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Redskins-Saints First Take

Redskins-Saints First Take

The Washington Redskins have their work cut out for them on Sunday.

The New Orleans Saints come marching in to FedEx Field fresh off of a 24-20 win over Tampa Bay. The Saints scored on a 42-yard pass from Drew Brees to Reggie Bush midway through the fourth quarter to take the lead and they held on when linebacker Scott Fujita spiked a late Bucs rally with an interception at the New Orleans 20 with about 40 seconds left.

Brees and Bush were the top offensive stars for the winning team and they are the players that the Redskins will have to slow down to win the game. Brees averaged well over 10 yards per pass attempt, going 23 for 32 for 343 yards and three touchdowns. Bush caught eight of those passes for 112 yards and he had 14 rushing attempts for another 51.

A little side note here: Many Redskins fans look at Brees with envious eyes, wishing that the Skins had a young veteran quarterback who could pass for over 300 yards in a win and have it be nothing out of the ordinary. Perhaps, then, they might be well served to display a bit more patience with Jason Campbell. After three years and 27 starts for the Chargers he was mediocre and seemed to be regressing. The Chargers stuck with him, perhaps against their will—an extended holdout prevented Phillip Rivers from competing for the job—and they were rewarded with a breakout season in 2004, his fourth year in the NFL. Jason Campbell came into his fourth NFL season with 21 starts on his resume.

The New Orleans defense was good but not dominant. Tampa Bay racked up 352 yards, getting good production on the ground out of Earnest Graham (10 carries for 91 yards) and Warrick Dunn (9 for 54). Jeff Garcia was not very efficient, needing 41 attempts to get 221 yards. He was sacked twice.

You can't always tell much from one game, but on first look, it appears that the Redskins will have to post a score in the 20's in order to win on Sunday. For an offense that isn't quite there yet, that will be tough to do.

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Updating Redskins' injury list after loss to Cardinals

Updating Redskins' injury list after loss to Cardinals

GLENDALE, AZ—The Redskins went into today’s game against the Cardinals somewhat banged up and they exit with a couple of additional injury concerns in the form of concussions.

Center Spencer Long left the game in the second quarter. Initially it was announced that he had been evaluated for a concussion but that he had been cleared. But after halftime the word came down that he had been retested and it was determined that he does have a concussion. Long has entered the concussion protocol.

Veteran John Sullivan, picked up earlier this season when Kory Lichtensteiger went on injured reserve, filled in a center the rest of the way. He is a capable fill-in but if Long is out he would be the only available center. The Redskins might have to sign a center if it looks like Long will be out of action against the Eagles.

In the fourth quarter safety Will Blackmon left the game. According to Redskins coach Jay Gruden he was being evaluated for a concussion and a stinger. His exact status is unknown. Gruden will give more information during a conference call with reporters on Monday.

[MORE: JOSH NORMAN ON HIS CRUCIAL FOURTH-QUARTER PENALTY]

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Josh Norman on his crucial fourth-quarter penalty vs. Larry Fitzgerald

Josh Norman on his crucial fourth-quarter penalty vs. Larry Fitzgerald

GLENDALE, AZ—The Redskins had a couple of chances to stop what would eventually turn into the Cardinals’ game-clinching drive in the fourth quarter. The first one came when they went for it on fourth and one at their own 34. It was a gutsy call by Arizona coach Bruce Arians and David Johnson make him look smart by popping off a 14-yard run.

The Cards earned that one. But it looked as though they got something of a gift a few plays later when Josh Norman was flagged holding receiver Larry Fitzgerald. It was a borderline call, granting Arizona a gift third and five conversion. Two plays later Carson Palmer went in for the kill, throwing a 42-yard touchdown pass to J.J. Nelson.

On the field, Norman seemed to be none too pleased with the penalty flag. He said after the game that he thinks that Fitzgerald may have stolen a flag.

“He [Fitzgerald] was within five yards. Larry is a wily vet,” said Norman. “I'd been doing it all game, kind of . . . He breaks out and I go for the ball and the flag got thrown. We'd like to see that not happen in that situation because there was some good position, some good leverage. And a flag came out.

“It is what it is. You can't blame a call on that, blame a call on this. It's whatever, man.”

Norman is right. The Redskins blew plenty of chances to take control of the game and the blame can be spread around on both sides of the ball. But the flag will loom large as the Redskins try to shake off this loss and get ready for the Eagles next week.

[MORE: ANGRY JAY GRUDEN SAYS REDSKINS 'NOT EVEN CLOSE' TO THINKING ABOUT PLAYOFFS]