I couldn't get my mind off this crazy game, so I said to hell with Sunday Night Football and reviewed the first quarter tonight.
I have already posted some initial reactions and a poll question.
As always, play by play is taken from the NFL Game Book and my commentary can be distinguished by having its own font.
S.Suisham kicks 56 yards from WAS 30 to NO 14. C.Roby to NO 34 for 20 yards (H.Blades).
New Orleans Saints at 15:00, (1st play from scrimmage 14:57)
1-10-NO 34 (14:57) (Shotgun) D.Brees pass short left to P.Thomas to NO 47 for 13 yards (R.McIntosh).
Andre Carter powers past the LT's outside shoulder and nearly bats down this screen pass.
1-10-NO 47 (14:32) P.Thomas left end to NO 43 for -4 yards (A.Carter).
Carter runs over both the LG and the slot receiver (the LT had pulled to the outside) and chases down the RB from behind.
2-14-NO 43 (13:53) (Shotgun) D.Brees pass incomplete deep left to R.Bush (F.Smoot) [A.Carter].
Orakpo attacks the LT's inside shoulder and is only slowed down by having the guy's arm wrapped around his neck. He carries the LT into the backfield and interferes with Brees' first attempt to throw, forcing him to pull the ball down. When Brees escapes to the left Andre Carter, who had been rushing from LDE, pursues him and tackles Brees by the legs just as he throws. Smoot is in front of the receiver and gets both hands on the ball, but can't bring it down.
3-14-NO 43 (13:43) (Shotgun) D.Brees pass short left to P.Thomas to WAS 47 for 10 yards (K.Moore) [A.Haynesworth].
4-4-WAS 47 (13:02) T.Morstead punts 42 yards to WAS 5, Center-J.Kyle, downed by NO-J.Kyle.
Washington Redskins at 12:51
1-10-WAS 6 (12:51) J.Campbell pass short right to F.Davis to WAS 15 for 9 yards (J.Kyle).
2-1-WAS 15 (12:11) R.Cartwright up the middle to WAS 19 for 4 yards (R.Ayodele, W.Smith).
PENALTY on NO-W.Smith, Face Mask (15 Yards), 15 yards, enforced at WAS 19.
There would have been a bigger hole but the RDE stayed on his feet despite Sellers' cut block. After this penalty we're already past the 30 rather than pinned deep by the punt, so Smoot's dropped interception ended up not really hurting us in terms of field position.
1-10-WAS 34 (11:43) J.Campbell pass incomplete deep left to D.Thomas (M.Jenkins).
PENALTY on NO-M.Jenkins, Defensive Pass Interference, 32 yards, enforced at WAS 34 - No Play.
Saints blitz two LBs. Rock picks up the OLB and throws a good block. The RDE slants inside hoping to open a hole for the MLB, but Levi Jones stays home and manages to fill that guy's blitz lane too.
This ball is a little underthrown - Thomas was forced to slow up, but fortunately the only way the DB could break it up was through desperate interference because Thomas had beat him so badly. But if the pass had a little more air under it this may have been a touchdown.
1-10-NO 34 (11:37) R.Cartwright left end to NO 33 for 1 yard (S.Shanle).
Sellers motions to LTE and kicks out the LB to open up a hole, and Jones and Dockery do a good job of sealing the Saints linemen to the inside. But no one is available to pick up the safety who fills the hole, so Rock is forced to cut outside and by that point the LB is able to shed off Sellers and make the play.
2-9-NO 33 (11:00) R.Cartwright left end to NO 31 for 2 yards (S.Shanle).
Rock cuts to the inside off of Sellers' lead block, but Mike Williams (at RG today) and Stephon Heyer can't cut off the backside pursuit.
3-7-NO 31 (10:20) (Shotgun) J.Campbell pass short middle to D.Thomas to NO 21 for 10 yards (M.Jenkins, D.Sharper).
Saints have only 3 down linemen and try to blitz two LBs up the middle, but Dockery blocks the first one so hard he is able to throw him into the second one, so Dockery takes out both blitzers.
