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Michael Conroy, Associated Press
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Taj Smith (10) is tackled by Washington Redskins' DeJon Gomes during the third quarter of an NFL preseason football game in Indianapolis, Friday, Aug. 19, 2011.

INDIANAPOLIS — John Beck led Washington to scores on its first four possessions, and the Redskins used a dominant first half to beat the Indianapolis Colts 16-3 on Friday night.

Beck made a strong statement in his bid to be Washington's starting quarterback by going 14 of 17 for 140 yards with no interceptions. Tim Hightower scored the game's only TD on a 1-yard run. Beck also set up Graham Gano for field goals of 28, 27 and 26 yards as the Redskins took a 16-0 lead late in the first half.

Rex Grossman, in competition with Beck for the starting job, was 7 of 13 for 88 yards with one interception in the second half.

Indianapolis, playing again without Peyton Manning, has lost eight straight preseason games and is 4-24 since 2005 in games played in August and early September.