Today’s big story lines in New Orleans today are A) How will the Saints play in the wake of Bountygate without suspended head coach Sean Payton and B) How will Redskins rookie QB Robert Griffin III play in his debut against a leaky Saints secondary?
The Saints received good news Friday when a judge ruled linebacker Jon Vilma and defensive end Will Smith were eligible to play in Sunday’s game. The duo were previously suspended by NFL Commish Roger Goodell for their alleged roles in Bountygate. Smith starts today, and provides a boost to the Saints defensive line. Vilma is out with a knee injury.
I am going Saints, 38-17. There’s a reason, or many reasons, why the Saints won 13 regular season games last season and the Redskins finished last in the NFC East for the fourth straight year.
Here is my Saints-Redskins diary:
Noon - Fox sideline reporter Tony Siragusa says RGIII mesmerized him during warmups with his quickness and agility. Siragusa follows with a comment about big defensive tackles being terrified by RGIII’s speed. RGIII better be afraid of Siragusa eating him before the afternoon’s over.
12:04 p.m. – So Brees won’t finish 2012 with 100 percent accuracy. His first throw was wide, his second throw was low. His third throw? Batted down. The Skins’ d-line was in his face. The Saints start with a three-and-out and punt.
12:06 p.m. – Great job by Corey White, rookie cornerback, starting in place of Jabari Greer. That type of bubble screen worked in the Big 12. Not here.
12:08 p.m. – Next two plays: Griffin scramble for 12, bubble screen to Garcon for 11. Saints defense will be stretched on the perimeter. … First three passes from Griffin are wide receiver screens to Garcon.
12:10 p.m. – Four straight wide receiver screens. Griffin has moved the Skins to the Saints 30. Do the Saints press the receivers and risk them go over the top? Or do they continue to give space?
12:11 p.m. – That’s so cute. Redskins o-coordinator Kyle Shanahan working for his daddy. Nepotism is alive and well in Washington, D.C.
12:12 p.m. – Oy vey! Another wide receiver screen yields a first down on 3rd and 7. Griffin has completed five of those.
12:13 p.m. – Griffin makes first mistake dropping ball on playaction fake. Keeps composure and turns up field but loses five yards. Could be a key play for Saints in stopping this long, time-consuming drive. A minimal gain on second down brings up a 3rd and 13. Unlikely the Skins will be able to run the wide receiver screen.
12:14 p.m. – That’s a win for the Saints. Griffin fakes wide screen then throws to Helu out of the backfield. Saints make the tackle and forces a field goal. The Skins’ game plan looks like they want to dink and dunk the Saints to death today.
12:15 p.m. – Skins fans will be calling for Billy Cundiff to be replaced by Week 4, I predict. Here he sneaks the ball inside the right upright. Skins are up 3-0 with eight minutes remaining in the first.
12:16 p.m. – What we learned from first drive: Skins coaches want to reduce the amount of pressure on RGIII early, get him in the flow of the game, and then maybe test the Saints downfield.
12:17 p.m. – Is that Rex Grossman on the sideline? Griffin’s not going to learn anything from him.
12:19 p.m. – Saints offense starts at 20 for second possession. Do they come out throwing after three incompletions? Or run? The latter. Pierre Thomas bangs ahead for six yards, creating a manageable second down distance.
12:20 p.m. – Brees’ first completion goes to Jimmy Graham for around 20 yards. As good as Graham is – and as good as his 2011 numbers were – I get the feeling he is underrated among casual football fans. He is, in my mind, the second best tight end in the NFL. The gap between he and New England’s Rob Gronkowski and the rest of the NFL is not close.
12:22 p.m. – Saints get a gift from the Skins defense, courtesy of a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty on a late hit on Sproles.
12:23 p.m. – What a catch! Graham goes up in double coverage and snags a Brees pass for a touchdown. Skins linebacker London Fletcher stretched his 5-foot-10 frame as high as it could go but he’s going to lose that battle against the 6-foot-5 Graham nine times out of 10.
12:25 p.m. – Saints lead 7-3. That’s more like it. Two big pass plays to Graham, one stupid penalty by the Skins. The Skins can’t make mental mistakes like that and expect to beat the Saints in the Superdome.
12:26 p.m. – Skins will start their second offensive possession inside their 20. Do they continue the short passing game or do they mix in intermediate passes? The problem for the Skins is their offensive line won’t be able to protect him.
