LANHAM – Trailing by as many as 15 points in the fourth quarter, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees continually marched his team down the field and was able to force overtime during a regular season match against the Washington Redskins on Nov. 19.
The future Hall of Fame signal caller picked apart Washington’s defense, as he went 11-of-11 to complete a fourth quarter comeback. He connected with Josh Hill for a 3-yard score, and later hooked up with Alvin Kamara for an 18-yard touchdown. Kamara tied the game up on the two-point conversion.
After a three-and-out on Washington's opening possession of overtime, it only took Saints running back Mark Ingram two combined runs for 51 yards to set up the game-winning kick from Wil Lutz, as the Redskins fell to the Saints, 34-31. The loss severely dampens the Redskins’ chances of making the playoffs, as CBS Sports gives the team a 1 percent chance of making the playoffs.
“Hats off to (the Saints) for making plays, and unfortunately for us today, we didn't get it done,” Washington Redskins Head Coach Jay Gruden said. “It was terrible. I feel bad for the players because they laid it all on the line, but you don’t get anything for being close.”
Lutz and Redskins rookie kicker Nick Rose traded field goals in the first quarter, until the Redskins’ Chris Thompson found the endzone to retake the lead after quarterback Kirk Cousins hit him on a 16-yard pass.
However, the Saints responded quickly when Ingram tore off a 36-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter. In a seesaw battle, Redskins rookie Samaje Perine punched in a score of his own from a yard out in the second quarter. Like Ingram, Perine also had success on the ground as he accounted for 117 yards on 23 carries.
“Samaje ran hard. I was impressed with his running style. I figured the type player he is that he would get better with more carries and he showed that today,” Gruden said.
Cousins had a field day against the Saints’ secondary. He threw for 322 yards and found Ryan Grant on a beautifully tossed ball from 40 yards out for a touchdown in the third quarter. He then hit rookie tight end Jeremy Sprinkle on a 7-yard throw in the fourth quarter, marking Cousin's third touchdown pass of the contest and giving the Redskins a comfortable 31-16 lead.
Cousins had an opportunity to score with 1:05 remaining following the Saints’ comeback, but an intentional grounding penalty forced the Redskins out of field goal range, and Vonn Bell sacked Cousins as the clock ran out in the fourth quarter.
“We were hoping to have a few more yards to make it an easier field goal,” Cousins said about the intentional grounding call. “I looked from the corner of my eye and heard the coaches say, ‘throw it.’
“I thought if I threw it to Jamison (Crowder) that he would be an eligible receiver in the area and there wouldn't have been a penalty.”
Despite having a sizable lead late in the match, Washington fell apart and lost its sixth game of the season. The Redskins will have a short week as they gear up to face the New York Giants on Thanksgiving.