1-10-NO 21 (9:40) R.Cartwright up the middle to NO 5 for 16 yards (D.Sharper).
The LDE apparently misreads the play as a bootleg and takes himself out of the play trying to get downfield to pursue Campbell. Fred Davis kicks out the SLB opening up a big running lane and Heyer, since he doesn't have the LDE to worry about, can clear an oncoming safety from the lane.
1-5-NO 5 (9:03) R.Cartwright right end to NO 8 for -3 yards (R.Ayodele, W.Smith).
The Saints D-line wins this battle. Davis and Williams both get pushed back and can't win the corner, and when Rock cuts back he is taken down by a DT who had penetrated agains Dockery's cut block.
2-8-NO 8 (8:21) J.Campbell pass incomplete short left to R.Cartwright.
Timeout #1 by WAS at 08:17.
Campbell was well protected but none of the routes get open. When he tries to dump it off to Rock the RDE, who is engaged on Levi, tries to get his hand up. Campbell reacts to this during his throwing motion and shoots the ball over Rock's head.
3-8-NO 8 (8:17) (Shotgun) J.Campbell pass short left to F.Davis for 8 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
Thomas out of the slot runs a post into the endzone which threatens the LBs in shallow coverage and opens up room for Davis on the shallow cross. Once he makes the catch Davis is simply too fast for a LB and a S who each initially appear to have an angle on him.
S.Suisham extra point is GOOD, Center-E.Albright, Holder-H.Smith.
NO 0 WAS 7, 9 plays, 94 yards, 2 penalties, 4:40 drive, 6:49 elapsed
S.Suisham kicks 62 yards from WAS 30 to NO 8. C.Roby to NO 30 for 22 yards (H.Blades, K.Moore).
New Orleans Saints at 8:11, (1st play from scrimmage 8:05)
1-10-NO 30 (8:05) D.Brees pass short left to D.Thomas to NO 36 for 6 yards (H.Blades).
Lorenzo Alexander rushes from RDE and despite being tripped up by the RB gets his hands up and very nearly deflects this pass to the TE in the flat.
2-4-NO 36 (7:30) D.Henderson left end pushed ob at NO 39 for 3 yards (R.McIntosh). End around
Brees fakes a handoff to the RB then gives it to the WR on an end-around, but Lorenzo Alexander and Rocky McIntosh are not fooled and give good pursuit.
3-1-NO 39 (7:07) Z.Strief reported in as eligible. M.Bell up the middle to NO 39 for no gain (R.McIntosh).
Saints attempt to double Haynesworth but he gets off the line too quick for the LG to even get a block on him and he simply runs over the LT. Kedric Golston dives straight through the line and trips up the RG who is trying to pull to the left.
4-1-NO 39 (6:26) T.Morstead punts 31 yards to WAS 30, Center-J.Kyle, fair catch by A.Randle El.
This horribly short punt, which is normally a good thing by the opposition, is an ominous portent of the even worse punt in the 2nd quarter that will somehow end up in New Orleans' favor.
Washington Redskins at 6:17
1-10-WAS 30 (6:17) J.Campbell pass short right to F.Davis to WAS 42 for 12 yards (J.Vilma, M.McKenzie).
LBs bite on play action, opening up both Sellers and Davis in the flat. Jason rolls out and hits Davis, and Sellers blocks the nearest DB to open up more yards.
1-10-WAS 42 (5:39) Q.Ganther left tackle to NO 45 for 13 yards (S.Shanle).
Davis kicks out the SLB (great block #1), Dockery keeps the RDE to the inside (great block #2), Levi hits the MLB two yards past the LOS and knocks him back four more (great block #3). A safety shoots in to fills the large running lane, but Ganther ptus a wicked cut on him and shows impressive power maintaining his footing and forward momentum despite taking a fairly solid blow to the legs.
1-10-NO 45 (4:58) J.Campbell pass incomplete deep right to S.Moss.
Ganther fails to read the LB blitzing around the right edge so he comes in unblocked, but Campbell pump fakes and makes the LB leap for the deflection instead of coming in for the sack. He buys himself a split second to try to get the ball to Santana who is wide open down the sideline, but in all the traffic he is unable to step into the throw and the ball sails out of bounds.
