton target him a few times, either.
CZ: What is your prediction for the outcome of the game on Sunday in primetime?
LP: As a Redskins fan, I wanna pick the home team — Snyder’s going all-out to make it a big “Homecoming” event — and this IS a team that is coming together, slowly. A lot will depend on whether the Skins can continue to keep a positive turnover ratio against the banged-up Colts, and whether Shanahan Squared’s run offense continues to progress. Knowing Shanny, he can turn Ryan Torain into a 1000-yard rusher this season. I don’t have a lot of confidence in Jim Haslett’s defense being able to confuse Peyton, so when the Colts have the ball, this will be a battle over whose players are better. But while Peyton Manning is 2-1 against the Redskins, Donovan McNabb is 0-2 against Peyton. I think this will be a shootout, and I think Colts injuries will make it closer than it should be. I’ll take the Colts to win, 27-20, at FedEx.