12:30 p.m. – I do not believe that. Griffin to Garcon for an 88-yard touchdown. What in the hell was Roman Harper doing there? He reacted like a grandpa. Pathetic. Harper got picked by a Skins receiver and that allowed Garcon the space to scoot to the end zone.
12:31 p.m. – Skins lead 10-7 with three minutes left in the first. Griffin has completed his first seven passes for 121 yards and a touchdown. If he isn’t owned in fantasy leagues now he will be after this game. Griffin also has a 12-yard scramble.
12:33 p.m. – Saints’ Achilles heel last season – its defensive back line – remains its Achilles heel in 2012. I don’t understand why the Saints did not upgrade at the safety position.
12:35 p.m. – Saints offense needs balance. Two incompletions to start third drive and then two false start penalties. Eerily reminiscent of their first offensive drive. Got to reduce the distance on second and third down. Brees 0-for-3 on first and third offensive possessions. Not the start the Saints had hoped for but they’re only down three points.
12:37 p.m. – Skins start third drive at own 43. Two runs net them five yards. This is an important third down for the Saints defense. They struggled to get off the field their first drive. Gotta press Washington’s receivers.
12:39 p.m. – Thought for a moment officials gave Griffin a favorable spot at the end of his scramble. Turns out he was a yard short. Skins going for it on 4th and inches. Makes sense. Skins pick up the first, though it looked at first like the fullback would be stopped short.
12:42 p.m. – One positive thus far for the Saints defense is they are stonewalling the Skins when they run it with running backs. The Skins are seeking balance but not finding it. Then again, when your quarterback is perfect, as Griffin is, who needs balance?
12:45 p.m. – Redskins 10, Saints 7. End of 1st.
12:46 p.m. – Griffin just made the type of play that forces you to tip your cap. He rolls left, looks in trouble, then flips the ball across to the field to Fred Davis inside the 20. That’s a 30-plus yard throw that he made look way, way too easy.
12:47 p.m. – Once again the Skins are in the red zone. Saints have a fight on their hands.
12:48 p.m. – Skins have a first and goal at the Saints 7. Might be the most important three plays all day for the Saints defense.
12:49 p.m. – Insult to injury there. Saints corner Johnny Patrick jumps in front of RGIII pass near goal line and should have had a drive-killing interception. Instead he lets the ball bound of his hands and clips a teammate’s legs. Patrick is down. The Saints can’t afford to lose him. They’re already down one cornerback (Jabari Greer). Also notable: Griffin’s first incompletion comes on his ninth NFL pass.
12:52 p.m. – Praise to Harper there tackling Helu on the wide screen and perhaps saving a touchdown. Doesn’t mean anything though because the Saints fail to stop Griffin from throwing his second touchdown pass – this one a slant pattern to Aldrick Robinson.
12:54 p.m. – Redskins 17, Saints 7. 11:33 left in the 2nd quarter. Stunning how Griffin has made the Saints defense, particularly the secondary, look like a Big 12 opponent. His accuracy has been impeccable and his ability to extend plays has been as good as advertised. Griffin has 2 touchdowns and 1 incompletion. Just silly.
12:55 p.m. – Saints need to run the football on this drive. The one drive where they had balance they scored a touchdown. The other two drives Brees finished 0-for-6.
12:58 p.m. – I would bet my net worth (a few dollars) that Shaq does not drive a Buick. Nice try, Buick.
1:00 p.m. – I should amend my earlier statement. Saints need to run the football and not commit silly false start penalties. 3rd and 5 becomes 3rd and 10. Corner blitz from DeAngelo Hall takes down Brees. This is uh-oh territory for the Saints.
1:01 p.m. – Saints punter Thomas Morstead’s 59-yard punt out kicks coverage and Skins return it near midfield. Gut check time 20 minutes into the season for the Saints defense.
1:02 p.m. – Saints D hold Skins to 3 yards on two runs to start drive. Saints have not been able to stop Skins on 3rd down.
1:03 p.m. – Griffin kept the play alive for seven or eight seconds there. You cannot beat him when he does that. Fires a pass to Santana Moss for a huge gain. Saints are lucky Helu blocked in the back there. Skins are still at the Saints 31.
1:04 p.m. – Maybe I owe Tony Siragusa an apology.
1:05 p.m. – Griffin’s second incompletion comes on a drop by Josh Morgan, who took his eyes off the ball. Malcolm Jenkins hit him with his helmet. Nice to see the Saints defense is still trying to hurt people – whether money is involved or not. I am kidding.