2-10-NO 45 (4:53) (Shotgun) J.Campbell pass short left to A.Randle El to NO 34 for 11 yards (T.Evans) [M.Jenkins].
Ganther again screws up in pass protection - two DBs come untouched off the left edge, but Ganther blocks to the right where the linemen already have all the pass rushers accounted for. Campbell is able to get the ball out off his back foot and hits Randle-El, who is occupying the zone vacated by the two blitzing DBs.
1-10-NO 34 (4:11) J.Campbell pass short right to F.Davis pushed ob at NO 19 for 15 yards (M.McKenzie).
Sellers handles the LDE, allowing the whole line to fan to the offensive left so that Levi can pick up the blitzing SLB. The DTs try to open a lane for the MLB to blitz as well, but the Redskins interiror linemen win the battle and the MLB runs into his own guys backs and is forced to work his way around Heyer's outside shoulder, at which point he's picked up by the RB (Ganther or Rock??). Campbell hits Davis on an out, and he runs through two seperate tackles to pick up 6 tough yards of YAC.
1-10-NO 19 (3:39) J.Campbell pass short left to M.Mitchell to NO 13 for 6 yards (M.Jenkins).
2-4-NO 13 (3:03) J.Campbell pass incomplete short left to S.Moss.
Campbell wants to throw the quick slant to Moss but two DBs jump the route immediately. By the time he pulls the ball down he is under pressure from the LDE and has to throw it away. Not to pick on Ganther, but I think he should have seen that DE was unblocked. The only other pass rush threat he needed to be worried about was the SLB, but Sellers had him well blocked from the TE position.
3-4-NO 13 (2:58) J.Campbell pass incomplete short left to F.Davis.
Saints have three down linemen, but have two LBs showing blitz on the offensive left and two DBs showing blitz on the offensive right. The DBs drop back and the LBs come. The Redskins adjust and Levi and Ganther each take out a blitzing LB. Heyer is beat to the outside by the LDE. Campbell steps up to avoid it but, feeling more pressure than there is, he rushes a hopeless throw to Davis, who is well covered and the throw sails high anyway because Jason threw on the run. If he had just pulled the ball down he had a lot of running room to his right - there was only one defender to that side and Santana was well positioned to block him.
4-4-NO 13 (2:52) S.Suisham 32 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-E.Albright, Holder-H.Smith.
NO 0 WAS 10, 9 plays, 57 yards, 3:29 drive, 12:12 elapsed
S.Suisham kicks 62 yards from WAS 30 to NO 8. C.Roby pushed ob at NO 34 for 26 yards (D.Thomas).
Redskins coverage unit overpursues and the returner has way too much space when he cuts it back across the field. Good speed from Devin Thomas prevents a bigger return.
New Orleans Saints at 2:48, (1st play from scrimmage 2:40)
1-10-NO 34 (2:40) D.Brees pass short left to R.Meachem pushed ob at NO 45 for 11 yards (L.Landry).
Quick hitch. Byron Westbrook misses an open field tackle 4 yards past the LOS.
1-10-NO 45 (2:15) M.Bell up the middle to NO 44 for -1 yards (B.Orakpo).
Haynesworth and HB Blades take on the Saints RT, RG, and C and win. The RB is forced to cut it outside, where Philip Daniels is unblocked and smothers him.
2-11-NO 44 (1:39) (Shotgun) D.Brees pass short right to P.Thomas pushed ob at WAS 42 for 14 yards (B.Westbrook).
Redskins get suckered by a screen.
1-10-WAS 42 (1:07) P.Thomas right end to WAS 41 for 1 yard (A.Carter, L.Fletcher).
Carter comes unblocked at RDE and pursures from the backside, and Rocky blows up the FBs lead block, forcing the RB to take it further outside so Fletcher can chase him down.
2-9-WAS 41 (:28) (Shotgun) D.Brees pass short left to R.Bush to WAS 39 for 2 yards (K.Barnes).
A little bubble screen to Bush, but Kevin Barnes fights past a WR's block to make the play.