After weeks of discouraging losses amid a season gone awry, the Redskins pulled off an upset in New Orleans, defeating the Saints 16-10 on Sunday afternoon at the raucous Louisiana Superdome.
Vying for the division crown and a first-round playoff bye, the Saints had everything to play for at the start of the game, but the Redskins were more physical on offense and defense and held off a late rally for the win.
"From a Redskins standpoint, I have never been prouder of a bunch of guys," head coach Joe Gibbs said. "It was a fight. It was a pride game for us. I was really proud of the way the guys stood up and played hard. I think they played as hard as they could play."
The win improved the Redskins' record to 5-9.
Santana Moss caught a 31-yard touchdown pass, Ladell Betts rushed for 119 yards and Shaun Suisham connected on three field goals, but it was the Redskins' defense who stepped up against the NFL's top-ranked offense.
The defense limited the Saints to just 71 rushing yards, with running back Deuce McAllister compiling only 48 yards on 15 carries. Quarterback Drew Brees, touted as an MVP candidate most of last week, was completed just 21-of-38 passes for 207 yards. He threw one interception and was sacked twice.
Andre Carter, who has elevated his play in recent weeks, led the defense with eight tackles and a sack. Sean Taylor also had eight tackles and Marcus Washington recorded a sack.
The Redskins' secondary had a solid game, led by Carlos Rogers, who logged his first interception of the season and knocked away a potential game-winning touchdown pass in the final seconds.
"We need him to play like that," Gibbs said. "I think now he's starting to get into a groove and be one of the corners that you put out there and leave out there. Hopefully, it's a confidence thing for him. It should be."
The Redskins opened the game looking to establish the run--and they did so on the first play: Betts ran right up the gut through a gaping hole for 11 yards. It set a tone and helped set up play-action for Jason Campbell, who finished the game completing 13-of-28 passes for 204 yards.
Later in the drive, Antwaan Randle El took a wide receiver reverse and followed impressive blocks by Derrick Dockery and Todd Yoder for a 20-yard gain. The razzle-dazzle play put the Redskins in scoring position. But on 3rd-and-1 at the Saints' 14-yard line, Jason Campbell fumbled the snap from Casey Rabach, but he was able to recover for no gain.
Suisham came on for a 37-yard field goal and he connected, giving the Redskins an early 3-0 lead.
The defense showed promise early. On the Saints' first drive, Washington batted away a Brees screen pass, almost holding on to the ball for a near-interception. Then, on a 3rd-and-4 play, Taylor broke up a deep pass from Brees to wide receiver Marques Colston.
On the Saints' second drive, on a 3rd-and-8 play, Carter burst through the line of scrimmage to stuff running back Reggie Bush for a 2-yard loss.
Late in the first quarter, the Redskins' offense used two big plays to score again. Campbell connected with Chris Cooley for a pass over the middle, and Cooley broke two tackles to race down the field for a 44-yard gain.
On the next play, Campbell faked a handoff to Betts and rolled right. He threw a deep pass to Moss, who had a step on cornerback Frank Thomas.
Moss hauled in the pass in the back of the end zone, ahead of Thomas and cornerback Mike McKenzie, managing to get both feet in bounds.
Moss's 31-yard touchdown gave the Redskins a 10-0 lead and quieted the Superdome crowd.
The Saints' offense got on track on their third drive of the game. Brees completed 16-yard and 10-yard passes to Colston to move the ball into Redskins' territory. Later, on a key 3rd-and-9 play, Brees threw a screen pass to Bush, who turned up-field for 20 yards to the Redskins' 4-yard line.
On 3rd-and-goal at the 1-yard line, Deuce McAllister took a pitchout from Brees and raced outside. He beat Khary Campbell to the end zone for the touchdown, narrowing the Redskins' lead to 10-7.
The Redskins' offense continued its momentum into the second quarter, with Campbell again using play-action to set up big plays. After Betts picked up 14 yards up the middle, Campbell found Cooley for a 23-yard pickup and then connected with Randle El for a 14-yard pass.
Betts ran behind Chris Samuels and Dockery for 10 yards, then eight more on another carry, to get the offense to the Saints' 11-yard line. A pair of false start penalties pushed the offense back and on 3rd-and-11, Campbell was pressured into an incomplete pass to Randle El.
The Redskins settled for a 38-yard field goal by Suisham.
The defense continued to stymie the Saints. Shawn Springs batted away a third-down pass to wide receiver Terrance Copper midway through the second quarter. Then, in the final minutes of the first half, Springs stuffed Bush for a 2-yard loss on a screen pass.
The impressive defensive play continued in the second half, as the Redskins stopped the Saints on their first two offensive possessions of the third quarter.
But the Redskins could not sustain offensive drives either, and the Saints stepped up pressure on Campbell. The young quarterback was sacked by defensive tackle Brian Young for an 11-yard loss, ending a drive that had moved into Saints' territory.
Early in the fourth quarter, New Orleans pieced together a solid drive, with Brees completing a 15-yard pass to Colston and a 20-yarder to Copper to move the ball into Redskins' territory.
On 3rd-and-3 at the Redskins' 23-yard line, Kedric Golston knocked away a pass, forcing the Saints to settle for a 41-yard field goal by kicker John Carney.
