This week's Redskins Drive of the Game, presented by Ford, was a 12-play, 94-yard drive that used a fake punt play and extended the Redskins' lead.
The Redskins' first scoring drive in the third quarter of their heartbreaking loss to the Saints epitomized the team's roller-coaster season thus far. What might have been a three-and-out deflation, coupled with a brutal injury, turned into a momentum swinging trick play that delivered a big-time touchdown pass.
Facing third down after two run plays, quarterback Kirk Cousins dropped back and began to scramble to his left, unable to find an opening in the defense. Running back Chris Thompson began blocking upfield and Cousins decided to run for the first down marker. He was hit hard and came up short of his target.
A Saints defender simultaneously landed heavily on Thompson's ankle and both quarterback and running back lay on the ground as trainers rushed to their side. Cousins got back up but Thompson's injury was far more severe. He was carted off the field and eventually learned he had fractured his fibula, forcing him out for the rest of the season. It was an emotional blow. Head coach Jay Gruden needed to swing the momentum back in their favor.
So he dialed up a fake punt play. Tight end Niles Paul received a direct snap and rammed his way up the middle for five yards. The offense started a fresh series of downs with a short pass to wide receiver Jamison Crowder who ran for 16 yards. Running back Samaje Perine took two carries for 11 yards before Cousins threw an incompletion to wide receiver Josh Doctson.
Paul grabbed a pass for 10 yards and two plays later the Redskins faced another third down on the Saints' 40-yard line. Making arguably his best throw of the game, Cousins absorbed a big hit after dropping back and fired a rainbow to wide receiver Ryan Grant, left wide open to dance into the end zone.
"I think it is a great example of how it is a team game," Cousins said. "We relied on special teams to keep us on the field and they came through for us. That drive was a combination of running the ball, throwing to a variety of different receivers and tight ends. We counted on everybody. That's the way you have to win in this league, especially on the road. You have to find ways and it may not always be pretty. Today we just didn't make enough plays, but we certainly gave ourselves a really good chance."
The touchdown completed a 12-play, 94-yard drive that required focus at a time every player was lamenting the loss of one of their star teammates. Despite the game's outcome, it showed the resiliency this team can find within itself.
"I feel like we have a lot of warriors on this team, guys who are winners, guys who want to come in and compete and do their very best every single play," tight end Vernon Davis said. "We have that here. I'm not worried about that, because we've had that since I've been here. That's a good thing."