Redskins Saints Turning Point

Rich TandlerSenior Analyst ISeptember 15, 2008

The Redskins were almost done.

After Reggie Bush returned a punt 55 yards for a touchdown near the end of the third quarter to give the Saints a 24-15 lead, the Redskins had gone three and out. The defense held and the Redskins took over at their own 18. They immediately went backwards in a big way.

1-10-WAS 18 (10:36) 17-J.Campbell sacked at WAS 6 for -12 yards (91-W.Smith).

As Jason Campbell huddled team in the end zone for the second and 22 play, he realized that he had the wrong personnel package for the play that Jim Zorn had called into his headset.

"We had the wrong personnel but the guys adjusted well to it," said Campbell.

Adjust to it they did. Campbell play faked to Ladell Betts and dropped back into the end zone. The pass protection was better this time and he quickly located Cooley, who had run down the seam and found a dead spot in the coverage. Campbell stepped up and fired and Cooley turned around and made the catch over his head at about the 28. After taking a couple of steps upfield, he was pushed back.

It appears that he got a generous spot, all the way up to the 29 and New Orleans coach Sean Payton argued about it. But Cooley easily got past the 28, which was the line to gain for the first down.

Here's what I wrote at the time:

9:42—A nice toss to Cooley gets them out of it. That will be the play of the game if the Skins pull this one out.

When I asked Campbell about it, he agreed.

"I think it was the biggest play of the game," he said. "It gave us momentum going on that touchdown drive."

It certainly set Campbell on fire as it was the first of seven straight completions for him. The next four were as follows:

1-10-WAS 29 (9:12) 17-J.Campbell pass deep middle to 82-A.Randle El to WAS 46 for 17 yards (28-U.Young).

1-10-WAS 46 (8:27) 17-J.Campbell pass short middle to 86-F.Davis to NO 48 for 6 yards (58-S.Shanle).

2-4-NO 48 (7:50) 17-J.Campbell pass short middle to 89-S.Moss to NO 23 for 25 yards (22-T.Porter, 28-U.Young).

1-10-NO 23 (7:08) (Shotgun) 17-J.Campbell pass short left to 82-A.Randle El pushed ob at NO 12 for 11 yards (22-T.Porter).

From the 11, Clinton Portis ran twice and the Redskins were in the end zone to pull to within two at 24-22.

After the defense made its play of the game, holding Pierre Thomas to no gain on third and one, Campbell completed number six in a row. That one was 67 yards to Moss for the winning TD.

Then, on fourth and two at the Saint 34 two-minute warning, Zorn pondered his options. A pooch punt would gain only 10-15 yards. The wind had shifted and Danny Smith advised Zorn that a field goal try would be a dicey proposition. A miss would give the Saints good field position. Zorn decided to go for it.

Campbell stepped back and fired to Moss, who snared the bullet to send the Redskins into victory formation.