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A Positive Thing From The Saints Game: Fred Davis

Posted by Matt Terl on December 6, 2009 – 8:19 pm

One thing that differentiates this loss from most of the other losses during this frustrating season is that there were a lot of legitimate bright spots. Not little things like “Jason Campbell didn’t burst into flames” or “Malcolm Kelly caught the ball without his legs exploding,” but real, actual numbers that speak of an offense competing with the best in the game.

Campbell, for example, completed 30 of 42 passes for 367 yards, 3 touchdowns, and the one fatal late interception. Even with that pick, that’s a QB rating of 111.9. Devin Thomas had 100 yards receiving with 2 TDs, and another 159 yards returning kicks. Those are good things.

And Fred Davis continued his recent string of quality play in place of the injured Chris Cooley, catching 5 passes for 53 yards and a touchdown. The downside is that all those catches came in the first half, but it’s still another solid performance from a young player starting to come into his own.

Right, Fred? Read more »

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Bizarre Play #2: Kareem Moore Loses The Ball

Posted by Matt Terl on December 6, 2009 – 7:33 pm

Hot on the heels of Bizarre Play #1, the Redskins defense took the field remarkably unbowed by the frustrating turn of events. Sure, they were perhaps too eager to get back out there — the first play following the muffed punt was Andre Carter jumping offsides — but after a couple of gains for the Saints offense, the defense started pushing them backward.

Which led to a third-and-26 from the Redskins 44. Drew Brees made an ill-advised throw to Jeremy Shockey; Kareem Moore made a good move on the ball and scored an improbable interception. Actually, no one was really sure if he had made the interception or trapped the ball, including Moore himself.

“I thought I had the ball, you know,” he said. “Might’ve trapped it, might’ve not. I don’t know, but I thought I had it. That’s why I got up and ran with it. I didn’t know if he touched me or not so I just got up praying I missed him.”

So far, so good.

Read more »

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Bizarre Play #1: The Kevin Barnes Muffed Punt

Posted by Matt Terl on December 6, 2009 – 6:52 pm

Easy as it is to blame the kicker (as noted in the previous post) this game turned on a number of plays. Some of them were fairly normal — a great throw by Drew Brees, a blown coverage, a missed block — and others ranged from unusual to downright bizarre. (This point was driven home in the locker room by the number of TV reporters walking around asking players if this was the largest number of wacky plays they had seen. “Yes,” said Jason Campbell, for one example, “Definitely the strangest game I have been a part of.”)

Anyhow, one of those bizarre plays came just after Brian Orakpo stuffed Reggie Bush on a third-and-1 just inside the two-minute warning of the first half. From their own 30-yard line, the Saints punted 27 yards to the Washington 43, where Antwaan Randle El was waving guys away from the ball. Read more »

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Shaun Suisham's Apology

Posted by Matt Terl on December 6, 2009 – 6:02 pm

There’s a lot of blame being spread around in the wake of this latest fourth-quarter collapse, and Shaun Suisham is taking a ton of it. It’s hard to argue with; he’s the kicker, he missed what should’ve been a gimme kick to push the Redskins’ lead to 10 with 1:52 left. The game would be tied 33 seconds later, and it was all downhill from there.

In the locker room after the game, long snapper Ethan Albright was claiming responsibility for the missed kick, but Suisham was having none of it. Standing in front of his locker wearing a sweater and looking like he might actually cry, he addressed an enormous crowd of media. Read more »

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Redskins vs. Saints – Overtime Thoughts

Posted by Matt Terl on December 6, 2009 – 4:55 pm

Well, that went about how you’d expect given how regulation ended: it was frustrating, it was was depressing, and it felt completely inevitable as it happened. I’m going to head down to the locker room, which should be filled with even more frustration, depression, and inevitability.

