Washington Redskins come up short against Peyton Manning and Indianapolis Colts in 27-24 loss

Donovan McNabb and Peyton Manning face-off at FedEx Field.
By Jason Reid
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, October 18, 2010; 2:14 AM

Seeking a championship-caliber quarterback, the Washington Redskins traded for Donovan McNabb on Easter Sunday and started a process, they hope, that will one day culminate in another Super Bowl appearance for the franchise.

Early in his Redskins career, McNabb has, at times, exhibited the leadership and clutch play so lacking in these parts for so long. On Sunday night, however, the Redskins and their fans watched the position of quarterback played in its highest form as Peyton Manning led the Indianapolis Colts to a 27-24 victory.

"He's a first-ballot Hall of Famer," said cornerback DeAngelo Hall. "I don't think that was a secret."

Manning provided the difference in front of an announced crowd of 87,883 at FedEx Field. He completed 66 percent of his passes for 307 yards with two touchdowns to help the Colts, who lost three fumbles and had to hold off the Redskins in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter.

The Redskins pulled within three points, 27-24, on McNabb's eight-yard touchdown pass to rookie running back Keiland Williams with 2 minutes 46 seconds remaining in the fourth. Place kicker Graham Gano's successful point-after attempt capped a 12-play, 92-yard drive - but the Redskins would get no closer. Colts strong safety Aaron Francisco intercepted McNabb's final pass with 24 seconds showing on the clock.

McNabb wound up with 246 yards passing. But he threw two interceptions and had only a 67.5 passer rating. Manning finished with a 108.1 rating and usually displayed textbook form while making a number of difficult throws.

McNabb said the Redskins will learn from the loss.

"We've had opportunities to win all these games," he said. "Would of, could of, should of. We could say that. We're sitting right now, 3-3, so we'll do what we have to do to change that for next week to get the win."

Running back Ryan Torain was the Redskins' most impressive player on offense. The young back ran for 100 yards on 20 carries and scored two touchdowns.

McNabb failed to keep pace with Manning early as the Colts built a 10-point halftime lead, and was unable to make enough plays late to help overcome the deficit, especially after losing Pro Bowl tight end Chris Cooley, one of his favorite targets, to a concussion after the third quarter. Cooley finished with five catches for 37 yards.

The Colts outgained the Redskins in total net yards, 469 to 335, and Manning again was the biggest star on the stage.

"Basically, he's a guy that's very savvy out there," said outside linebacker Brian Orakpo, who forced a fumble while being credited with a sack of Manning. "What I mean by that is, he takes his time, he's very patient. He uses every second of the clock to read what he sees out there."

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