Monday, September 10, 2012

Game 1 Rapid Reaction: Redskins vs. Saints

Saints 32, Redskins 40

RGIII Shines In Debut, Saints Defense & Offense struggle

For starters, it amazes me how many people are so quick to hit the panic button, especially in Week 1. We call most of those people 'fairweather' & 'bandwagon'. For starters, you are not needed, go pick up some other team to root for. Yes, it sucks that this defeat comes at home. The dreaded stat curses came up before the game. However, if you didn't know, the last time the Saints lost in the Dome was January 2, 2010 against the Bucs 23-13. There were a lot of areas that looked straight up terrible yesterday. I'll dive into a few that I think were difference makers yesterday.

It was the highest of energies yesterday, as Jonathan Vilma lead the 'Who Dat' chant to open things up

The inability to solve early for the Redskins short game
RGIII was able to get into a very comfortable 'college' style short game, in which the adjustments were never made to solve for this. Our 'revamped' defense was made an example of, as we saw Washington drive up & down the field. The times we saw RGIII get pressure on him, it would be an 'almost' tackle or sack where they turned into a key first down or gain. Everyone has to remember that Steve Spagnoulo is the opposite of Williams scheme, he doesn't rely on the blitz, whereas Williams did. The injury to Johnny Patrick didn't make things any better.

RGIII stiff arming Will Smith in the 4th quarter.

Drops, more drops, and costly drops
The receivers were a huge issue yesterday. There were way too many times where the drive was killed by a dropped pass. It was a mix of everyone. The most costly of them came with Marques Colston fumbling on an almost certain Touchdown, which became a huge momentum change. It was uncharacteristic for this to happen to Colston. It wasn't just one side of the ball either, as we saw Patrick Robinson miss a would be interception of RGIII late in the game, but it's rather tough to make that catch even if you were Charles Woodson.

It seemed all but sure to be a deadlock, but a fumble by Colston proved pivotal.

Complete momentum swing with Martez Wilson blocking a punt, which lead to 6 points.

The real impact of missing Payton
Yes, you can say there were some terrible calls, and many missed calls. However, it went both ways. It was some of the worst officiating I have seen to say the least, however, here's your difference. Sean Payton would have been in the officials face after everything, Aaron Kromer was not. Hell, even with the defense doing so poorly, Payton would have been all up in Spagnoulo's face too! As we see in the next subject, missing Kromer coaching the O-Line proved to be another battle that we sacrificed. It's also worth noting that Drew Brees completed less than 50% of his passes, which came largely in part of the Saints abandoning the run.

Kromer said in the post game: 'Saints fan don't deserve this'

Drew's costly mistake(s)
Let's face it. Drew Brees was under fire a good bit of the game, almost all of the game. You have to give Jim Haslett credit whether you want to or not for dialing up the pressure. Brees did not establish a rhythm with the offense early on (aside for the drive  which lead to the Jimmy Graham touchdown). He came on late, but the true turning point was the interception thrown when the Saints were down by one possession which about 3 minutes to go. It was a direct result of the pressure, which lead to a poor decision, and more points for Washington. Lastly, you could tell that Drew Brees was having such an off game when he missed a wide open Jimmy Graham for a would be touchdown, which simply looked to get away from him.

Drew under fire from Deangelo Hall.

All in all, the Saints lost their opener last season at Green Bay. Drew Brees pointed out that the team went 13-3 afterwards. Nothing is decided in Week 1, and the last time I checked, there are still 15 games to go. There were more things to point out of course, but I hit on the few I felt were relevant. If we're going to have this type of game (which seems to be that one a a year, then I'm glad to be over with it. To say the least, the adjustments MUST be made to get a 'W' back against Carolina, on the road, who is coming off a divisional loss to Tampa Bay. Someone will need to step up, who that player or coach is remains to be seen.


  1. I totally agree that Shanahan did a great job calling plays early which allowed RG III to get into rhythm and build confidence. The'Skins had our D on its heels for the entire first half.

    Our offense clicks when Brees keeps the tempo quick. This keeps us on schedule and puts pressure on opposing defenses. This was missing yesterday until the 3rd quartet. Our offense looked lethargic and lacked the sense of urgency we usually have.

    Just my $0.02

  2. Spagnuolo defenses also take a couple rough games to start up properly: The Giants got embarassed the first two games of the 2007 season, then sorted things out.
    The drops were unbelievable: every Saints WR seemed to forget how to play football that game, but the offense will calm down and get their rhythm back, just a rough first game for the Saints, especially with the much-maligned Haslett across the way.