- The Washington Times - Monday, September 15, 2008

FIRST QUARTER

What happened: Jason Campbell moved the Redskins from their 20 to the New Orleans 30 but misfired on a throw to a wide-open Antwaan Randle El and threw the ball away on third down. Shaun Suisham missed a 49-field goal attempt. Aided by Carlos Rogers’ personal foul penalty, the Saints advanced to the Washington 36 before Jeremy Shockey fumbled a short pass from Drew Brees. Redskins safety Chris Horton recovered on the Washington 33. Moss gained 27 yards on an end-around to move the Redskins deep into Saints territory. Suisham eventually kicked a 22-yard field goal to cap an 11-play, 63-yard drive. On the Saints’ next possession, Fred Smoot tipped a pass for Shockey, and Horton intercepted to give the Redskins the ball on the New Orleans 27.

Analysis: The defense stifled Reggie Bush and produced a pair of turnovers. On the other side of the ball, Campbell looked more comfortable and moved the offense effectively through the air. But he still was forced to burn a pair of timeouts. Leading 3-0, the Redskins dominated in yards and time of possession and put themselves in position to extend their lead.

First

Yards

NO 21

W 113

Rush

NO 0

W 54

Pass

NO 21

W 59

Time

NO 3:48

W 11:12

SECOND QUARTER

What happened: The Redskins gained 8 yards on three plays after the turnover, and Suisham kicked a 36-yard field goal. Jason Taylor sacked Brees to help force a punt, but Randle El fumbled the return, and New Orleans had the ball on the Washington 27. Pierre Thomas eventually ran the ball in from a yard out to give the Saints a 7-6 lead. The Redskins moved the ball, but after a bad hold by Durant Brooks, Suisham missed a 30-yard field goal attempt. After that, the Saints failed to move. Chris Cooley’s 27-yard catch put the Redskins at the New Orleans 18, setting up Suisham’s third field goal from 35 yards out. The Saints moved 59 yards in the final 1:04, and Martin Gramatica’s 49-yard field goal gave New Orleans a 10-9 lead.

Analysis: The Saints’ field goal at the end of the half took some momentum away from the Redskins, who had gone ahead on the previous series. Campbell spread the ball around and continued to show better poise than in the opener, and Portis ran well. But Campbell remained inconsistent, and the Redskins could not find the end zone. On defense, Washington continued to bottle up Bush and pressure Brees before letting down in the final minute.

Second

Yards

NO 91

W 90

Rush

NO 21

W 27

Pass

NO 70

W 63

Time

NO 7:53

W 7:07

THIRD QUARTER

What happened: The Saints moved 80 yards in 11 plays, scoring on Brees’ 19-yard pass to Robert Meachem to build a 17-9 lead. The Redskins answered by driving 83 yards in 10 plays, with Portis scoring on a 9-yard run. But with the score 17-15, Campbell’s two-point conversion pass was intercepted. Cornelius Griffin sacked Brees for a 9-yard loss on the Saints’ next possession, and New Orleans was forced to punt. With the quarter winding down, the Redskins went three and out. The game turned when Campbell failed to move the offense, and Bush, quiet to this point, returned Brooks’ punt for a 55-yard touchdown with two seconds left in the quarter to give the Saints a 24-15 lead.

Analysis: The Redskins responded to the Saints’ touchdown drive at the start of the third quarter, scoring on a long drive of their own, but their good work came undone when Bush returned Brooks’ punt — untouched — for the touchdown at the end of the quarter.

Yards

NO 94

W 83

Rush

NO 14

W 52

Pass

NO 80

W 31

Time

NO 8:20

W 6:40

FOURTH QUARTER

What happened: Needing two scores after Bush’s return, the Redskins went nowhere and punted. The Saints managed a first down and gave the ball back, pinning Washington on its 18. Campbell was immediately sacked for a loss back to the 6 but made up for it with a 23-yard completion to Cooley, followed by a 17-yard pass to Randle El. Two plays later, Campbell found Moss for 25 yards en route to an 82-yard drive and Portis’ 8-yard touchdown run that brought the Redskins within 24-22 with 5:59 left. After the Saints went three and out, Campbell hit Moss for a 67-yard touchdown that decided the game. Brees threw an interception on the next series, and the Saints were finished.

Analysis: It was a remarkable comeback by the Redskins, led by Campbell, who seemingly grew up during the game or, more specifically, the second half.

Yards

NO 44

W 169

Rush

NO 20

W 16

Pass

NO 24

W 153

Time

NO 5:45

W 9:15

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