Phillip Buchanon's best game yet

Nickel cornerback Phillip Buchanon got off to a rough start in his first season with the Redskins.

In the Week 2 loss to Houston, Buchanon blew his assignment late in the fourth quarter on a play that resulted in a 34-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matt Schaub to wide receiver Andre Johnson. The Texans tied the score on the successful point-after attempt and won in overtime, 30-27.

The nine-year veteran also was demoted from the first-string punt return job after he had three fair catches and a 0.5-yard average on two returns. Rookie wide receiver Brandon Banks has thrived in the role since.

Focused exclusively on defense now, Buchanon had his best performance with the Redskins in Sunday night's 27-24 loss to the Indianapolis Colts at FedEx Field. Buchanon played well in coverage and was credited with five tackles, including four unassisted.

Of his three passes defensed in the game, two occurred in the final 3 minutes, as the Colts attempted to run out the clock. In press-man coverage against Pro Bowl wideout Reggie Wayne, Buchanon twice broke up passes.

Only 14 seconds elapsed on the clock from the time the Colts received the ball until they punted. The Redskins could not pull closer than three points, but Buchanon did his job.

"What was going on in my mind was, coach [Jim Haslett] says we was going to call man to man," said Buchanon, who defended three passes in his first five games. "I just said, 'I'm gonna line up and press 'em. I just got to do what I got to do.' That was my decision. I just said, 'Whatever happens, I'm just going to play hard.' "

Colts quarterback Peyton Manning made things especially difficult for the Redskins' defense. Of course, that's what Manning usually does.

"Peyton, he was hurrying up and he was snapping the ball real quick and we were kind of off balance," Buchanon said. "He kind of got us to think too much and overanalyzing. I know I overanalyzed on two plays. He kind of had us on our heels."

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