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Saints Vs. Skins

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Saints Look to Keep Rolling Against Struggling Skins (Sports Network) - With the NFC South title in their sights, the New Orleans Saints welcome the Washington Redskins to the Superdome this Sunday. At 9-4, the Saints hold a two-game over ...

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Old 12-16-2006, 08:45 PM   #1
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Saints Vs. Skins

Saints Look to Keep Rolling Against Struggling Skins

(Sports Network) - With the NFC South title in their sights, the New Orleans Saints welcome the Washington Redskins to the Superdome this Sunday.

At 9-4, the Saints hold a two-game over Atlanta in the division and can clinch the title with a win over the Redskins.

New Orleans is coming off last Sunday's big primetime victory over the Dallas Cowboys. Drew Brees threw five touchdown passes to lead the Saints to a 42-17 thrashing of the Cowboys at Texas Stadium.

It was the third consecutive victory for the Saints, who are one win away from just their second 10-victory season in 14 years. New Orleans went 10-6 in 2000 -- the only other time they won a division title and made the playoffs since 1992.

Meanwhile, the Redskins have dropped two straight contests and have been officially eliminated from the playoffs.

Last week, Washington was dealt a 21-19 home loss by the Philadelphia Eagles. The Redskins actually fought back to make a game of it after trailing by a 21-6 margin at halftime.

This is the sixth time in the last seven seasons that the Redskins will miss out on the playoffs. They made the postseason last year and won a game before losing to the eventual NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks.


The Redskins hold a 13-7 edge in their all-time series with the Saints, but have lost the two most recent head-to-head meetings, both at home. Washington was a 24-20 loser at FedEx Field when the teams last did battle, in 2003. The Redskins' most recent win in the series, a 40-10 rout at the Superdome in 2001, also marks the last matchup between the clubs in the Crescent City. The Skins are 2-0 at the Superdome since last losing there in 1992.

Washington head coach Joe Gibbs is 5-1 all-time against New Orleans, with each of the meetings dating back to his first tenure with the club (1981-92). The Saints' Sean Payton will be meeting both Gibbs and the Redskins for the first time as a head coach.


The Redskins' rushing offense has barely missed a beat in the absence of Clinton Portis, who is out for the rest of the season with a broken right hand. Ladell Betts (814 yards, 2 TD) has filled in superbly in Portis' absence, and set a career-high with 171 rushing yards last week against the Eagles. Betts has rushed for 430 yards in his last three games, and is just 186 yards from reaching 1,000 for the season. Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell (66 yards) added 38 yards on four scrambles. Washington has the sixth-best rushing offense in the NFL this season, with an average of 134.7 yards on the ground per week.

About the only thing the Saints didn't do well in last Sunday's romp in Dallas was play run defense. Cowboys running back Julius Jones torched New Orleans for 116 rushing yards on just 10 carries, although, most of that came on his 77-yard TD run early in the first quarter. The Saints were playing their first game without hefty nose tackle Hollis Thomas (43 tackles, 3 1/2 sacks), who served the first test of a four-game suspension for violating the league's steroid policy. Antwan Lake (6 tackles) filled in for Thomas and failed to record a tackle. Fellow defensive tackle Brian Young (40 tackles, 4 1/2 sacks) posted two tackles, and outside linebacker Scott Shanle (86 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 INT) made five stops. The Saints are 24th this season in run defense, with 131.8 rushing yards allowed per contest.

Since making the switch to the untested Campbell, the Redskins are just 1-3. Campbell (713 yards, 6 TD, 5 INT) has been mediocre over his first four NFL starts, and has especially struggled in his last two outings. The former Auburn star's QB rating has been in the 50s for two straight games, as he has tossed four interceptions during that stretch. Last week against the Eagles, Campbell completed 15-of-27 passes for 182 yards and threw one touchdown and two interceptions. Wideout Santana Moss (43 receptions, 4 TD) and tight end Chris Cooley (41 receptions) have been the Skins' most consistent pass- catchers this season. Washington is 24th in the NFL with 185.3 passing yards per game.

