Saints Stumble to 12-0 | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Saints Stumble to 12-0

The Saints lost the coin toss going into overtime against the Washington Redskins, a team that had arguably beat them on everything except voodoo, karma and the "luck of the call." But, in the end, a fumble recovery and a field goal from the one yard line left the Saints with a perfect 12-0 record and a lot of people -- Redskins fans among them -- shaking their heads.

Throughout most of the game, the Redskins shut down the Saints running game, stifling the efforts of running backs Pierre Thomas, Mike Bell and Reggie Bush. That forced Brees to pass, relying on a combination of screens, quick passes and big plays to keep the Saints in the game. (And pass he did, racking up nearly 420 yards through the air.)

Trailing 17-10 late in the second quarter, the first of the voodoo plays commenced; held to three-and-out in their own territory, Saints punter Thomas Morestead shanked a 31-yard punt that landed on the leg of the Redskins' Kevin Barnes, making it a live ball that Saints' safety Usama Young recovered, giving the Saints possession in Redskins territory.

The ensuing plays didn't go well and, after a sack, the Saints Drew Brees was facing a 3rd-and-26 when he threw an interception to Kareen Moore. Moore stood up and ran back the interception until he was met by Saints wide receiver Robert Meachem, who physically stripped Moore of the ball, caught it in mid-air and ran to the endzone for a touchdown. After a lengthy replay review, the call on the field stood -- interception, runback, strip, runback, touchdown.

Result: 17-17 at half time.

The Redskins got another touchdown in the third quarter, the teams traded field goals and the score was 30-20 when the Saints marched down the field early in the fourth quarter, but, stopped in the red zone, were forced to kick a field goal. Leading 30-23, the Redskins then went on their own march down the field, burning up the clock and setting up a chip-shot field goal to put the game nearly out of reach for the Saints. The Redskins kicker, Shawn Suisham (who has not yet described anything to make the experience sound as if, perhaps, a doll of his image was poked by a voodoo needle) missed the 23-yard kick wide to the right, giving the ball back to the Saints with a little under two minutes to go.

They only needed about 30 seconds.

At 1:19 on the game clock, Robert Meachem marched into the endzone, the recipient of a 52-yard touchdown pass by Brees. Tie game.

With time left on the clock, the Redskins began driving when the Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma came up with an interception; after a 58-yard field goal miss, time expired.

Result: 30-30 at the end of regulation.

After the aforementioned (and relatively un-voodoo-ish) coin toss, the Saints got the ball back on the third play from scrimmage by the Redskins when running back Mike Sellers coughed up the ball. Initially ruled down-by-contact, a time out by Saints coach Sean Peyton (who was without official replay "challenges" as dictated by overtime rules) allowed the replay officials to take a look and overturn the call on the field, giving the Saints the ball. A few plays later and kicker Garrett Hartley was putting the winner through the uprights.

Result: 12-0.

Highlights:

Previous Comments

ID
154053
Comment

Dang, I thought Walt wrote this one, Todd. A win's a win, no matter how ugly.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-12-07T13:08:56-06:00
ID
154055
Comment

I was so exhausted by the end of this one that I barely celebrated...I was yelling, jumping and pacing, begging and cajoling for this one. I'm hella-happy it was a win - it takes luck, skill, voodoo and everything else to get to a SuperBowl, much less a perfect season. I was even happier when Farve dropped a game last night to make home field advantage that much more likely for the Saints. ;-)

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2009-12-07T13:44:32-06:00
ID
154056
Comment

And yes, iron, a win is a win. I'm thankful for it. But you can't dispute that there wasn't a little luck involved!

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2009-12-07T13:46:43-06:00
ID
154057
Comment

It took a bad call by the replay officals for this win..lol Was really surprised they reversed the call in overtime, even though I was hoping they would.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-12-07T13:49:09-06:00
ID
154058
Comment

Beginning of the end for this winning streak fellas. Prepare yourselves.