1:06 p.m. – Best defensive play of the game so far for the Saints. Curtis Lofton stops Griffin on a 3rd and 3 carry forcing a Cundiff field goal attempt. Saints still have not stopped Skins.
1:07 p.m. – Skins 20, Saints 7. 6:13 left in first half. Cundiff drills a 41-yard field goal with more room to spare this time. I am stunned by this score. I bet a lot of NFL fans will be too. Good news for the Saints is if they score a touchdown here they could go into halftime trailing by six in a game in which they have looked horrendous.
1:10 p.m. – Good Lord, Jimmy Graham! Brees, under pressure, flipped it up over the middle, and Graham wrestled it away from London Fletcher with one arm. Saints are near midfield … Graham suffers left wrist injury on following play. That’s bad news. He’s the only offensive weapon Saints have had so far this afternoon.
1:13 p.m. - Saints received a gift from the referees ruing that Graham’s forward progress had been stopped. Graham coughed up the football. Also suffered an injury. Saints retain football. Graham returns to the game and dishes out a hasty stiff-arm on a Skins’ cornerback.
1:16 p.m. – First time Marques Colston’s name is called. On 3rd and 4, no less. Saints are inside Skins 25 at the two-minute warning. Almost imperative as well as Griffin has played so far that the Saints score a touchdown here.
1:19 p.m. – Good for Aaron Rodgers that he’s getting money from Pizza Hut. Pizza Hut is still Pizza Hut. League minimum money imitation pizza.
1:20 p.m. – Critical mistake by Colston getting stripped by Cedric Griffin at the Skins 5. The ball goes out the back of the end zone. Should be a touchback and Skins’ ball.
1:22 p.m. – Saints defense will need plays in the second half like the one Cedric Griffin just made or the Saints fans will leave the Superdome unhappy for the first time since 2010.
1:25 p.m. – If the Saints can stop the Redskins on third down here the offense will have around 45 seconds to try to get into field goal range.
1:26 p.m. – The Redskins’ first punt of the game comes more than 29 minutes into the game. There will be a lot of second-guessing of new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. However, Robert Griffin III has been magnificent.
1:28 p.m. – Lightning strikes! Martez Wilson blocks Sav Rocca’s punt and backup wideout Courtney Roby scoops it up for a touchdown. WOWWOWWOW!!!!
1:29 p.m. – Redskins 20, Saints 14. :40 in the 2nd. As poorly as the Saints played in the first half, they will enter the locker room with renewed hope. Still doesn’t change the fact the Saints defense must play much better in the second half.
1:32 p.m. – RGIII’s halftime numbers: 11-of-13, 182 yards, 2 TDs. I am a believer. Here’s hoping he gives me reason to doubt in the second half. Skins get ball first in the second half.
1:39 p.m. – Biggest surprise of the first half of action in the NFL’s first Sunday: New York Jets score 27 points against the Buffalo Bills. The Jets scored one offensive touchdown in the preseason. The Jets’ play against the Bills proves that the preseason is just that – the preseason. And that maybe the Bills defense is in trouble despite new acquisition Mario Williams at defensive end.
1:47 p.m. – Angel food cake with whip cream and strawberries is the dessert of champions. Just in case you didn’t know.
1:48 p.m. – Griffin starts second half with 14-yard completion to Moss off play-action. Second pass to Josh Morgan on a play-action slant to the Saints 42. Griffin is 13-of-15 for 217 yards.
1:50 p.m. - Skins get a nice gain on a first down run inside the Saints 40. Saints get a break on second down with a holding call on tight end Fred Davis. At least one would think it would be a break. Perhaps it gives Griffin more room to pad his stats.
1:52 p.m. – Would like to know what Skins’ third-down success rate is. The Saints’ inability to get off the field is preventing them from taking control of this game. That and their inability to stop Robert Griffin III.
1:53 p.m. – Spoke too soon. Saints stop Helu six inches short of first down. I expect Griffin to sneak ahead for the first on fourth down.
1:53 p.m. – Kiss my ass, refs! Chickenshit pass interference call on Harper gives the Skins 1st and goal at the 1. What a call though throwing the ball into the end zone on 4th and inches from beyond the 30.
1:55 p.m. – Alfred Morris plunges in over the left side for a touchdown. That means five Skins’ drives have ended with points. That’s not winning football for the Saints, though that pass interference call was harsh.
