It wasn’t the way the 2006 version of the New Orleans Saints wanted to win the NFC South title, but the loss shouldn’t damper the great accomplishments by Sean Payton and the Saints players this season.
Saints capture first ever NFC South Division title with losses by both Atlanta and Carolina.
None of us should have really been surprised by the great effort of the Redskins this Sunday because, during the week, Saints head coach Sean Payton said that Redskins defensive coordinator Gregg Williams gave him troubles every time his offensive units went head-up against Williams’ defensive squads during his tenure as offensive coordinator at both the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys.
Williams and the Redskins defensive personnel did an outstanding job disrupting the rhythm of Drew Brees and the Saints high powered offense in their 16-10 upset win over New Orleans.
The Redskins defense held the Saints passing attack to just 207 total yards and also bottled up the Saints explosive duo of Deuce McAllister and Reggie Bush to just 62 yards rushing.
Despite playing poorly on offense, the New Orleans Saints were in the game until the final moments. In the final drive of the day the Saints drove the ball down to the Redskins 19-yard line before the drive stalled when Drew Brees had a pass to wide-out Terrance Copper fall incomplete in the end zone.
While the Redskins defense was good, it was Joe Gibbs’ usual tough rushing unit that stole the show. Coming off a career-high 171 yards a week ago, Redskins halfback Ladell Betts again topped the 100-yard rushing barrier by gaining 119 yards on 22 yards.
“We knew that if we had any chance in this game we needed to establish a running game against New Orleans and keep Drew Brees off the football field”, said Washington head coach Joe Gibbs. “Ladell made a statement today against a fine football club and our offensive line did a tremendous job opening up holes for him.”
Mississippi native and former Auburn standout quarterback Jason Campbell did a solid job passing for Washington completing 13 of his 28 passes for 204 yards and 1 score and more importantly no pass interceptions.
Despite winning the division title, Saints players left the lockerroom disappointed with the effort.
“I won’t be celebrating tonight if that’s what you’re wondering,” said Saints quarterback Drew Brees. “We won the division and that’s great, but it came in a loss. We still have more things now that we want to accomplish.”
I know Saints players and fans are disappointed with the loss, but just think about where we all thought this football club would be this late in the year before the season started and where they are today.
No matter the score this Sunday, they are indeed the NFC South Division champs!
Hahnville High School standout fullback Jordan Stephany is regarded as one of the top all-purpose backs in the state of Louisiana. Recruiting insiders tell me that the former tight end turned fullback had verbally committed to Tulane University and head coach Chris Scelfo.
The problem now is that Scelfo has been fired at Tulane and has been replaced by former UCLA head coach Bob Toledo.
The 60-year old Toledo, who was the offensive coordinator and assistant head coach at the University of New Mexico, immediately returned to the West Coast to clear up family moving issues before settling down in New Orleans and reevaluating the commitments made to high school athletes under Scelfo.
Tulane insiders tell me that Toledo will meet with the 6-1, 233 pound running back and the other six high school athletes who have committed to the Crescent City school in the very near future to discuss their recruitment.
Last week former Hahnville High School standout quarterback/defensive back and current LSU Tiger safety LaRon Landry was selected to the 1st team Associated Press All-American squad.
People who are old enough to remember this will recall that this first team unit was the one that used to appear on the Bob Hope Christmas Special each and every year.Landry, who led the Tigers in tackles three of his four seasons in Baton Rouge, made the first team along with teammate defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey.
It is the first time since 1970 that the Tigers have had two players on the same side of the football named to the 1st team squad. In 1970 safety Tommy Casanova and linebacker Mike Anderson made the AP 1st team unit.