Author
Queen601
Date
2009-12-07T14:11:15-06:00
ID
154059
Comment

Queen: Gotta disagree. I think the fact that they showed they could pull this out says something about the intangibles of their season. There were some *excellent* plays in this game, mostly by the offense, but good plays on special teams (and a little luck here) The D looked sloppy and Drew was less than perfect. (He was, until this game, 0-5 in under 45-degree weather at kickoff.) It's almost assuredly the last cold-weather game they'll play unless it's chilly in North Carolina. Considering the emotional and physical exhaustion they felt coming off the New England win, this is a classic trap that they actually (barely) avoided. I'm not saying they'll go undefeated -- in fact, based on what happens with Minnesota, I might encourage them to take it easy in their last few games, particularly meaningless games against Tampa and Carolina. 14-2 would be an excellent record if it came down to that and Minnesota gets another loss in the next four weeks. But I don't think the Saints will lose to Atlanta -- not if it's the same team that got it handed to them by Philly. And I don't know that Romo and the Cowboys can pull it off in the 'dome, in December, when they're going to desperately need that win. (And I particularly don't think the Cowboys will win if the Saints are still undefeated and playing everyone that game.) Dallas will probably play that one hard, and it'll be a good game, but if Brady can get that confused in the 'dome, I'll be very interested to see how Romo handles it.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2009-12-07T14:20:27-06:00
ID
154060
Comment

Didn't Brees have over 400 yards in this game? And it's time Dallas replace Romo. That there's a problem.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-12-07T14:38:02-06:00
ID
154065
Comment

Romo didn't turn it over yesterday, which was good. However, he is not going to lead Dallas to the Promised Land. What needs to happen first is a change in head coaching. Then we need to draft a QB (Colt McCoy of Texas or Sam Bradford of Oklahoma). Once that happens, I'd give Romo another year to get right and if that doesn't happen, then put in McCoy, Bradford or whomever they draft for a QB.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2009-12-07T15:19:16-06:00
ID
154130
Comment

I saw more cheating in that game than any Cowboys' game I have ever seen. I just knew the Saints had lost and stopped watching. Later I heard they had won and couldn't believe it. I'm glad they won though because I didn't want to see Indianapolis as the only team who hadn't loss yet. Next year the Steelers are coming back and whipping everybody you know what for picking on us while we're down. At least the Cowboys lost too which gives me some comfort.

Author
Walt
Date
2009-12-08T17:57:43-06:00
ID
154138
Comment

The Redskins have cut kicker Shaun Suisham after a key miss in the New Orleans game (and in the Dallas game prior to that). http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=4724882

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2009-12-09T10:20:50-06:00
ID
154140
Comment

Not surprised. When you miss a chip-shop field goal, you're not gonna get very far.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2009-12-09T10:33:21-06:00
ID
154141
Comment

And, in other news that I missed yesterday, the Saints have waived Chris McAlister (in spite of his forcing a fumble in Sunday's game against Washington) and signed free agent Marcus McCauley, a 6-foot-1, 203 pound cornerback. http://www.nola.com/saints/index.ssf/2009/12/new_orleans_saints_waive_corne_1.html Not sure what this is meant to do for the secondary other than add a little size; McAlister was a 10-year vet who was making some decent plays and didn't seem as hobbled as Mike McKenzie, who played considerably less brilliantly in the Redskins game than he did in the win over the Patriots, with some speculating that he might still have a weak knee from his off-season recovery. It does, however, keep two "McSomebody's" in the backfield, which might be a comforting move for defensive coaches trying to keep the names straight of all the new players or for the folks selling the jerseys.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2009-12-09T10:38:56-06:00
ID
154169
Comment

Drew Brees "scores" on Leno last night, according to Nola.com: video here. In other news, Drew Brees has a massive watch.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2009-12-10T10:46:44-06:00
ID
154170
Comment

On a more serious note, this about the Saints' receiving corps breaks it down in a way I hadn't fully thought about -- Colston, Henderson and Meachem, not exactly household names, have REALLY come on as a group. The piece specifically notes the improvement in Meachem's play, which takes pressure off Colston and keeps the secondary of opposing teams guessing. Money quote: According to ESPN Stats & Information, Meachem and Henderson lead the NFC South in the percentage of passes targeted to them that they've caught. Meachem has caught 76.3 percent of the 38 passes targeted to him, and Henderson has grabbed 67.8 percent of the 59 targets.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2009-12-10T10:50:59-06:00
ID
154206
Comment

Just came across this at ESPN -- the site Find the Unknown Who Dat is trying to figure out the identity of a distinctive-looking older Saints fan who seemed to be excitedly smiling and beaming at the Redskins game in the Fourth Quarter, apparently already privy to the extraordinary comeback that was about to take place. If you know the identity of Who Dat, you're asked to let them know via the fansite, which is trying to locate him and, at the same time, convince Saints management to make sure this guy gets tickets to the SuperBowl.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2009-12-11T19:48:09-06:00
ID
154211
Comment

I still cannot believe New Orleans pulled out the incredible win. I imagine it has to be just as heartbreaking to Redskin players. WHO DAT!!

