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Redskins-Saints: Upon Further Review...

Redskins.com recaps Sunday's 16-10 win over the New Orleans Saints at the Louisiana Superdome:

First Impressions:

#### Revealing Moment:

The game was in doubt until the final minutes, as New Orleans drove downfield for a game-winning touchdown. With the Saints inside the Redskins' 20-yard line, Andre Carter tackled running back Reggie Bush on successive plays to force a 4th-an-7. The game on the line, Sainits QB Drew Brees dropped back, stepped up in the pocket and fired a pass to wide receiver Terrance Copper in the end zone. Carlos Rogers had solid coverage all the way, and knocked down the pass to seal the win for the Redskins.

Redskins Play of the Game:

#### Redskins Player of the Game:

Carlos Rogers had two critical fourth-quarter plays: first, he intercepted a Drew Brees pass to help set up the Redskins' final score, a 22-yard field goal that increased the lead to 16-10. The Saints, forced to score a touchdown to win the game, had to contend with Rogers again in the final minute. Rogers knocked away Brees' pass in the end zone to seal the upset win over the Saints.

Redskins Unsung Hero:

#### What Went Right

-- Facing the NFL's top-ranked offense, the Redskins turned in their best defensive performance of the season, limiting the Saints to just 270 total yards and 71 rushing yards. Drew Brees was intercepted once (Carlos Rogers) and sacked twice (Marcus Washington and Andre Carter).

-- The Saints tried to force the ball in to versatile back Reggie Bush, but the defense swarmed around him every time. Bush finished with 14 rushing yards on seven carries and had five catches for 19 yards.

-- In his fifth NFL season, Ladell Betts is performing at a higher level. He is patiently waiting for blocks to open, then charging ahead with confidence. Against the Saints, he compiled 119 yards on 22 carries. Seven of his rushes converted first downs for the offense.

-- The Redskins' offensive line was without right tackle Jon Jansen, but Todd Wade stepped in and did not miss a beat. Since Joe Gibbs re-established "Redskins Football" last month, the offensive line has been dominant. The Redskins compiled 161 rushing yards in the win, and Ladell Betts has been the primary beneficiary.

-- A play somewhat unnoticed in the aftermath of the win: facing a 3rd-and-5 at the Redskins' 25-yard line, Jason Campbell connected with Chris Cooley on a short pass over the middle. Cooley broke two tackles to rumble downfield for a 44-yard gain.

-- Jason Campbell was impressive in the first half (9-of-17 for 156 yards and one TD) and inconsistent in the second half (4-of-11 for 48 yards)--but the key was that he did not commit any turnovers, as he had done in losses to Atlanta and Philadelphia.

-- So far, so good for Shaun Suisham, who has been reliable as the Redskins' midseason replacement at place kicker. One week after hitting on four field goals in the loss to Philadelphia, he connected on three more field goals in the win over the Saints.

-- Don't overlook Derrick Frost, who averaged 47.8 yards on punts in the game. He also pinned the Saints inside the 20-yard line three times.

What Went Wrong

#### What's Next:

The Redskins head to St. Louis next weekend for a Christmas Eve game against the Rams at the Edward Jones Dome. The Rams are coming off a 20-0 victory over the Oakland Raiders and are playing smash-mouth football behind running back Steven Jackson. The Redskins are 2-5 on the road this season and the Rams are 3-4 at home.

Stats Geek:

#### Quote:

"This week, we had to come in to a hostile environment against a good NFL team--and we won. It really shows our heart and character. Even with our record, we keep playing to win." -- Jason Campbell

Lasting Impressions:

Joe Gibbs wants the team to play tough, smash-mouth football down the stretch and establish positive momentum heading into 2007. He has pointed toward the 1981 season, when he started 0-5 but rebounded strong to finish 8-8; the following year, the Redskins were Super Bowl champs. A more apt comparison may be the 2004 season, when the Redskins started 3-8 but played strong down the stretch winning 3-of-5 games; the following year, the Redskins were in the playoffs.

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