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The gameplan heading into the game last night was, at least on the defensive side of the ball, was a fairly simple one; get to Peyton Manning. Spend as much time in the backfield as you possibly can, and make sure that whomever is in charge of washing Peyton's jersey after the game has his work cut out for him.
Manning attempted 38 passes last night, so there were plenty of opportunities for the Redskins to get pressure on him; but the Skins just couldn't make it happen. They only had one sack (from Orakpo, obviously) and the box score shows that that sack was the only hit the Skins got on Manning all night.
Having said that, Manning still didn't have a particularly outstanding game, and if the defensive secondary could hold onto the ball we might be having a very different conversation this morning. But when Manning needed to stand in the pocket and deliver a pass at the most crucial parts of the game he had ample time to do so.
Manning threw for over 300 yards and two scores, always keeping the score just far enough out of reach. The Skins forced Manning into a sub-par night, at least by his terms, but they just weren't able to get the type of defensive pressure that forces turnovers and changes field position.
Even with all of that the Redskins still came within three points of what would have been a very respectable win. But who knows how a few extra hits or knock downs of Manning would have changed the outcome of that game.
Today's must-reads from around the SB Nation network:
- Testudo Times hands out grades from the the Terps' loss to Clemson this weekend.
- Nats GM Mike Rizzo wants to get a front line starter this offseason. Federal Baseball is trying to figure out how he might go about doing that.
- SB Nation has all the latest on the first BCS rankings of the year.
On tap today on SB Nation D.C.: