Tuesday, December 8, 2009

2009 Redskins Report Card: Week 13 vs. New Orleans Saints

Saints 33, Redskins 30 (OT)

Maybe it's just my TV, but Sean Payton's face looks jaundiced. Seriously, that thing is a gross yellow color.

Offense: A-
Defense: B-
Special Teams: C-
Overall: B-

I just got back from Disney World, but Sunday's game was as wild a ride as Big Thunder Mountain, with ups and downs, twists and turns, and low-hanging metal pipes that you're pretty sure are going to hit you in the head, but that's just an optical illusion, and also they're probably made from Styrofoam.

What was I talking about? Oh right. So yeah, the Redskins made a game of it against the Saints. Washington had its highest point output of the season with 30 points, but they were playing a New Orleans team that has scored under 30 points only three times this season. Going into the Saints' last drive with 1:52 left, down 7 points, was there any question that Brees would be able to pick apart this defense and make it downfield for the tying touchdown? I can say with some confidence that most Redskins fans were already aware of our fate.

The offense looked totally in sync for perhaps the first time all season. Rock Cartwright and Quinton Ganther seem as good a duo as Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts, meaning one or both of the latter two might not be back next season. Jason Campbell did well, but I think not as well as people in Washington (I'm looking at you, LaVar Arrington) are saying. While he did a good job of spreading the ball around and keeping the offense moving, he threw a bone-headed interception as they were marching down for what could have been the game-winning drive. Washington fans needed this win to believe that our team might be headed in the right direction, and Campbell once again gave it away.

The defense doesn't get glowing marks despite their ability to keep pressure on Drew Brees and stifle the Saints' rushing attack (by the way, Mike Bell had a nine-yard run late in the game that he celebrated outlandishly, and I just wanted to slap him and say, "You've done nothing all day, shut your mouth"). LaRon Landry gave up two touchdown passes when he got himself out of position, and Kareem Moore was stripped of an intercepted ball by Robert Meachem, who took it in for a touchdown.

But Shaun Suisham was the goat (and now the sacrificial lamb) for this loss, and deservedly so. A 23-yard field goal is a gimme, and you've got to hit it. High snap? Please. It's a 23-yard field goal. You count on your kicker to be able to deal with a bit of adversity, especially on short field goals, and come through. I don't think Suisham should have been cut, but he deserved to have to deal with people saying that he should be cut. I doubt the Redskins will do any better without him, though.

Around the League
  • Of course, as soon as I start talking up the Vikings, they get slugged by Anquan Boldin and the Cardinals. News flash: Boldin is damn good.
  • We all wanted the Titans to beat the Colts. It didn't happen, though, and now the Titans have a two-game deficit to climb back into the playoff picture. I'm still rooting for them; the more of Chris Johnson we see on TV, the better our lives are.
  • The Dolphins may have edged the Patriots, but all the panic and people saying that New England isn't very good is just rubbish. They're still a likely playoff team, and nobody wants to have to play them.
  • Welcome back to Atlanta, Michael Vick. What a dominant team you've brought with you.
  • The Raiders beat the Steelers. No analysis, it's just awesome.
  • The Seahawks handed the 49ers their first division loss this season, leaving only the Bengals (already swept the AFC North), Colts (5-0), Vikings (5-0), and Saints (3-0) as undefeated in their respective divisions.
  • Welcome to the top of the NFC wild card standings, Green Bay. There are cookies and coffee on the table.

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