Your final score, grimly enough: Saints 33, Redskins 30. Read more »

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Redskins vs. Saints – Fourth Quarter Thoughts

Posted by Matt Terl on December 6, 2009 – 4:30 pm

I think I summed it up all of my thoughts on that quarter on Twitter:

This is just brutal. Like being kicked in the face repeatedly. Read more »

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Redskins vs. Saints – Third Quarter Thoughts

Posted by Matt Terl on December 6, 2009 – 3:34 pm

Okay, if I’m going to complain about bad breaks and misfortune as being the norm for this 2009 Redskins team, I should probably also acknowledge when the breaks go their way, too.

So: the play before Devin Thomas‘ second touchdown reception of the day — and the best of his career, as he tiptoed down the sideline and into the endzone — was clearly an interception. Should’ve been a Jason Campbell interception. Was the sort of shoulda-been interception that, if had happened to the Redskins, it would’ve sparked all kinds of jokes about Carlos Rogers‘ hands, whether or not he was the one who was involved.

And Saints cornerback Malcolm Jenkins flat-out dropped it. Sometimes, the breaks do go the other way.

It would also be wrong of me, after that quarter, to not highlight Devin Thomas’s stat line on the day: six catches, 102 yards, 2 touchdowns, plus 78 yards on kickoff returns just for good measure. It’s the kind of game everyone’s been waiting for from him for almost two years, but … better late than never.

Now for the fourth quarter. Let’s see if they can hold on. Read more »

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Redskins vs. Saints – Second Quarter Thoughts

Posted by Matt Terl on December 6, 2009 – 2:50 pm

Because this game is being played by the 2009 Washington Redskins, the half had to end with two of the five or six most demoralizing plays I think I’ve ever seen: first, the Redskins forced the Saints to punt just after the two-minute warning, only to see the ball bounce off of Kevin Barnes and be recovered by the Saints.

But the defense held strong despite the turnover, forced the Saints back and into a third-and-26. At that point Drew Brees made a horrendously ill-advised throw, and Kareem Moore made a tough, tough interception … which ended with him being stripped of the ball and the Saints taking it in for a touchdown.

It was, as several people have pointed out, reminiscent of Pete Kendall’s mental lapse against the Rams last season, that same feeling of sheer, stunned disbelief and frustration as something turned so completely wrong.

That’s pretty much the way the 2009 Redskins season has gone, though: there’s always, always a way that something can go worse. Jason Campbell went through the second quarter 7-of-9 for 78 yards and a touchdown; Santana Moss had four catches for 58 yards; the second year players continue to come on strong. But the half ends with two frustrating, flukey plays, and the score is tied at 17. Read more »

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Redskins vs. Saints – First Quarter Thoughts

Posted by Matt Terl on December 6, 2009 – 1:41 pm

Let me start with the cautionary stuff:

As the Washington Post’s @RickMaese notes, the Saints have trailed early in six of their last seven games including this one.

And, in fact, they’ve been shut out in the first quarter twice.

AND, further, they’ve come back from as much as 21points down this season.

PLUS, let’s be frank, the Redskins have blown leads in both their last two games.

So it’s probably important to try to keep the excitement at least somewhat muted.

Read more »

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Sunday, December 6: Follow Redskins vs. Saints on Twitter

Posted by Matt Terl on December 6, 2009 – 9:27 am

Cold morning here at FedExField, but the parking lots looked genuinely well-tended. Nice work by the stadium operations staff working overnight (I presume) to clear the snow. I’m heading out there now to, bizarrely, judge a chili cook-off.

Also, if you’re coming to the game, please bring a new, unwrapped toy for Toys For Tots. Fred Smoot recommends the Big Wheel, as you may have heard.

You know the drill by now: follow on Twitter — or on the Twackle module below — for updates from me (@redskinsblog), Gary Fitzgerald (@redskinsdotcom), and Larry Weisman (@LarryWeisman).

Offer your thoughts either with the gold colored respond button on the module, or in the comments section right here.

And back one more time is Redskins Gametime — virtually ALL the Redskins-related gameday content (including my stuff) in one handy interface, AND, if you’re into complete and utter sensory overload, the Redskins Powerboard is still going strong.

http://www.twackle.com/widget/generate_widget/redskins Read more »

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