Wow, what a game overall!
After learning that Marques Colston will be out for several weeks, I knew the legitimate long-ball threat was gone for the Saints, and they would have to rely on underneath stuff from Reggie Bush and Jeremy Shockey. I picked the Redskins to win outright in all of my "office pools" with the opening game at FedEx Field. I didn't expect the finish that would come.
I do have to admit I was quite apprehensive when I saw the Skins settling for field goals the entire first half: 5 drives, 5 FG attempts, 2 misses, and only 9 points--all very reminiscent of typical Skins play. One play for a good offensive team like the Saints, and they were right back in it...and that's what happened. A 10-9 lead for NO at half seemed like another typical poor offensive outing from the Skins where the defense would have to keep them in the game.
But the D gave up the TD on the opening drive of the 3rd Quarter. But the Skins offense came alive with a 10-play, 83-yard drive of their own to punch it into the endzone and stay within one score. The Hogs defense locked down and didn't allow any more points. The next TD for the Saints came on a punt return to put the Skins down by 9. But there was no panic, and Jason Campbell found 4 different WRs on the next scoring drive to set up Portis' scamper to the endzone to pull within 2. It was the long 67-yd bomb to Santana Moss that showed the confidence in Campbell and his ability to deliver. The defense stopped any comeback effort with an INT with 3 minutes to go.
Nine different players had at least one catch in the game, and Campbell went over 320 yds passing on the day with no INTs and the TD to Moss. It was a solid performance from the offensive line allowing only 2 sacks all day. And the defense was solid as usual, keeping the explosive Saints in check and coming up with the critical INT to end the game.
A quick preview of the next game shows a similar matchup with the Cardinals where they have an explosive passing game, but an average defense that will allow Campbell to throw as well. Another close matchup that I give to the Redskins at home again due to the edge in the defense.