INDIANAPOLIS — Washington Redskins free safety Ryan Clark expected to have a restless night of sleep on Sunday, seeing wide-open Colts as he tossed and turned.
A few of his mates in the secondary might have been in similar straits after a series of breakdowns in the defensive backfield helped Indianapolis to a 49-27 romp at Lucas Oil Stadium.
“It’s embarrassing to be a part of, it’s embarrassing to be a leader of a group of individuals that plays like that, including myself,” said Clark, a 13-year NFL veteran. “You don’t give the rest of the team a chance to play. You don’t give the rest of your team an opportunity to win the game.
“It’s not a situation where you are getting beat because a guy is better. You’re not doing your job and that’s to a man in the secondary. Everyone has to be accountable. You’re not supposed to sleep on Sunday night when it goes like this. I don’t.”
Clark said until everyone approaches their job that way, it’s going to keep happening. However, Clark was quick to add he believes everyone is working hard.
“I love these dudes,” he said. “I love the way they work and the way they prepare. But we have to bring it to the grass as a group. I’m not saying people don’t take it as hard as I take it. What I’m saying is we all should feel bad right now. I’m sure everyone does.”
Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck delivered touchdown passes of 48, 73 and 79 yards, all on blown coverage. The Redskins dodged one bullet when Colts tight end Coby Fleener was wide open on a long pass but dropped the ball.
The 35-year-old Clark said the shuffling of players in the secondary because of injuries hasn’t helped. On Sunday, cornerback Chase Minnifield left the game with a concussion in the first quarter. Minnifield was playing because Tracy Porter suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in the previous game. Strong safety Brandon Meriweather had to depart with a toe sprain in the second quarter
“You start off the season with a certain plan and a certain group of people,” Clark said. “Now we’re playing with guys that weren’t even on this team weeks ago. We need to communicate better. When we have new guys out there who maybe haven’t got as many practice reps, we got to communicate on everything. We have to over- communicate.”
Washington coach Jay Gruden was at a loss to explain the reason for the breakdowns.
“One was a basic three-deep call and we don’t have anybody in the deep third,” Gruden said. “One was a Cover 2 call and we don’t have a safety playing a half. Players have to start stepping up and taking some accountability at some point. We’ve got to do a better job coaching. To have those guys wide open like that is unheard of on simple coverage calls.”
Gruden said it is different guy who is making the mistake each time.
“In fairness to them, they’re young back there,” Gruden said. “It’s a young group back there other than Ryan Clark so mistakes are going to be had, but we’ve just got to keep coaching.”
Second-year cornerback David Amerson was in the middle of two breakdowns. He was beaten on Donte Moncrief’s 48-yard touchdown catch and broke off his coverage on Moncrief’s 79-yard TD and a safety didn’t come over in time.
“Don’t get me wrong, [Luck is] a great quarterback, but we gave him 21 points,” Amerson said. “Anytime that happens it’s going to be an embarrassment like it was out there.”
Amerson threw his hands up in frustration after getting beaten on a Moncrief’s 48-yard TD catch.
“It was my fault. I wasn’t actually playing the route, I played the sticks,” Amerson said. “He was down a seam and I took my eyes off.
“If they just beat you it’s one thing but when you mentally beating yourself it’s frustrating. We’re beating ourselves. That’s the worse thing you can do.”
Amerson said the most important thing is not to have mental errors and the Redskins had some major lapses.
“You just got to take it on the chin, deal with it, fix it and not let it happen again,” Amerson said.
The 49 points were the most surrendered by the Redskins since Nov. 15, 2010 (a 59-28 home loss to Philadelphia). The 487 yards the Redskins allowed were the most since giving up 580 at Green Bay last season. Luck threw for 370 yards.
“When you’re playing a guy like Andrew Luck you can’t let guys run free, period,” Clark said. “It’s on each player to be there where they are supposed to be. We’re professionals. That’s what we’re called upon to do, that’s what we’re paid to do and we didn’t do that.”