After a dismal performance in their 16-7 loss at the New York Giants, the Washington Redskins had something to prove. Quarterback Jason Campbell looked as lost as ever, going 15-of-27 for 133 yards passing and a touchdown.
In a game that, on paper, looked to be a win for the New Orleans Saints, Campbell flourished, going 24-of-36 for 321 yards passing and a touchdown. Then again, he was playing against the always questionable Saints secondary.
Don't get me wrong, Campbell is a very good athlete. He always has, even back to his days of playing at Auburn. But he is not, nor ever will be, a great NFL quarterback. He always crumbles under pressure and doesn't always make the smartest decisions.
But it did come against a Saints secondary that was playing backups through most of the game. Mike McKenzie, Roman Harper, and Randall Gay were all inactive for the game, which did put pressure on rookie Tracey Porter to step up, but then again, that is what we drafted him for.
Usama Young played a little bit and looked almost 100 percent after being out with a hamstring injury since Aug. 16. Veterans Aaron Glenn and Jason Craft, at times, showed their age, but they played as hard as they could.
Josh Bullocks was a non-factor, which further foreshadows his future with the team. Yet, Bullocks has yet to prove himself to reclaim his starting job.
Why wasn't Chris Reis starting at strong safety? He has earned a shot, albeit for just a game, while Roman Harper is out. He is a special-teams hawk and a smart kid; why not give him a shot over Bullocks? See what could be the future.
Scott Fujita was out for the game and was replaced by rookie Jo-Lonn Dunbar, who played fantastically. He always appeared to be wherever the ball was, and he was constantly hustling. He finished with six tackles (three solo). This kid is the future!
The Redskins deservedly won the game 29-24. The Saints gave up over 450 yards of total offense. But the defense is not completely at fault for the loss. The Saints' offense was never in control of the game, despite holding on to the lead going into the third quarter.
The offense never found a rhythm throughout the game, with exception of the last minute of the first half when the Saints drove down the field to kick a go ahead field goal.
The passing game didn't materialize, nor did it use Jeremy Shockey at all during the second half. If you traded away two draft picks for the man, and he is playing with the intensity and skill he is accustomed to play, why not use him?
Nothing is more frustrating than watching the same screen passes to the running back every week that get stopped for two yard losses, when someone like Shockey is available to your quarterback. There are other receivers and other weapons to use besides Reggie Bush, so why run the same play at least five times when it hasn't worked for you yet?
But the turnovers via the passing game didn't help either. Quarterback Drew Brees' two interceptions were off of tipped passes that should have been caught by the wide receivers. Shockey's fumble was unfortunate as well.
The Saints never seemed to shake things up on the ground either, totaling 55 rushing yards for the game.
Deuce McAllister was the only good thing on offense in the game, with just two carries for 10 yards. Curious as to why he only got two touches in the game, when he was the only consistent runner for the Saints. Yes, there was talk of a snap count for McAllister, but not two snaps!
McAllister was the power runner that just bursts through the hole. Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas were a non-factor for the running game, totaling 36 yards on 16 carries. With a power runner doing so well, the question should be: Where was Mike Karney?
If McAllister was lowering his shoulder and running through the imaginary holes the offensive line thought they opened, Karney would have done the same. There were no real changes made throughout the game to counter the Saints' lack of a running game.
Why not mix it up or just simply do something else? Why not run some quick slant routes or curl routes to counteract the lack of a running game? Something else just might work.
The offensive line just seemed to wear down throughout the game. There is no excuse for the heat, the Saints' training camp is in Jackson, MS during the grueling parts of summer. They should be prepared for extreme heat in game situations.
The Saints were outgained 169 to 44 yards of offense in the fourth quarter. The defense was on the field for almost double the amount of time as the offense, which tired out the defense toward the game's end. Campbell took full advantage of the Saints, throwing 153 yards and a touchdown.
The Saints' made new Head Coach Jim Zorn a winner for the Redskins, and they made him seem like a genius for holding one of the best offenses in the game to just 250 total net yards.