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WASHINGTON -- Early in the fourth quarter, with the Washington Redskins' winning streak still in doubt, tight end James Jenkins looked across the huddle and saw a hungry running back.

"Terry (Allen) had this look, like 'Man, I can't get started.' I could see it on his face," Jenkins said. "I said, 'Let's spring this guy.' "

A few plays later, Jenkins helped spring Allen down the right side for a 32-yard touchdown run to put the game away in Sunday's 31-16 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.

"They could say I have that look on every play," Allen said with a smile.

It was Allen's third touchdown of the game. He already has four 100-yard games, 803 yards and 13 TDs this season. He had 79 of his 124 yards Sunday in the second half, Gus Frerotte was 18 for 25 for 178 yards, and Brian Mitchell had a 71-yard punt return on a day in which the Colts (5-3) couldn't find a way to stop the Redskins (7-1).

"They got their running game going and it really opened it up for them," Colts cornerback Ray Buchanan said. "They have a big offensive line and they gave Gus a lot of time to throw."

Washington travels to Rich Stadium next Sunday to face the Buffalo Bills.

The performance by the Redskins' line, which allowed just one sack and paved the way for 215 rushing yards, was even more remarkable considering guard Tre Johnson missed the game with an injury and first-year Shar Pourdanesh filled in.

"We really didn't miss a beat," guard Bob Dahl said. "I'm surprised we did as well as we did without Tre in there."

The game, the biggest at RFK Stadium in four years, was a major respect-builder for the Redskins, whose winning streak has been attributed largely to an easy first-half schedule.

"We are going to stay about our business and try to get into the playoffs," cornerback Darrell Green said. "But until that happens, we're not going to eat no biscuits until they're done."

The difference was the second half. The Redskins and Colts both moved the ball freely over the first 30 minutes, but the Colts sputtered after the break while Washington kept on going.

Indianapolis, which has lost three of four, had 185 yards and 13 points at halftime, but only 113 yards and a field goal in the second half. The Colts' only turnover, when Jim Harbaugh had the ball stripped by Ken Harvey while attempting to pass, led to Allen's long touchdown run.

"In the second half, we basically stopped ourselves," said Harbaugh, who was 17 for 33 for 198 yards and one touchdown.

The game was close, 17-13, until Mitchell's big return. Mitchell has been avoided by other teams' kickers and punters all season, but the Colts kicked straight to him the entire game and paid for it in the third quarter when he returned a punt 71 yards to the 1.

Two plays later, Allen scored, giving the Redskins a 24-13 lead with 2:41 remaining in the third.

"A couple of weeks ago, we were two players away" from breaking a punt return, coach Norv Turner said. "Last week, we were one player away from breaking it, and we just kept going at it, saying this play is going to win a game down the road."

The Colts' Marshall Faulk, who missed the previous three games with a sprained toe, had 13 carries for 53 yards and a touchdown.

Frerotte and Harbaugh had their offenses clicking in the first half, with each team scoring on three of four possessions. Down, 17-3, the Colts scored twice in the final two minutes, on a 1-yard run by Faulk and on Cary Blanchard's 49-yard field goal, to close the halftime gap to 17-13.

Until then, Frerotte had the stage mostly to himself, completing 13 of 16 passes for 131 yards.

Allen's first touchdown was a 4-yard run late in the first quarter, and the Colts' Richard Dent was ejected on the extra point after objecting to a rib-high block by Washington's Scott Galbraith.

After a field goal by the Colts, Frerotte hit Leslie Shepherd with a 7-yard strike to make it 17-3.

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