RUN OFFENSE C
Rock Cartwright struggled for a second straight week in his first starts in six years. Backup Quinton Ganther added an early 13-yard burst and was effective late. Marcus Mason came up short in short yardage. Healthy again, big Mike Williams was an upgrade over rookie Edwin Williams at right guard.
PASS OFFENSE A-
Fred Davis got the Redskins going early with four early catches for 44 yards and a touchdown. Devin Thomas deftly scored two touchdowns and added a 40-yard grab on which he got wide open. Jason Campbell had decent time to throw and delivered a career performance. But fullback Mike Sellers’ overtime fumble was a killer.
RUN DEFENSE A
Andre Carter, Albert Haynesworth, Phillip Daniels and Cornelius Griffin (before he sprained a knee) — the entire starting defensive line — made big stops. So did backup tackle Kedric Golston, linebacker H.B. Blades and safety LaRon Landry as the Redskins surprisingly dominated the trenches.
PASS DEFENSE C-
Drew Brees wasn’t pressured often, but he was sacked by Landry on a rare double safety blitz. Kareem Moore intercepted a desperation third-and-26 pass into triple coverage but was stripped by Robert Meachem for a 44-yard touchdown. Meachem’s 53-yard touchdown against Landry tied the score with 1:19 left.
SPECIAL TEAMS C
Six games after Byron Westbrook was hit by an opposing punt for a turnover, Kevin Barnes followed suit. Washington’s return game was subpar until Devin Thomas’ late 39-yard kickoff return. Washington’s coverage units were OK. Shaun Suisham somehow missed a 23-yard field goal try that would have sealed the victory.
Greg Blache’s defense thwarted New Orleans’ league-leading offense almost all day, holding the Saints to a touchdown and three field goals (one touchdown came on a return) until folding late. The Redskins’ play callers won their battle of wits with Saints defensive boss Gregg Williams, who once seemed set to be Washington’s coach.
— David Elfin