Written by: Heather Blanchard
Robert Griffin III beats the Saints, the interim-interim coach wouldn’t stop yelling, and the Saints are going to suck this year; but who cares because the world is coming to an end soon. Wait, WHAT?
This was the first game of the season for both the Washington Redskins and the New Orleans Saints. I repeat: this was the FIRST game of the season. So to all the bandwagon Saints fans, chill out, go watch a Jaguars game, and be thankful that your bandwagon team is not them.
To start, Robert Griffin III did not singlehandedly beat the Saints like the media loves to claim. It was a very good team effort from the Redskins and a not so good effort from the Saints. It started with the big, bad, and almighty Saints offense receiving first and going 3 and out. And did they go out. The first 3 downs of their first drive were all incomplete passes from Drew Brees to receivers Marques Colston, Lance Moore, and no one. That’s right he threw to no one and those other two needs to be released, right? On the first drive for the Redskins, RGIII had seven completed passes, mostly to Pierre Garcon, that lead them on a field goal scoring drive. That would be seven more than what Drew Brees, the one hundred million dollar man, had on his first drive. The Saints answered with a short touchdown drive but RGIII answered back and overshadowed that drive with an “Oh yeah? Watch this!” type of play in which he threw the ball to Pierre Garcon for an 88 yard touchdown. This play looked like it was nothing for RGIII. In fact he was sitting on his butt when Garcon ran it down the field into the end zone. The Saints tried to answer that but looked more like they were moving backwards down the field with two back to back false start penalties on a third down that couldn’t be converted. The Redskins gave the Saints fans some false hopes when going for it on fourth down in the next drive, but they successfully converted and drove the ball down the field to score again. In the first half the Redskins had the ball for six possessions which they scored on four. The Saints only scored on one possession, one lonely short possession. They did score again right before the half when Martez Wilson blocked the punt by Sav Rocca which resulted in a touchdown by Courtney Roby for the Saints. “Thank you Courtney, for keeping us in the game. Now let’s go get our pep talk from the calm and collected Coach Kromer.”
The second half started out with a BANG! Oh wait sorry this isn’t the Texans-Dolphins game we are talking about. Let me get back on track.
The second half was the Redskins’ turn to show what they were made of. Oh they did that already? I must have slept through that boring first half. Anyway in the third quarter the Redskins slowly drove it in for a touchdown on the half’s opening drive. New Orleans did not answer. Instead butter fingers Colston and dancing machine Moore both missed passes (again release these guys!) from Brees, who apparently was the only one fired up but I’ll come back to that. The next two drives were field goal drives for both teams. Saints ate up a lot of time on the drive and ran the clock down to 1:50 but fortunately for them the next Redskins drive was a three and out. Or at least it would have been since the Redskins were at a 4th and 5, but one player for the Saints just took his lovely time twirling, skipping, and slowly moving his way off the field when the teams were switching units. He moved as if everything was just great and life is beautiful. Well everything was great and life is beautiful if you were a Redskin at that moment. The penalty was called against New Orleans for twelfth man on the field, which is a five yard penalty. The ball was snapped but this player must have assumed they were going to wait for him to move off the field. How rude! Say “thank you,” RGIII. He led the Redskins down the field on a field goal drive. Eventually in the fourth quarter the Saints looked like they were on their way back. The defense was finally able to stop Washington from hogging the ball the entire quarter, giving the offense enough time to come in and try to throw something together quickly. They succeeded in making a touchdown followed up with a two point conversion. Washington was stopped quickly by the Saints defense in the next drive but made up for it when Drew Brees was intercepted by DeJon Gomes on the following drive. Gomes ran it for 49 yards to the New Orleans 3 yard line. I’m sure you can predict exactly what happened next. The Redskins put up another seven points and the Saints came back on with their tails between their legs. This was the moment we had been waiting for all game, to finally see our offense shine like they should have been the entire game. It took some real grinding against a rested Redskins defense but the Saints drove it down the field to the Washington 2 yard line. It took four attempts to make the connection for a touchdown pass to Darren Sproles. The Saints should have gone for a two point conversion again at this point but instead made the extra point. On the Redskins’ final drive, The Saints defense held off the Redskins one more time and the Saints offense had one more opportunity to see the field again in this home catastrophe. With 22 seconds left in the game and after starting at the Saints own 20 yard line, Brees was slinging the ball down the field making two connections with Moore for 15 and 26 yards consecutively. Maybe we’ll keep him. With only two seconds left and no time outs left, Brees spiked the ball. With one second left to go he threw a deep pass and just as it looked like Joe Morgan would be able to get it, Reed Doughty caught it first. End of game.
In this game these two offenses looked like they were swapped from last year. The only difference was, the Saints were able to come back and answer with touchdowns. Redskins last year wouldn’t have had much hope. Speaking of last year, the Saints never trailed a home game by more than 10 points. In Sunday’s game in the third quarter the Saints were trailing the Redskins by 16 points. At least they ended the game with only an eight point difference. Anything more and the bandwagoners would be gone forever.
“The Saints lost because they suck and have the worst players in the league and will play this horribly all season long!” What am I going to do with these fans? Yes we lost to the Redskins in the first game of the season in the Superdome. Does this mean we should be upset with our team and jumping to conclusions after? Certainly not but by all means if that’s what you feel is the best for you, go for it. Just know you’ll probably look more like a fool at the end. We lost week one last year and went 13-3. Of course it wasn’t a home game and we had a head coach and no one really knew bounties existed. Week one is an important game just as any game in the season is. Conclusions can’t be made based on one game. If that was the case then the Giants would have never won the Superbowl last year or even beat the Packers in the playoffs. And yes the Saints have been through a lot this offseason with the suspension of head coach Sean Payton for the season, Joe Vitt for 6 games, and Mickey Loomis for 8 but that doesn’t mean it’s a weakness or that they are going to let players walk all over them. The fight at the end of this matchup showed it. Besides, we only lost to a conference team not a divisional team like the Panthers lost to the Buccaneers.
We all were very curious to see how the interim-interim head coach, Aaron Kromer, would do in his debut. From what we could tell he just stood on the sidelines and moved his eyes up and down the field. He showed no expression, which infuriated a lot of fans because he wasn’t being a Rex Ryan or one of the Harbaugh brothers. I’m going to cut him some slack. He’s not a head coach nor has he ever been one in the NFL so I don’t expect him to start throwing things and yelling like a head coach just yet, although he probably does curse like one. We’ve got to give him time just like we have to give our defense time to adjust to new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s defensive scheme. The way they played yesterday it looks like some were still stuck in Gregg Williams’ scheme. Patience is a virtue my friend! What am I talking about? I know nothing about patience. Hey Saints! Can we please step it up a few notches next week?
And let’s face it, we underestimated RGIII. We underestimated their offensive line. Clearly our defense could do nothing with the pass rush. They couldn’t even touch RGIII. Not a finger on him. We underestimated their defense. They held the Saints to 3 three and outs. No one could do that last season. Not even the 49ers. Why did I bring that game up? Can someone please pass me a tissue? Now that the Redskins have won this game, other teams aren’t going to overlook them. With RGIII under center, erasing Cam Newton’s name from record books, the Redskins do have a very bright season to look forward too, as do the Saints.