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Other Week 2 Game Recaps
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Week 2 Game Recap: New Orleans Saints 24, Washington Redskins 29

What you need to know

New Orleans Saints

With Marques Colston out for the game, many fans were wondering who would be the beneficiary of this from a fantasy perspective. The starting receivers for the game were David Patten and Devery Henderson as expected. The Saints also mixed in Robert Meachem, Lance Moore and Terrance Copper at spots during the game. Some suggested that TE Jeremy Shockey was expected to see more targets in Colston's absence, however this did not materialize. Reggie Bush and David Patten were the favored targets of Brees throughout the day as they both had double digit targets.

RB Reggie Bush was contained all day on offense especially running the ball. He went for a paltry 2.8 average per carry. The Redskins were effective at neutralizing Bush for no big gains in the passing game as well. His longest offensive play went for 14 yards.

QB Drew Brees was better than his line showed. The game plan was very conservative with much of the passing being of the short and dump off variety. Both interceptions were not poor decisions or bad throws. The first interception was to Jeremy Shockey who had the ball glance off of his hands. The other pick was caused by a deflected pass at the line of scrimmage. Both throws were nabbed by rookie Chris Horton of the Redskins secondary.

Washington Redskins

After a rather pedestrian start to the game, Clinton Portis and the left side of his offensive line got things untracked. Portis had big gain after big gain with power sweeps and toss plays to the left. Portis and the run game took control of the game and tired the Saints defense.

Santana Moss came up big. He caught the game winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter on a perfectly thrown ball by QB Jason Campbell. The winning play went for 67 yards as Moss simply blew by his defender. Moss was the deep target on multiple throws and showed his explosiveness throughout the game.

We have a Chris Cooley sighting! The Pro Bowl TE was much more involved with the offense and the overall game plan. This has to be a welcomed sight for Redskin and Cooley fans alike as last week Cooley was a total non-factor.


What you ought to know

QB Drew Brees, Pass: 22 - 33 - 216 - 1 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 1 - 9 - 0

It was not a day Drew Brees will remember fondly. In his defense, he completed an impressive 66% of his passes and neither of the 2 interceptions were his doing. The Washington defense was able to generate a sufficient pass rush to limit his time in the pocket to look down the field for big plays. Many of Brees completions were of the short variety. He was frequently checking the ball down to his RB's. It was clear that he missed injured WR Marques Colston's big body and frame to throw to. He led a drive just before the half that was ruthlessly efficient and ended up with the Saints kicking a field goal. The lone touchdown pass of the contest went to Robert Meachem when the Saints went to a four wide set.

RB Reggie Bush, Rush: 10 - 28 - 0, Rec: 7 - 63 - 0 (10 targets)

The Washington Redskin defense deserves a ton of credit for keeping Bush in check. Bush was unable to get much going against the pumped up Redskins who stacked the box frequently. Most of his rushing yards came on two draw plays during the final drive right before the half. The Redskins were in a prevent style defense at the time and were happy to give the Saints and Bush small chucks of yards in the run game. Aside from these plays it was a forgettable day on the ground.

Bush hauled in seven receptions for 63 yards. Most of the plays were screens, short outs and swing passes that never netted big plays. The highlight of the day for Bush came on a punt return that he took to the house for 55 yards.

RB Pierre Thomas, Rush: 6 - 8 - 1, Rec: 2 - 29 - 0 (2 targets)

Thomas was featured often in the red zone in favor of Bush. Both of his targets came from inside the 20 yard line and he saw goal line carries. He was successful in converting one of his goal line carries for a short touchdown. Thomas runs hard but lacked wiggle in this game. With the limited running lanes he did not fare too well only amassing eight yards.

RB Deuce McAllister, Rush: 2 - 10 - 0

McAllister made a very brief appearance in the game when the Saints were looking for some sort of running spark. He entered the game in the third quarter and made the most of his limited carries. He ran hard and got positive yards on both of his carries. It looks like the Saints coaching staff want to bring him back slowly from his injury.

RB Mike Karney, Rec: 1 - 3 - 0 (2 targets)

The big fullback was targeted for two passes, one of them being in the red zone. The other pass was caught for a short gain on a check down.

WR David Patten, Rec: 5 - 55 - 0 (11 targets)

It was obvious that Brees was using Bush and Patten as his primary options. Patten had a solid game with 55 yards. He was primarily used as a possession type receiver with many of his routes being of the short and intermediate range. Patten ran good routes throughout the day and after some early success he started to garner more attention from the Washington defense. Patten was targeted in the red zone as well.

WR Devery Henderson, Rec: 2 - 6 - 0 (3 targets)

Henderson had a quiet day getting only three targets. On both of his catches it was apparent that he was not the primary read for QB Drew Brees. These were both scramble type receptions for little gain. Henderson was targeted for a deep ball after an excellent play action fake from Brees. They play was ultimately broken up by the defender who made a great play in coverage otherwise this would have been a long score.

WR Robert Meachem, Rec: 1 - 19 - 1 (1 targets)

Meachem was thrown to sparingly. He seemed to be in the game in some single WR sets as well as three and four wide receiver sets. On his only target he scored a touchdown when he was left uncovered in the end zone. He is a player to watch during the next couple of weeks to see if his work load increases.

WR Lance Moore, Rec: 1 - 7 - 0 (1 targets)

Moore was rarely in the game. He caught his only target for seven yards on a simple out route. Robert Meachem received more playing time then Moore.

TE Jeremy Shockey, Rec: 2 - 22 - 0 (3 targets)

Shockey was a seeing a lot of double coverage with Washington linebackers and safeties. It was a rough game for Shockey as he lost a fumble and had another ball glance off of his hands for an interception. It has been a slow start to the year for the new TE.

