- The Washington Times - Monday, September 15, 2008

Reggie Bush had just scampered untouched for a 55-yard touchdown, giving the New Orleans Saints a nine-point lead over the Washington Redskins with one quarter to play.

The Redskins’ offense gained 8 yards on a third-and-12.

And Durant Brooks shanked a 28-yard punt.

Those who remained at FedEx Field in stifling heat exhibited their displeasure with a healthy round of boos. And why not? The Redskins were headed straight toward a pathetic 0-2 start.

But in a development that stunned everybody in attendance, the Redskins scored touchdowns less than four minutes apart and beat the Saints 29-24.

The victory allowed everybody in burgundy and gold to exhale, allowing Jim Zorn and Jason Campbell specifically a week’s respite from criticism that had dominated talk radio since the Giants loss.

Q: Well, that was exciting. What was the highlight of the Redskins’ come-from-behind win?

A: Campbell’s 67-yard game-winning touchdown pass to Santana Moss with 3:29 remaining because it showed Campbell’s arm strength, ability to evade the rush and Moss’ ability to still blow by a cornerback. But a close second was safety Chris Horton’s three takeaways (fumble recovery, two interceptions) and Clinton Portis’ gritty 96-yard effort (two touchdowns).

Q: Campbell looked like a different quarterback from Week 1 to Week 2. Can this be a turning point for him?

A: It certainly is the defining moment of his NFL career. By completing 24 of 36 passes for 321 yards and no turnovers, he should have proved to Zorn that he’s ready for more responsibility within the game plan. Play-caller and quarterback were unprepared last week in New Jersey; they both rebounded with mostly sound decisions.

Q: Should the Redskins be trying out punters Tuesday?

A: It’s something that will be considered. Brooks played like a rookie. He flubbed a hold on a missed field goal. He kicked it right to Reggie Bush - leading to a 55-yard return for a touchdown - and he averaged only 33 yards an attempt. Brooks probably will get another shot next week against Arizona because it’s only one game and he’s a draft pick; that gets him a one- or two-week grace period.

Q: What about punt returner? Antwaan Randle El averaged only 5.8 yards an attempt.

A: This could be a place for change. Randle El plays nearly every offensive snap, so maybe he doesn’t have the legs anymore to be an effective punt returner. He has been a disappointment at the position since signing with the team before the 2006 season - his average punt return can be measured in feet. The backup is James Thrash, and he isn’t likely to be a game-breaker. Alternating Randle El and Moss could give the Redskins a field-position jolt.

Q: Outside of the punt return, how did the defense do against Bush?

A: Fine. Bush is overrated. He must lead the league in East-West yards because that’s all he does. Most of his yards came in the two-minute offense at the end of the first half. He finished with 28 yards on 10 carries and 63 yards on seven receptions. His future in the NFL is not as a running back.

Q: Was the defense a lot better than it was against the Giants?

A: It deserves high marks considering it played without Marcus Washington and Reed Doughty. H.B. Blades didn’t make any huge mistakes, and Horton was a ball hawk. Horton may have earned a starting assignment next week. Jason Taylor got his first sack, and the Saints gained only 55 yards on 19 carries. The biggest improvement was on third down - New Orleans was only 3-for-10.

Q: Now that the Redskins are back to even terms, is this the start of a winning streak?

A: It better be or the Redskins are still in trouble. Arizona at home is a must win because of road games at Dallas and Philadelphia. The Cardinals almost beat the Redskins here last year but with that in mind and the confidence of Campbell and Zorn growing, the Redskins should be 2-1 heading into consecutive NFC East road games.

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