1:56 p.m. – Redskins 27, Saints 14. 11:24 in the 3rd. I don’t care how good the Saints offense plays in the second half. If the defense can’t stop the Skins it won’t matter.
2:00 p.m. – Some will say this game is evidence how much Sean Payton’s suspension hurts the Saints. I’d say the storyline should be about Griffin’s brilliance and Mike and Kyle Shanahan’s game plan.
2:01 p.m. – On offense, the Saints have failed to establish the run. Their offense has been one-dimensional.
2:02 p.m. – Marques Colston has had a lousy game. Fumble inside the 5 and now a drop on 2nd and 20 that could have been a first down.
2:02 p.m. – Saints go three and out to start the second half. Fourth time today that’s happened. Only happened 23 times last season. Inability to gain decent yardage on first down today is the culprit. Graham is the only receiver in sync with Brees today. Colston has been disappointing and Devery Henderson has been M.I.A.
2:05 p.m. – Why is Demi Lovato on the X-Factor? Hell, why is that fossil Britney Spears on there? I’m not sure why I care. I won’t watch the show. Just say no to singing competitions!
2:06 p.m. – Saints have an opportunity to get a stop. Instead Morris breaks two tackles in the secondary and the Skins are in Saints territory again. It was an 18-yard gain. There is still a lot of football to be played but this does not feel like the Saints’ day. Hopefully, my reverse jinx works.
2:09 p.m. - Want a play that sums up the Saints day? Patrick Robinson goes for a breakup on 2nd and 18. Instead the ball lands in Arland Robinson’s arms. He runs for a 29-yard gain. Awful defense today. Awful, awful, awful! Skins are yet again inside the Saints 30.
2:11 p.m. – “You are Brian Orakpo, all-pro linebacker … ” Haven’t heard Orakpo’s name at all today. Is he still with the Redskins? Did I miss something?
2:12 p.m. - Crucial 3rd and 2 or 3rd and 3 at the 18. Saints must force a field goal attempt. A touchdown here is ballgame.
2:13 p.m. – Finally. A stop. Patrick Robinson comes free on the blitz forcing an errant throw from Griffin in Davis’ direction.
2:14 p.m. – Did not see Griffin playing so well. Did not see Cundiff going 3-for-3 on field goals. He knocks home a 35-yard kick.
2:15 p.m. – Skins 30, Saints 14. 7:30 in 3rd quarter. Still plenty of time but the Saints desperately need a touchdown on this drive. I doubt many people saw the Redskins scoring 30 points in the whole game today, much less 30 in 2 1/2 quarters. First time since 2010 the Skins score 30 in a regular season game.
2:17 p.m. – Dreadful decision by Sproles to take the kickoff out from nine yards deep. Not only does it not get the Saints up to the 20. It results in a hold. The Saints will have to go 90 yards.
2:19 p.m. – Saints have something going thanks to a pass interference penalty on first down and then a gritty nine-yard run by Pierre Thomas. Let’s see whether they go deep on second down or run for the yard.
2:20 p.m. – Saints choose to air it out. Saints offensive line fails to protect him. Brees makes an acrobatic play just to unload the ball and save yardage. Brees’ play allows them to gain first down yardage.
2:22 p.m. – Ruh-roh! Henderson makes his first play of the game, and almost immediately gets blown up. He’s still down. He has movement in his fingers. Great news. But he got his bell rung. I would be surprised if he plays again today.
2:24 p.m. - Another Saints penalty – this one a holding penalty on first down. Nine penalties for 87 yards. As if that’s not bad enough, Skins almost sack Brees on 1st and 20. Saints offensive line is getting manhandled.
2:26 p.m. – Saints get two breaks. A) Sproles knocks a surefire interception out of Ryan Kerrigan’s hands. B) Jarvis Jenkins’ hands to the face penalty gifts Saints a first down when they faced a possible 3rd and 20.
2:28 p.m. – That’s more like it, Colston! Brees scrambles for his life and fires a dart to Colston, who ran all the way across the field. Saints have the ball inside Skins 35. Saints must get 7 here.
2:29 p.m. – Saints are the beneficiaries of a pass interference call here. Now it’s first and goal. First down pass deflected or it would have been an easy Jimmy Graham catch and walk-in for a score.
2:31 p.m. – Saints face a 3rd and goal from the 3 after David Thomas’ 5-yard catch and run. This is two-down territory in my opinion.
