CANTON, Ohio —Rookie Colt Brennan threw two touchdown passes in the second half for Washington, and Matterral Richardson returned an interception 38 yards for a touchdown to rally the Redskins for a 30-16 victory against the Indianapolis Colts in Sunday’s Hall of Fame Game.
The victory capped a three-day celebration in which two of the Redskins most revered players, Art Monk and Darrell Green, were inducted into the Hall of Fame along with former Kansas City cornerback and Redskins assistant coach Emmitt Thomas. The other inductees were linebacker Andre Tippett, tackle Gary Zimmerman and defensive end Fred Dean.
For new coach Jim Zorn, it gave him a victory in his debut as a head coach.
The Colts played without seven starters, including injured two-time league MVP Peyton Manning, 2007 defensive player of the year Bob Sanders, former league sacks champion Dwight Freeney and record-setting receiver Marvin Harrison.
The Redskins started fast, getting a 3-play touchdown drive that ended with Antwaan Randle El making a spinning 20-yard TD catch.
But the Redskins managed only one other first half score—when Colts rookie Jamey Richard snapped the ball over the head of quarterback Quinn Gray and it rolled through the end zone.
Washington’s defense, however, forced Indy to kick three field goals after time-consuming drives, and that kept it close enough for Brennan, the record-breaking quarterback out of Hawaii, to change the game.
He entered midway through the third quarter, trailing 16-9, and responded with a 20-yard TD pass to Maurice Mann, on his first series. Brennan again got the Redskins in scoring position on the next series, finally scrambling around long enough to find Marcus Mason for a 5-yard TD pass with 10:22 left to make it 23-16.
Richardson sealed it with his interception return.
The game had all the earmarks of the league’s opening preseason game— penalties, mistakes, and, yes, a plethora of backups since both teams were short-handed.
Jim Sorgi ran the Colts first-team offense with Manning still recovering from last month’s knee surgery. The Colts expect Manning to be ready for the regular season.
After two offensive plays, they also lost Pro Bowl running back Joseph Addai with a head injury. And after the 16-play first series, the Colts went exclusively with subs.
Washington was in even worse shape.
Defensively, they played without all four starting defensive linemen, including new acquisition Jason Taylor; linebackers London Fletcher and Rocky McIntosh, cornerback Carlos Rogers and safety LaRon Landry. Also missing were Washington’s two top running backs—Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts—and rookie receiver Devin Thomas, their top draft pick.
Adam Vinatieri kicked two field goals and Adam Crossett one for Indy, with the only touchdown coming on a 30-yard TD pass from Gray to Onrea Jones.
Zorn kept Washington’s perfect record in Hall of Fame Games intact. The Redskins are now 5-0 in Canton.
Indy, winners of five straight AFC South titles, lost its fourth straight preseason opener.