for this game

Saints lose, but win NFC South title

Dec 17, 2006 - 11:18 PM NEW ORLEANS (Ticker) -- It has been a magical season for the New Orleans Saints. Even when they lose, they win.

Drew Brees failed to throw a touchdown pass and Reggie Bush was limited to 14 yards rushing and 19 yards receiving as the Saints fell to the Washington Redskins, 16-10.

Despite the loss, the Saints (9-5) clinched their first division title since 2000 when the Carolina Panthers lost to Pittsburgh on Sunday.

It is quite a turnaround for the Saints, who were displaced by Hurricane Katrina last season when they finished 3-13 and finished in last place in the NFC South.

"It's a tremendous honor to be the division champion," Brees said. "Look at where we were at the start of the season and look at where we are now. Everybody in America was picking us to finish fourth in the division. Obviously, that's a pretty big accomplishment. Now we've got to go after the next step: clinching a bye and home-field advantage."

The Saints returned to New Orleans this season with new coach Sean Payton and two key additions - Brees and Bush, a Heisman Trophy-winning running back.

The two have made a huge impact for New Orleans, which is fighting for the second seed and a first-round playoff bye.

The Saints entered Sunday with the top-ranked offense in the league, averaging more than 410 yards, but were held to 270 yards by the Redskins (5-9).

"We were sluggish," Payton said. "I thought we were flat and that's something I've got to do a better job of getting our team ready to play. Credit Washington. They did a good job. But we looked like we were half asleep."

Despite playing poorly, the Saints had a chance to win the game on their last possession and reached the Washington 15 with 1:01 left. But on a 4th-and-7 play, Brees had a pass intended for Terrence Copper in the end zone knocked away by cornerback Carlos Rogers.

"It was so loud, I just made sure I covered my guy and counted on everyone else doing their job," Rogers said.

"We had a chance to win at the end, but we weren't able to do it," Brees said. "We've had plenty of big wins this season and then came back the next week and played well. But it was just one of those things today."

Deuce McAllister accounted for New Orleans' lone touchdown, scoring on a one-yard run with 9:14 left in the second quarter. McCallister turned a screen pass into a 20-yard play before his score.

John Carney kicked a 41-yard field goal with 13:26 left in the fourth quarter, pulling the Saints within 13-10.

"We never made enough plays," McAllister said. "We let Washington hang around and get confidence. They've got a good defense and they made plays."

The Redskins rushed for 161 yards. Coming off a career-high 171-yard rushing performance last week in a loss to Philadelphia, Ladell Betts gained 119 yards on 22 carries.

"We have been trying to establish the run first and then let everything take care of itself," said Betts, who increased his season total to 933 yards. "For us to come down here in a hostile environment and beat one of the better teams in the NFL says a lot about this team."

Making his fifth start, Jason Campbell threw for 204 yards, including a 31-yard touchdown to Santana Moss, and Shaun Suisham kicked three field goals for the Redskins.

Brees, who entered as the NFL leader with 4,033 passing yards, completed 21-of-38 passes for 207 yards with a fourth-quarter interception.

A triple threat as a running back, receiver and punt returner, Bush gained just 14 yards on seven carries, caught five passes for 19 yards and returned two punts for 13 yards. The five catches gave him 84, eclipsing the rookie running back record of 83 set by Earl Cooper of San Francisco in 1980.

Suisham kicked a 37-yard field goal in the first quarter, a 37-yarder in the second quarter and a 22-yarder in the fourth quarter.

Campbell hit tight end end Chris Cooley with a 44-yard pass over the middle before lofting a 31-yard touchdown to Moss, who beat cornerback Mike McKenzie to the middle, with 1:41 left in the first quarter.

"It was a play where we take a shot in the back of the end zone," Campbell said. "If you throw it short, it could be intercepted. So I just threw it to the back of the end zone and gave him (Moss) a chance to catch it."








  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 10 3 0 3 16
    NEW ORLEANS 0 7 0 3 10 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: WAS - FG, SHAUN SUISHAM 37 YD, 4:34. Drive: 8
    plays, 52 yards in 4:28. Key plays:
    Betts 11-yard run to Washington 40;
    Campbell 13-yard pass to Betts to
    New Orleans 43; Randle El 20-yard
    run to

    Dec 17 4:00 PM
  • 24
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 8 roots

    Washington vs. SaintsDec 17 3:59 PM
  • 24
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 6 roots

    Washington vs. SaintsDec 17 3:53 PM
  • 24
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 2 roots

    Washington vs. SaintsDec 17 3:48 PM


  • NFL
    FG WAS
    SHAUN SUISHAM 22 YD
    WASHINGTON 16
    NEW ORLEANS 10 4:15 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Washington vs. SaintsDec 17 3:46 PM
  • 24
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 8 roots

    Washington vs. SaintsDec 17 3:46 PM


  • NFL
    FG NOR
    JOHN CARNEY 41 YD
    WASHINGTON 13
    NEW ORLEANS 10 13:26 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Washington vs. SaintsDec 17 3:22 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 10 3 0 13
    NEW ORLEANS 0 7 0 7 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: WAS - FG, SHAUN SUISHAM 37 YD, 4:34. Drive: 8
    plays, 52 yards in 4:28. Key plays:
    Betts 11-yard run to Washington 40;
    Campbell 13-yard pass to Betts to
    New Orleans 43; Randle El 20-yard

    Dec 17 3:17 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 10 3 13
    NEW ORLEANS 0 7 7 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: WAS - FG, SHAUN SUISHAM 37 YD, 4:34. Drive: 8
    plays, 52 yards in 4:28. Key plays:
    Betts 11-yard run to Washington 40;
    Campbell 13-yard pass to Betts to
    New Orleans 43; Randle El 20-yard
    run

    Dec 17 2:30 PM


  • NFL
    FG WAS
    SHAUN SUISHAM 37 YD
    WASHINGTON 13
    NEW ORLEANS 7 5:10 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Washington vs. SaintsDec 17 2:07 PM


  • NFL
    TD NOR
    DEUCE MCALLISTER 1 YD RUN
    (JOHN CARNEY KICK)
    WASHINGTON 10
    NEW ORLEANS 7 9:14 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Washington vs. SaintsDec 17 1:51 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 10 10
    NEW ORLEANS 0 0 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: WAS - FG, SHAUN SUISHAM 37 YD, 4:34. Drive: 8
    plays, 52 yards in 4:28. Key plays:
    Betts 11-yard run to Washington 40;
    Campbell 13-yard pass to Betts to
    New Orleans 43; Randle El 20-yard

    Dec 17 1:41 PM


  • NFL
    TD WAS
    SANTANA MOSS 31 YD PASS FROM JASON CAMPBELL
    (SHAUN SUISHAM KICK)
    WASHINGTON 10
    NEW ORLEANS 0 1:41 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Washington vs. SaintsDec 17 1:37 PM


  • NFL
    FG WAS
    SHAUN SUISHAM 37 YD
    WASHINGTON 3
    NEW ORLEANS 0 10:26 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Washington vs. SaintsDec 17 1:13 PM