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(Sunday, December 6th)
Final Score: New Orleans 33, Washington 30 (OT)
Landover, MD (Sports Network) - Garrett Hartley's 18-yard field goal 6:29 into overtime gave New Orleans a 33-30 come-from-behind win over Washington, as the Saints remained undefeated and clinched the NFC South.
New Orleans (12-0) had already clinched the division before winning, as Atlanta was blown out by Philadelphia on Sunday, but a score late in regulation coupled with the overtime field goal enabled the team to remain unbeaten along with Indianapolis.
Drew Brees went 35-for-49 with 419 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, while Robert Meachem had eight catches for 142 yards and one touchdown. Meachem also scored on a fumble return.
Jason Campbell went 30-for-42 with a career-high 367 yards along with three touchdowns and one interception, while Devin Thomas had seven catches for 100 yards and two touchdowns for the Redskins (3-9), who blew a fourth-quarter lead for the third straight game to coincide with a three-game losing streak.
"If we could have got all those games we'd be 6-6 right now," said Campbell. "Your season is totally different and you're fighting for a playoff spot. But we're 3-9. This one stung the most. A lot of guys were fighting today and trying to make plays, but it just didn't go our way."
Holding a seven-point lead, Washington got the ball into scoring position just past the two-minute warning and had a chance to ice the game, but Shaun Suisham's 23-yard chip shot sailed wide right and New Orleans got the ball back at its 20-yard line with 1:52 to play.
"I missed the kick," said Suisham. "I sure wish there was something I could do. I'm so disappointed in myself, I feel terrible."
Brees needed just 33 seconds and five plays to tie the game as he hit a wide open Meachem in stride and the receiver took it into the end zone on a 53-yard score.
Campbell was intercepted with 28 seconds to play and the Saints attempted a 58-yard field goal, but the kick fell short and the game went to overtime.
Washington won the coin toss to get the first touch of the extra quarter. However, on the third play of the drive Mike Sellers caught a short pass at the right side and fumbled the ball away to New Orleans.
The play was initially ruled down by contact, but after a lengthy review, the call was overturned and New Orleans had the ball at the Washington 37.
Brees connected with Devery Henderson on the first play for 12 yards and Mike Bell followed with a one-yard run. Short passes of four yards to David Thomas and six yards to Marques Colston got the ball into field goal position, but New Orleans continued to pound the ball with three straight runs by Bell moving the ball another 13 yards.
Hartley lined up for the 18-yard chip shot and his first boot went through, but Washington had called timeout to ice the kicker. He calmly pushed the next kick through for the win.
With the score tied at the start of the second half, Washington started with the ball and used a 10-play, 64-yard drive to take the lead, 20-17, on a 28- yard field goal from Suisham.
On the ensuing drive, New Orleans went for it on 4th-and-1 at the Washington 43, but Bell was stuffed at the line for a turnover on downs.
On the next play, Campbell and Thomas got together for a 40-yard catch to get the ball into the red zone. Three plays later, Campbell dumped the ball off to Thomas and he toed his way into the end zone for a 13-yard score and a 27-17 lead with 7:48 left in the third.
New Orleans answered with a 10-play, 64-yard drive that was capped on a 27- yard boot between the uprights from Harltey to make it a one-score game with 2:35 left in the third.
Suisham kicked his third field goal of the game, a 21-yarder, for a 30-20 lead just over two minutes into the final quarter.
The Saints responded on the following possession with a 28-yard field goal from Hartley to make it a 30-23 game with 6:52 to play.
Starting with the ball at its own six, Washington marched nearly the length of the field in nine plays capped when Fred Davis caught a pass in the left flat and took it into the end zone for an eight-yard score.
The Redskins extended their lead to 10-0 on a 32-yard field goal from Suisham with 2:48 to play in the first quarter, ending a nine-play, 57-yard drive.
The Saints got their offense on track on the ensuing drive as a 12-play, 50- yard march that spanned the first and second quarters ended with Hartley's 34- yard field goal for a 10-3 contest.
Following a Washington three-and-out, New Orleans tied the game on a 40-yard catch by a wide open Colston in the end zone with 5:34 to play in the second.
However, Washington struck back to regain the lead as Campbell tossed the ball out to the right flat under pressure for Thomas, who stretched into the end zone for a five-yard score with 2:17 left in the first half for a 17-10 game.
On the ensuing drive, New Orleans punted it away but recovered a muffed catch attempt by Kevin Barnes. Brees was then picked off by Kareem Moore, who ran it back close to midfield.
However, Meachem stripped the ball out of Moore's hands during the return and took it into the end zone for a 44-yard touchdown with 22 seconds left in the half.
The play was reviewed to determine if Moore was down when he first picked off the ball, but the call on the field stood and it was a tie game heading into the break.
"The guy picked the ball and I saw he had two blockers," said Meachem. "If I could slice through these guys, I thought I had a chance. So I knifed through them, stripped the ball and ran it in. It was a big-time play because we needed it. I saw the way he was carrying it, defensive players don't protect the ball the way offensive players do."
Washington plays at Oakland next Sunday while New Orleans plays at Atlanta...The Redskins still hold a 15-8 edge in their all-time series with the Saints, but had a two-game winning streak stopped...New Orleans' defense leads the league with 23 interceptions and 13 fumble recoveries...Pierre Thomas had eight catches for 64 yards for the Saints...The teams combined for 918 yards of offense, but just 143 of those came on the ground...The Saints have won seven straight games on the road.
12/06 18:16:51 ET
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