2:32 p.m. – Hate the decision to kick a field goal. Hate it. Saints trail 30-17 with under 2 minutes remaining in the third. They have only stopped the Skins from scoring twice – one of which was the end of the first half. Terrible decision. Terrible play on third down. Sproles would not have scored had he caught the ball.
2:34 p.m. - Skins 30, Saints 17. 1:50 in the 3rd. Can’t trade field goals at this point. This is the third time the Skins have led by 13. They have dominated this contest from the opening whistle. Saints are trying to steal a win at this point.
2:36 p.m. – Saints corner Patrick Robinson had a great series there. First three and out that I recall and second punt. Perhaps there is life for the Saints.
2:38 p.m. – There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth this week in New Orleans. Saints penalized for 12 men on field. Results in Redskins’ first down. What an awful effort in all three phases today.
2:39 p.m. - Redskins 30, Saints 17. End of 3rd quarter.
2:39 p.m. – Redskins have been the better team today. There’s still one quarter left, and thus a chance to win, but this is an incredibly disappointing effort from the Saints today. They did not look ready to play. Is it too early to panic about the absence of Sean Payton?
2:44 p.m. - Saints defense is waving the white flag at this point. Helu takes a screen inside the Saints 35. As far as I’m concerned, this one is over. Saints got outplayed, outcoached, outworked.
2:46 p.m. – Even when the Saints stop the Skins on third down they don’t really stop them on third down. Cameron Jordan jumps offsides for the Saints and the Skins have a manageable 3rd and 3. Remember: This drive is ongoing because of a stupid 12 men on the field penalty on the Saints.
2:49 p.m. – If you started Billy Cundiff as your kicker today in fantasy football either you are Billy Cundiff, Billy Cundiff’s dad, or you play in a 30-team fantasy league. The last item does not exist.
2:49 p.m. – Cundiff splits the uprights on a 45-yard field goal for his fourth make of the day. Like everything else about today’s game, I did not see that one coming.
2:50 p.m. - Skins 33, Saints 17. 10:59 left in the 4th. Lot of time left in the game but it will take a herculean comeback for the Saints to win this game.
2:51 p.m. – Herculean plays like Sproles running the kick out from the back of the end zone, and taking it out near the Saints 40. Thought he had a chance to break it but he cut inside where the help was instead of juking toward the sideline.
2:58 p.m. – Another holding penalty on the Saints. This time it’s All-Pro guard Jahri Evans. 12th penalty. That’s followed by a Ryan Kerrigan sack bringing up 3rd and 26. Interesting about that is the left tackle got beat, held Kerrigan, and still gave up the sack. Apropos for the way things have gone today.
3:00 p.m. – Saints go three and out for the fifth time. This ballgame is over. Hopefully this is just a one game hiccup but it appears more than that. The Saints didn’t just get beat by Robert Griffin III. They got beat by the Redskins’ offensive line and defensive line, its secondary, its kicking game (save for the blocked punt), etc.
3:03 p.m. – The Saints’ offense has scored only 10 points. Think about that. That’s not New Orleans Saints football. It’s hard to score points when you’re running three plays and punting. It’s hard for the defense too. Ugly, ugly, ugly performance. Saints have a lot of work ahead before they play Kansas City next week.
3:08 p.m. – There’s Brian Orakpo on the screen. Haven’t heard his name much today.
3:10 p.m. – Two crisp passes from Brees to Lance Moore and Colston move the Saints inside the Skins’ 35. However, the Skins recover to knock the next three passes down.
3:11 p.m. – There is life. Brees connects with Moore on 4th and 10 for a 34-yard touchdown. Great concentration on the catch by Moore. Brees made a perfect throw.
3:12 p.m. – Skins 33, Saints 25. 6:19 in the 4th. Sproles hides behind his blockers and then barrels into the end zone for the 2-point conversion. The Saints suddenly have life. Now the defense must do what it has struggled to do all day – stop the Redskins’ offense. Last possession the Saints should have had a three-and-out.
3:14 p.m. – Griffin is 17-of-24 for 285 yards and two touchdowns. Make that 18-of-25 for 298 yards. The Superdome crowd raises its collective voice and Griffin throws a dart to Robinson over the middle for a first down. Unflappable, poised, dynamite. All describe Griffin.
3:16 p.m. - There’s the play the Saints needed. Griffin steps on Morris’ feet and falls down. It’s now 3rd and 16 for the Skins.