Author
dpsmith
Date
2009-12-12T14:27:30-06:00
ID
154398
Comment

Who dat said dey gon' beat dem Saints? Cowboys!

Author
golden eagle
Date
2009-12-21T09:25:17-06:00
ID
154405
Comment

Ohhhhh Toooooodd, where are youuuuuuu?????? I told u this would happen......where's all the saint love now....miiiiiighty quiet over here today! GO COWBOYS!!!!! CHEA!

Author
Queen601
Date
2009-12-21T10:34:13-06:00
ID
154406
Comment

He (and I) still love the Saints. In recovery mode this a.m. from a crazy weekend. I must say: I'm surprised you're a Cowboys fan, Queen. In my head, that's always been like being an Ole Miss fan. The Saints are *real*, win or lose. ;-) Especially with Romo there -- I can't even look at that guy.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-12-21T10:52:12-06:00
ID
154407
Comment

Oh, and remind what the Cowboys' record is, Queen. I forget. (smile)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-12-21T10:55:58-06:00
ID
154410
Comment

And how many Super Bowls do the Saints have? I'll give you a little time to think about it. Is it zero? Oh my! The Saints are still a good team and one loss doesn't make the season less meaningful.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2009-12-21T12:41:28-06:00
ID
154412
Comment

13-1. Saints will destroy Cowboys should they meet again. Golden Eagles lost to Middle Tennessee State? Seriously?

Author
QB
Date
2009-12-21T13:02:34-06:00
ID
154414
Comment

Ha! You and me, QB: We're a team today if not most of the time. ;-) Of course, the Saints haven't won a Super Bowl. I doubt they ever believed they could. Beyond the fact that I've loved 'em through thick and mostly think, I want them to do it for resident of NOLA and surrounding areas that have gone through so much. I'm hoping losing this game will help make it happen. I'd rather we'd been 14-0, of course, but sometimes a door has to close so another can open. I'm hoping that's what's happening. Beyond that, the Cowboys' biggest problem is that they're in Texas. With due respect to where my worst half grew up. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-12-21T13:29:28-06:00
ID
154416
Comment

Golden Eagles lost to Middle Tennessee State? Seriously? Yeah. We couldn't stop the QB from running all over the place. I also question some of the play-calling as well.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2009-12-21T13:55:03-06:00
ID
154420
Comment

Ohhhhh Toooooodd, where are youuuuuuu?????? I told u this would happen......where's all the saint love now....miiiiiighty quiet over here today! GO COWBOYS!!!!! CHEA! Queen, darlin', I'm still nursin' after a weekend in the Easy. We had a good time, even if the game sucked. I'll put up a blog entry.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2009-12-21T15:21:41-06:00
ID
154423
Comment

ITodd went down to the Big Easy and jinked the Saints into losing to the sorry ass Cowboys. Yes, Golden Eagle, we do know how many Super Bowl rings the Cowgals have won - 1 less than the Steelers. Did y'all see what we did to the Packers who beat the Cowgals earlier this ear? We gonna get us a defense and come back next year and beat the cow dookie out of everybody. Kansas City, Oakland, Cleveland and all the other chumps are gonna pay dearly next year. We're mad and we're not going to take it any more. We might be down but we ain't out for next year. Haters hate on! The last team on earth I wanted the Saints to lose to is the dang cowcissies. Makes me want to cuss!

Author
Walt
Date
2009-12-21T18:15:24-06:00
ID
154428
Comment

Walt, are you seriously back? And talking about the Pitifuls AGAIN? Congratulations on getting a win this FALL. Remember the last one back around Halloween? :-P And, sure, it was my fault. I'll take the blame. It turns out that they need me watching on TeeVee, because then my mind-control power affect every play -- when I'm workin' it. Up there in the endzone, the only thing my powers of mind-control could affect, as it turned out, what that bum kick by Folk in the 4Q. It was the closest the ball got to me all day, so I was able to deflect it telekinetically. (And, seriously, don't think I wasn't trying. ;-)

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2009-12-21T19:04:54-06:00
ID
154430
Comment

Oh, we did cuss, Walt. Make no mistake. This is my favorite line of yours of all time, btw: ITodd went down to the Big Easy and jinked the Saints into losing to the sorry ass Cowboys. First only to: The last team on earth I wanted the Saints to lose to is the dang cowcissies I feel you, darlin'. I've hated the smugness that is the Dallas Cowboy thing my whole life. Fat lady ain't sung, yet ...

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-12-21T19:33:41-06:00

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