LANDOVER – The Washington Redskins were searching for a quality win against the New Orleans Saints after they fell mercifully to the New England Patriots a week ago. Nothing strikes confidence in a team more than a 47-14 rout over a squad led by one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the league. “I just […]
LANDOVER – The Washington Redskins were searching for a quality win against the New Orleans Saints after they fell mercifully to the New England Patriots a week ago.
Nothing strikes confidence in a team more than a 47-14 rout over a squad led by one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the league.
“I just let the guys know what kind of guy (Drew Brees) is,” said Washington Redskins safety Dashon Goldson. “He was downhill – he is a chunk player, chunk quarterback. He loves the big play. That’s what they thrive on so that’s what I told the guys. We had to stay deep and break on everything else.”
Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins engineered a 10-play, 96-yard drive to strike first. He completed the opening drive with a 16-yard throw to Jordan Reed to go up 7-0.
New Orleans responded quickly on the ensuing possession after Mark Ingram broke off a 70-yard run down to the Redskins seven-yard-line. On the very next play, Brees locked in on Brandon Cooks and rifled a pass to tie the game up at seven.
On Washington’s following possession, Cousins led another lengthy drive of eight plays and 80 yards. Rookie running back Matt Jones accounted for 53 all-purpose yards, which included a 29-yard reception. After Jones’ pivotal scamper, Cousins forced a dart through two defenders to Jamison Crowder for an 11-yard touchdown. Crowder’s touchdown was the first of his young career.
“It feels great and even better that we got the win like we did,” Crowder said. “I’ve been waiting for that first touchdown, so I’m glad I finally got it. Hopefully I can put in some more touchdowns as the season goes along.”
Brees made a backbreaking play on their next possession that had the potential to change the momentum of the game. Under duress, Brees stepped up in the pocket and fired a bomb to Cooks for a 60-yard touchdown to tie the game up 14-14. However, penalties and defensive breakdowns haunted the Saints and they were unable to stretch the field the rest of the match.
Washington went on to score 33 unanswered points by the way of a three-headed monster orchestrated by Cousins. Cousins had a stellar outing after he completed 20-of-25 passing attempts for 324 yards and four touchdowns. Two of his passing touchdowns found their way into Reed’s hands, while Jones led the team in receiving with three receptions for 131 yards and a touchdown. Jones also was effective on the ground with 11 carries for 56 yards.
“Well, I saw very good runs and breaking tackles and converting. Matt for example, in the third-and-short got hit behind the line and with a second effort was able to convert the first down. You love seeing runs like that,” Cousins said.
The third player in the mix was Crowder. Crowder finished the day with four receptions for 60 yards and a touchdown. The former Duke Blue Devil has consistently found success this season and he has been a security blanket for Cousins in his progressions so far. Cousins spoke highly of his teammates after the win.
“Once they’ve broken the open field, seeing them run away from guys and create a little bit after the initial contact or the initial block and the passing game,selfishly they did a great job helping me,” Cousin said. “They caught a couple routes underneath and took them down the sideline and the screen that Matt had. All three guys caught a couple passes and made a difference in the passing game. I love seeing those guys make plays because they’re all really talented and they can help us.”
The Redskins played sound and disciplined defense as well. Washington’s defensive unit forced Brees to throw two interceptions, which included a pick-six to Goldson for a 35-yard touchdown in the second half. Linebacker Perry Riley pulled down his second interception in two games and also racked up six tackles.
“I mean, the two touchdowns we gave them were just busted plays,” Riley said. “We just stayed together. We knew they were busted plays. We were going to get over it and we could overcome it. The offense was doing well. We just didn’t panic. We stayed together and we executed the game plan down the stretch.”
Washington will face the undefeated Carolina Panthers on Nov. 22. Despite having success at home this season, Washington will need to dig deep if they want to remain relevant in a competitive NFC East division. Currently, the Redskins are in second place in the NFC East behind the New York Giants.
“Anytime you win in the NFL against a team like New Orleans – coached by one heck of a coach that has done some great things– it’s a great win and I’m very proud of those guys,” said Redskins Head Coach Jay Gruden. “Now it’s about expectation levels, and their expectation level has got to be higher.
“We play an undefeated Carolina Panthers next week. They can enjoy this win for a few hours and then it’s back to work Monday and Tuesday. I’m very happy to get to 4-5, keep ourselves rolling, keep ourselves in this race in the NFC East and we’ll just go from there.”