With the score 13-10, the Redskins' defense continued to amp up the pressure on Brees. Carter sacked him for a seven-yard loss back to the Saints' 8-yard line, but Brees was able to overcome it with a 24-yard completion to Colston for a first down.
On the next play, Brees threw an ill-advised deep pass down the left sideline to wide receiver Devery Henderson, but the pass was short. The ball landed into Rogers' arms, and the second-year cornerback bobbled it but held on for the interception.
The Redskins ran right at the Saints' defense, with Betts picking up 11 yards on the first play and T.J. Duckett running for another 11 yards. On 3rd-and-5 at the Saints' 36-yard line, Campbell connected with Cooley for a 12-yard pickup that put the Redskins in scoring position.
After Campbell's 3rd-and-3 pass to Moss was knocked away by linebacker Scott Fujita, Suisham connected on a 22-yard field goal to give the Redskins a 16-10 lead.
The Redskins' defense had more work to do, as the Saints took over at their 38-yard line with just under five minutes to play. Brees was sacked by Washington, putting the Saints on their heels, but he came back by completing a seven-yard pass to Colston on a 4th-and-5.
Back in a rhythm, Brees connected with Henderson for a 16-yard pickup, then threw a screen pass to Bush who weaved his way downfield for another 15 yards. The Saints had moved the ball to the Redskins' 19-yard line.
The Redskins' defense had one last stand in them.
First Springs knocked away a potential touchdown pass to Colston. Then Carter stuffed Bush for a 1-yard loss on a screen pass, setting up a 4th-and-7 at the 16-yard line.
The game on the line, Brees dropped back, stepped up in the pocket and fired a pass to Copper in the end zone. Rogers had coverage all the way, and knocked down the pass to seal the upset win for the Redskins.
#### -- PRE-GAME COVERAGE
The Redskins head back out on to the road this Sunday when they travel to New Orleans to take on the NFC South Division-leading Saints at the Superdome. Kickoff is 1 p.m. ET.
The Redskins are 1-2 against the NFC South this season, with the lone win coming in Week 12 against Carolina. The Saints are 2-0 against the NFC East, with wins over Philadelphia and Dallas.
Also, the Saints can wrap up the NFC South crown with a win against the Redskins.
The Redskins-Saints game will be broadcast on FOX. Locally, WTTG-FOX 5 will televise the game. Kenny Albert calls the play-by-play with color analysis from Brian Baldinger. Chris Myers serves as the sideline reporter.
On radio, the game will be broadcast on Triple X ESPN Radio (94.3, 92.7 FM and 730 AM). Larry Michael handles the play-by-play with color commentary from Redskins legends and NFL Hall of Famers quarterback Sonny Jurgensen and linebacker Sam Huff. Bram Weinstein will serve as sideline reporter.
The Redskins are coming off a [21-19 loss to the
](/news/article-1/redskins-fall-to-philly-again-21-19/45E9BF18-6CCE-4BF1-BE33-5DB18B454F23) at FedExField. The defeat officially eliminated the Redskins from playoff contention.
The Saints are coming off a 42-17 shellacking of the Dallas Cowboys at Texas Stadium. Quarterback Drew Brees, in his first season as the Saints' starter, was 26-of-38 and threw five touchdown passes in the win.
Running back duo Deuce McAllister and Reggie Bush combined for 148 rushing yards and Bush added six catches for 125 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, defensive end Will Smith had two sacks and safeties Omar Stoutmire and Jason Craft logged interceptions.
#### -- PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS
-- SERIES HISTORY
The Saints and Redskins are playing for the 21st time, with the Redskins leading the series by a 13-7 count.
New Orleans has won the last two meetings. The most recent matchup was in 2003 at FedExField when the Saints defeated the Redskins 24-20. Quarterback Aaron Brooks scored twice to lead New Orleans to victory.
The last time the two teams met in New Orleans at the Superdome was in 2001, when the Redskins handled the Saints 40-10.
-- TALE OF THE TAPE: REDSKINS-SAINTS
|REDSKINS 2006 STATISTICAL RANKINGS|
#### -- NEWS & NOTES
- A Redskins' win over the Saints would:
-- Improve the Redskins' road record to 2-5 this season
-- Give head coach Joe Gibbs an all-time record of 6-1 vs. the Saints
- Saints head coach Sean Payton has served as an assistant coach for three NFC East teams: Philadelphia Eagles (1997-98), New York Giants (1999-2002) and Dallas Cowboys (2003-05).
- The Redskins are 16-4 (including postseason) when playing indoors under head coach Joe Gibbs. This season, the Redskins have split their first two games indoors, defeating Houston 31-15 in Week 3 at Reliant Stadium and losing to Indianapolis 36-22 in Week 7 at the RCA Dome.
After the Saints, the Redskins travel to St. Louis to play inside at the Edward Jones Dome.
- The Redskins' defense has yielded just four rushing touchdowns all season, tops in the NFL.
- Quarterback Jason Campbell grew up in Taylorsville, Miss., which is roughly 1.5 hours from New Orleans. Chris Samuels grew up in Mobile, Ala., which is about an hour from New Orleans.
-- FAMILIAR FACES ON THE SAINTS
- Strong safety Omar Stoutmire played for the Redskins in 2005.
- Quarterbacks coach Pete Carmichael, Jr. served as quality control coach for the Redskins in 2001.
- Defensive backs coach Tom Hayes served as secondary coach for the Redskins from 1995-99.