The Saints have done a solid job shutting down opposing passing attacks this year, and certainly gave Tony Romo and the Cowboys fits last Sunday evening. Romo was knocked down a level from his "golden boy" status, after completing just 16-of-33 passes for 249 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Defensive end Will Smith (41 tackles, 10 1/2 sacks) helped keep the fleet Romo in the pocket and recorded two sacks. Strong safety Omar Stoutmire (56 tackles, 2 INT) and cornerback Jason Craft (40 tackles, 1 INT) each picked off a pass for the Saints. New Orleans is fifth in the NFL this year with just 184.2 passing yards allowed per game. The Saints are also sixth in the league with 35 sacks.


The Saints have the top-rated offense in the NFL this year, and that's due in large part to the play of Brees and his bevy of receivers. Brees (4,033 yards, 25 TD, 10 INT) is a candidate for league MVP honors, and displayed why against the Cowboys, throwing for 384 yards and five touchdowns in the blowout. The former Purdue star ended with a QB rating of 140.8, his highest mark of the season. Rookie running back Reggie Bush (79 catches, 687 yards, 2 TD) once again proved to be a dangerous target for Brees, as the 2005 Heisman Trophy winner ended with six catches for 125 yards and a touchdown. Wide receiver Devery Henderson (28 catches, 654 yards, 5 TD) added two receptions for 92 yards and a TD, and rookie wideout Marques Colston (59 catches, 917 yards, 7 TD) ended with five catches for 48 yards. Fullback Mike Karney (13 catches, 82 yards, 2 TD) also had a surprising day with the first two touchdown receptions of his career. The Saints are ranked first in passing offense with 303.5 yards through the air every week.

Washington didn't give up much in terms of passing yardage last week, but did allow Eagles quarterback Jeff Garcia to have an efficient day passing the ball. Garcia completed 15-of-23 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns to end the day with a 115.1 passer rating. The Redskins failed to get a sack or an interception in the contest. Washington is dead last in the NFL with just 15 sacks on the year. Cornerback Vernon Fox (30 tackles, 1 interception) led the secondary with seven tackles, and safety Sean Taylor (86 tackles, 1 interception) added four stops. The Redskins are allowing 216.6 passing yards per contest to place them 22nd in the NFL.

With Brees leading a superb passing attack, the Saints' running game has taken a back seat this season. However, that's not to say they haven't been effective in the rushing game. New Orleans is ranked 19th in the NFL in rushing offense with an average of 107.2 yards on the ground per week. Veteran Deuce McAllister (901 yards, 8 TD) has handled most of the inside running, and is closing in on the fourth 1,000-yard rushing season of his career. McAllister carried the ball 21 times for 111 yards in last week's win over the Cowboys. Bush (405 yards, 4 TD) added six runs for 37 yards and Karney (24 yards, 1 TD) notched three carries for 14 yards and the first rushing TD of his career.

The Redskins defense has struggled overall this season, and that has included their ability to stop the run. Washington is 22nd in the NFL in rushing defense with 128.3 yards surrendered per contest. The Redskins did a decent job against Philadelphia last Sunday, allowing 99 total yards on the ground. Defensive tackles Cornelius Griffin (41 tackles, 1 sack) and Kedric Golston (37 tackles 1/2 sack) spent the day clogging up the middle of the line, and finished with three tackles apiece. Outside linebacker Marcus Washington (82 tackles, 1 1/2 sacks) added five stops in the losing effort.


This could be a difficult matchup for the Saints, considering how well Betts and the Redskins have been running the ball lately. New Orleans struggled stopping the run even with Thomas in the lineup, so that should make this game close for a short while, but eventually Brees and the high-powered Saints offense will pull away. The Saints pass-rushers should also make things difficult for Campbell, who has also still yet to show he deserves to be Washington's QB of the future.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Saints 31, Redskins 21

Lazy I know but this was one of the best write ups I have ever seen.
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Old 12-17-2006, 06:13 AM   #2
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RE: Saints Vs. Skins

yes the o a, is correct.......the saints need to be careful in this one because the redskins could easily shoot out on top as dallas did, catch a couple of breaks and have us looking for a win in the last two which i would dread....this is the game for all the marbles to put us where we need to be. i would hate to see the conservative offense by payton in this game. please, show me the razzle dazzle you did in the cowboys game. i know payton won't take this game for granted, but of all the games so far, this one scares me the most............smitty
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