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Brian Eller

More from Washington's loss to the Colts


It's not often we get to see Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning make mistakes, particularly the past couple of seasons. He's usually so mechanical, remembering several plays at a time and always able to adjust to what defenses are throwing at him.

Sunday night, however, we caught a glimpse of a less-than-perfect Manning. In the first half, Manning offered up more than one opportunity for the Redskins to force a turnover and each time Lady Luck graced the football, keeping the Redskins from capitalizing.

One man in particular should be feeling a little down today. That man is Redskins cornerback Carlos Rogers. Early on in Sunday's loss to the Colts, Rogers had two chances to haul in a would-be Manning interception. The first, in my mind, was an interception, but thanks to one of the dumbest rules in the NFL, it was ruled an incomplete pass. As Manning aired a pass to wide receiver Austin Collie, Rogers made a leaping catch, but couldn't hold onto the ball as it smacked the ground and bounced out of his hands.

The referee came over and immediately signaled it was an incomplete pass, while Colts coach Jim Caldwell argued he had maintained possession.

Why would Caldwell argue this?

After Rogers hit the ground, the ball popped out, causing Collie to jump on it. Caldwell argued Rogers had picked Manning off, then fumbled the ball, giving the Colts possession as if it had just been a completed pass from Manning to Collie in the first place. The decision stood, however, letting Redskins fans breathe a sigh of relief.

A little while later, Rogers again was in position to steal a pass from Manning, this time on a short throw to tight end Dallas Clark. Rogers did a good job of spotting the pass, and jumped up to take it. He made contact with the ball, but Clark was just as aggressive, making sure Rogers couldn't hold onto it for the interception.

They were two plays that may not have resulted in anything, but they could've transformed Manning's approach to the remainder of the game. Instead, the Colts did, in fact, intercept Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb, followed by a one-play scoring drive in which Manning tossed a 57-yard pass to Pierre Garcon.

With the 27-24 loss, Washington now sits at 3-3, trailing Philadelphia and New York in the NFC East. Dallas dropped the Panic Bowl to fall to 1-4, but fans shouldn't count them out quite yet. As for the Redskins, Sunday's loss was closer than I predicted and left room for optimism in the nation's capital. But hopefully Rogers will spend this week trying to hold onto the ball -- that way when he does jump a route, it ends in a turnover.




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