3:17 p.m. - Whoo, Lord! Griffin made me lose my breath for a second. Will Smith nearly had the sack but Griffin broke away. The quarterback eluded the Saints for 13 yards, but it all amounts to a punt.
3:17 p.m. – So, at least a half-hour after I gave up hope, the Saints have the ball with 3:39 remaining to try to tie this one up. No one I’d rather have with the ball in this situation than Brees.
3:20 p.m. - ARGH!!!!!!!!!! Throw over the middle sails on Brees and Dejoin Gomes intercepts it near the Skins 47 and returns it to the Saints 3. Painful. Pathetic effort by Colston. He could have saved the Saints 10 or 15 yards but did not hustle to make the tackle.
3:22 p.m. - Morris barrels over the Saints’ Hawthorne and the Skins have put this one away. Chants of “RGIII, RGIII, RGIII” are being heard in the Dome.
3:23 p.m. – Skins 40, Saints 25. 3:18 remaining in the 4th. Redskins scored 10 points in each quarter. Abysmal effort by the Saints defense. I’m using the word effort loosely.
3:26 p.m. - Can’t remember the last time Brees completed fewer than 50 percent of his passes. He’s 19-of-41 following a strike to Moore. Credit the Skins pass rush and secondary. The Saints’ receivers have also had their share of drops.
3:28 p.m. – That’s the last thing you want to see if you’re a Saints fan. Brees fires high and Graham takes a helmet-to-helmet hit. Graham stays in the game. Tough guy.
3:29 p.m. - Saints are inside the Skins’ 5 following the 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty and a nifty catch and run by Sproles. Saints have two timeouts and the two-minute warning. Got to imagine they will kick deep if they score here.
3:31 p.m. – That’s if they score. Orakpo had enough of me trash talking him, and suddenly knocks down two straight passes. It’s now third and goal. Make that fourth and goal. This is the ballgame.
3:32 p.m. – Great pump fake by Brees and then check down to Sproles for the touchdown. Second straight touchdown for the Saints on fourth down.
3:33 p.m. – Skins 40, Saints 32. 2:25 in the 4th. Saints have put 32 on the scoreboard but far from a superlative effort by their offense this afternoon. The last two drives show what they are capable of when they get into a rhythm but there has been precious little rhythm today for the Saints offense.
3:35 p.m. – It’s pretty simple. Redskins get a first down here and they win. Otherwise the Saints can get the ball back with about two minutes remaining.
3:35 p.m. – Huge play by Will Smith stopping Morris with one arm for a three-yard loss. Would be surprised if the Skins take a chance and throw on second down. Likely a run here. Though a Griffin run-pass option ….
3:37 p.m. – Didn’t finish typing that sentence before Griffin fires a strike to Logan Paulsen over the middle. First down and ballgame. Griffin goes over 300 yards.
3:38 p.m. – Two-minute warning. Gross, gross, gross. Spagnuolo failed to make adjustments. The Shanahan’s and Griffin were three steps ahead throughout the game. Perhaps this is a precursor to Griffin having a Cam Newton-esque rookie season. Or maybe it’s a precursor to the Saints defense being a leaky vessel all season.
3:41 p.m. – Saints will have a few gasps at a miracle. Not likely though. 30 seconds and no timeouts. Griffin threw for 320 yards. Video game numbers.
3:43 p.m. – I have been critical all day about Sproles taking the ball out from deep in his own end zone on kickoffs. But on that punt return I don’t see why he didn’t catch the ball at the goal line and take it out. Not a normal football play, I know. But extreme times call for extreme measures.
3:44 p.m. – Nice to see the big o-linemen sprint down the field for an opportunity to clock the football. Saints had a chance at the end but Brees’ desperation pass from the 39 is picked by Reed Doughty. Great job by Brees to put his team in position to tie the game.
3:46 p.m. – Skins 40, Saints 32. Final.
3:46 p.m. - Disappointing performance from the Saints today. That’s an understatement. Awful defense. The Saints did not spy on Griffin nor did they make adjustments. Their secondary is still a weak point, and now it’s injury riddled. Brees completed 24 of 51 passes. The Saints offensive line failed to do its job today. The Skins’ defensive players chased him around all day forcing errant throw after errant throw for the first three and a half quarters.
3:49 p.m. – Saints go to Kansas City in Week 2. The Chiefs gave up 40 points to New Orleans’ NFC South rival Atlanta on Sunday. The Saints can’t afford an 0-2 start. Not after dropping a winnable home game against an NFC East team that has called the cellar home the past four years.