The Redskins defense seemed to have bounced back from last weeks dismal performance against the Vikings with a pretty good performance on the road against a Saints team that had won seven straight games.
They forgot it was a 60-minute game. They forgot that the Saints have Drew Brees.
After being handed a 15-point lead with just over six minutes left, the Redskins defense inexplicably allowed the Saints to mount two touchdown scoring drives, including a two-point conversion to tie the game and force overtime.
The defense had no answer for Saints quarterback Drew Brees on the final three drives. Brees went 11-11 for 164 yards and two touchdowns in mounting the comeback. He’s a future Hall of Famer.
The defense will get a lot of blame for this loss, and rightfully so, but there is blame to go around on the offense, as well as coaching.
Leading by eight with just over two minutes remaining the Redskins faced a third and one. The Saints had used up all of their timeouts so all the Redskins needed was one yard and a first down to ice the game and secure one of the best wins in recent memory.
After burning their second timeout, Kirk Cousins and the Redskins offense were stopped for a loss of one, as Samaje Perine (23 carries, 117 yards) ran right and was stuffed by the Saints defense, giving them another chance to try and tie the game.
They were in nearly the same situation late in the game last week against the Vikings, facing a third and one, and failed to pick up a yard on third and fourth down.
The play call was questionable last week and again this week, as well. Instead of running straight ahead and picking up a yard, Gruden called for Perine to run right and didn’t have a chance.
Despite allowing the game-tying drive, the Redskins still had just over a minute left to try and win the game. Cousins drove the offense to the Saints’ 34-yard line, but an intentional grounding not only cost the Redskins field position but a 10-second run off the clock.
To make matters worse, the Redskins lost their top offensive performer for the season, as running back Chris Thompson suffered a broken fibula and will be gone for the season.
Now sitting at 4-6, the Redskins have to rebound and play a game in four days against the Giants on Thanksgiving night. It will most likely take 10 wins to get into the postseason this year, the Redskins now have zero room for error and must win out for any shot at all.
The Redskins have bounced back after losses pretty well under Jay Gruden, but Sunday’s loss was one of the most crushing defeats he has suffered in his time in Washington. It will be very tough to rebound from this one anytime soon.