Skins aim to ease pressure on Turner

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Norv Turner's future as coach of the Washington Redskins will be a little more secure on Sunday night if his men upset the high-flying Indianapolis Colts at the RCA Dome.

Norv Turner's future as coach of the Washington Redskins will be a little more secure on Sunday night if his men upset the high-flying Indianapolis Colts at the RCA Dome.

Turner has been walking a tightrope all season - his sixth in charge of one of the most famous sports teams in America - for failing to guide the Skins into the play-offs.

Revelations that new owner Daniel Snyder met with key players before last week's match against Arizona has left many Washingtonians believing the owner is undermining his coach.

But Turner said: "In terms of everything I understand, that was not the case.

"Dan and I visited and he asked me if it would help to talk to two or three of the players.

"Our thoughts were - his thought was - about the urgency of the football game. It was a critical game for us. That was what he visited with those players about."

The entire team then held a closed-doors meeting before turning in their most impressive defensive performance of the season, beating the Cardinals 28-3.

Washington are now a game ahead of Dallas and the New York Giants in the NFC East.

Snyder denied he had undermined his coach and said he had urged the players to play for their team-mates and not to worry about the Press, the coaches or him.

The Colts will provide a bigger test than the Cardinals. Indianapolis, top of the AFC East, are the hottest team in the NFL and with three games remaining already have eight more wins than last season.

Rookie running back Edgerrin James has rushed for at least 100 yards nine times, wide receiver Marvin Harrison needs two more scoring catches to match Raymond Berry's club record of 14 set back in 1959, while kicker Mike Vanderjagt has been on target with his last 20 field goal attempts.

And second-year quarterback Peyton Manning is certain to get most valuable player award votes at the end of the season. He has thrown for 3,398 yards and 24 touchdowns, while defences have only intercepted him 14 times.

Other games: Tennessee v Atlanta, Chicago v Detroit, Cleveland v Jacksonville, Philadelphia v New England, Baltimore v New Orleans, St Louis v New York Giants, Miami v San Diego, Oakland v Tampa Bay, Dallas v New York Jets, Denver v Seattle, Arizona v Buffalo and on Monday Minnesota v Green Bay.

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