Redskins Lose To Saints 34 – 31 In Overtime

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Nov 19, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; Washington Redskins safety D.J. Swearinger (36) intercepts a pass intended for New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) as Redskins cornerback Bashaud Breeland (26) defends in the first quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Every team makes mistakes, but the Washington Redskins seem to make their mistakes at the worst possible time! Leading the favored New Orleans Saints 31 to 16, the Washington Redskins appeared to have pulled off an upset victory and would leave “Nawlins” with a win, some beads from the previous night downtown and a stomach full of delicious Louisiana cuisine. However, it is a 60-minute game, not 57. The Redskins managed to beat themselves along with an impressive comeback led by future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees. The Saints managed to tie the game at 31 and force overtime.

In the first 54 minutes and 2 seconds of regulation, Saints quarterback Drew Brees was 18 of 30 for 221 yards, 0 touchdown passes, 1 interception and was sacked twice. In the last 5 minutes and 58 seconds of regulation, Brees was 11 of 11, 164 passing yards, 2 touchdowns and 0 interceptions.

The Redskins committed a devastating penalty for intentional grounding, caused a 10-second runoff as well as a loss-of-down and the penalty yardage moved the Redskins out of field goal range. On the previous play, quarterback Kirk Cousins had completed a pass to Jamison Crowder that put the ball on the Saints 34-yard line. The Redskins lost an opportunity to score at least a field goal and win the game during regulation.

The Redskins won the overtime coin toss and received the football first. The Redskins had 1st and 10 at the 25-yard line. Cousins threw to tight end Vernon Davis but it was incomplete. On 2nd and 10, Cousins was sacked for a loss of 10 yards. On 3rd and 20, Cousins threw to running back Samaje Perine who dropped the ball. Redskins punter Tress Way punted 60 yards and the Saints returned it 14 yards. Then Saints running back Mark Ingram showed why the Saints can run the ball. Back-to-back runs, Ingram ran the ball inside the 10-yard line. The Saints decided to go ahead and kick the winning field goal. The Saints won, 34 to 31 in overtime. Another game the Redskins would have, should have, and could have won.

The Saints are 8 and 2 because they find ways to win, and the Redskins are 4 and 6 because they have beaten themselves and found ways to lose games. This Redskins team should be 8 and 2, or at least 7 and 3 instead of 4 and 6 in my opinion.

Shaking off this emotional loss to the Saints, it is a short week before the Redskins host the New York Giants. The Giants record is bad, but they have lost close games including an overtime loss to the Eagles. They won against the Chiefs 12 to 9 in a defensive struggle. The Redskins cannot take the Giants as an easy “W.”  Can this team win the last 6 regular season games? I believe they can. That would put them at 10 and 6 and depends on what happens to other NFC teams. It could be good enough to make the playoffs.

Let’s take some positives from the game versus the New Orleans Saints. Samaje Perine showed he should be our featured running back with 117 rushing yards on 23 carries. The offensive line played well but most of Perine’s yards came from 2nd effort and refusing to go down without positive yardage. Quarterback Kirk Cousins was 22 of 32, several dropped passes, 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. Wide receiver Josh Doctson played well the 1st half of the game with 4 catches for 81 yards. He was not thrown to in the 2nd half. Jamison Crowder had 7 catches for 72 yards. Vernon Davis and Ryan Grant had 3 catches also, with Grant receiving a touchdown pass. Rookie tight end Jeremy Sprinkle caught his 1st touchdown pass and I hope in the next 6 games we see him targeted more, especially in the red zone.

With my 20/20 hindsight, I wish Jay Gruden would have called a quarterback sneak instead of a complex run play on 3rd and 1 behind Morgan Moses who is playing hurt with both ankles giving him problems. Cousins would have sneaked in behind right guard run-blocking, “pancaker” Brandon Scherff. I do applaud Head Coach Jay Gruden’s surprise fake punt play. Overall, Gruden’s play calling was very good, but I would have liked to see Doctson targeted more in the 2nd half and rotated wide receiver Brian Quick in the lineup.

Tough loss (again) but we are true, all-weather Redskins fans and never jump ship. Here’s hoping they will beat the Giants on Thanksgiving Day and win 6 straight games. HAIL to the Redskins!

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