TE Mark Campbell, Rec: 1 - 12 - 0 (3 targets)

In a mild surprise, back up TE Campbell had as many targets as counterpart Jeremy Shockey. On his lone catch he showed excellent hands and was able to hold onto the ball while surrounded in coverage.

PK Martin Gramatica 1 - 1 FG, 3 - 3 XP, 6 points

Gramatica drilled a 49 yard field in his only attempt and was three for three in his extra point tries.

NO Rush Defense

After holding Clinton Portis in check for much of the first half they ended up giving up two rushing touchdowns and 149 yards. Time of possession was a factor as this defense tired as the game wore on. It was an extremely hot day in Washington and the Saints were wearing the away black jerseys.

NO Pass Defense

This is a banged up group with many starters injured, they also lost CB Aaron Glenn in the second half. Washington passed for 306 yards and they never found an answer for the duo of Santana Moss and Chris Cooley.


QB Jason Campbell, Pass: 24 - 36 - 321 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 1 - 0

Campbell and his team outplayed the Saints in the first half but could not convert any of their first five drives into touchdowns, instead settling for field goal attempts in all cases. Campbell was moved around quite a bit during the game. He started the game doing some shot gun formations which was not part of the offense in week one. Coach Jim Zorn also called many plays that had Campbell rolling out to move the pocket and slow the Saints rush attack.

Campbell threw for over 300 yards and progressively got better as the pressure increased. He displayed a great rapport with both Chris Cooley and Santana Moss. He did an excellent job of leading his receivers which led to some impressive after catch results. Quicker reads and decisive throws were seen this week as Campbell reduced his poor decision making and increased his accuracy. Campbell really took charge of this offense leading them to back-to-back scores in the fourth quarter. All in all it was an excellent outing.

RB Clinton Portis, Rush: 21 - 96 - 2, Rec: 2 - 3 - 0 (1 targets)

Portis during the week called out his teammates and coaching staff with regards to last weeks performance. He made good on his ask for more carries and refocus on the run game. The Saints defense started strong and bottled up Portis for much of the first half. In the second half the Redskins found their old power run game and hammered the Saints right side on their defense. Portis and company had multiple runs that generated big gains behind their left guard, tackle and leading full back.

Portis displayed his trademark patience in following his blockers, especially FB Mike Sellers. On his first touchdown run he sat in Sellers back pocket the whole run until he could just leap over the fallen blocker for a score.

RB Ladell Betts, Rush: 6 - 25 - 0, Rec: 2 - 8 - 0 (5 targets)

Much like Portis, Betts found huge holes on the left side of his offensive line. There was a return to more of a power style running game. This fit Betts hard running style very well. Betts looked crisp and displayed his trademark power by running over several would tacklers. His two catches came on a swing pass and a check down for a total of eight yards.

RB Mike Sellers, Rec: 1 - 1 - 0 (1 targets)

Sellers had an outstanding game from a blocking perspective but had very few opportunities for touches.

WR Santana Moss, Rush: 1 - 27 - 0, Rec: 7 - 164 - 1 (7 targets)

Moss had a near perfect game. He was a thorn in the sides of the Saints secondary the entire game. He displayed his outstanding speed and after the catch abilities. He and Campbell were on the same page all game long and eventually hooked up for the game winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Another key play came was the fourth and two that Campbell showed his confidence in Moss and called a slant which was easily converted for the first down and ended any hopes for the Saints.

WR Antwaan Randle El, Rec: 4 - 53 - 0 (6 targets)

Randle El was flying all over the field. He is known for his speed and strong route running and this game was no different. He really aided a scrambling Campbell on a couple of occasion. He was smart enough to come back for the ball to convert some key third down situations.

WR James Thrash, Rec: 1 - 8 - 0 (2 targets)

Thrash was only used in three wide receiver sets and saw limited targets. It appears that Thrash is moving down the depth chart with the coaching staff wanting to develop the rookies Thomas and Kelly.

WR Malcolm Kelly, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (2 targets)

Kelly made a nice catch to convert a third down were he ran a good slant route.

WR Devin Thomas (1 targets)

Thomas was unable to come up with a catch on his one target as he was blanketed by Aaron Glenn who happened to get injured on the play.

TE Chris Cooley, Rec: 5 - 72 - 0 (7 targets)

Cooley returned to form this week after a quiet 2008 debut last week. The Redskins capitalized on the mismatch that Cooley presented the Saints linebackers. Cooley was often left wide open. He had a couple of solid gains by finding the soft spots in the New Orleans zone coverage. Last week was likely not the normal stat line to expect for Cooley.

TE Fred Davis, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (1 targets)

Fred Davis saw very little playing time, but he made good on his one target making a catch for six yards in the red zone.

TE Todd Yoder (1 targets)

The third TE Todd Yoder had no catches in the game and was a non-factor.

PK Shaun Suisham 3 - 4 FG, 2 - 2 XP, 11 points

Suisham was three for five on his field goal attempts. He missed from 49 yards on the first drive of the game. The other miss was from 30yards as Suisham flubbed the ball when the holder was unable to get the ball down cleanly. He was successful from 22, 36, and 35 yards respectively.

WAS Rush Defense

The Redskins stacked the box the entire game and limited the Saints to only 55 yards on 19 carries. The defense accomplished their game plan effectively in keeping the Saints one dimensional on offense. They did give up one rushing touchdown to Pierre Thomas who scored on a one yard run.

WAS Pass Defense

They did a great job of limiting the Saints big play ability and made Drew Brees try to drive the entire field. The only miscue was a botched coverage by Shawn Spring allowing Robert Meachem to run uncover to the end zone for a touchdown. They did generate some pressure when they blitzed and ended up sacking Drew Brees twice.