Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) turns out of the pocket during the second half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints in Landover, Md., Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Everything went right for Washington’s NFL team against the New Orleans Saints on Nov. 15 at FedEx Field in Landover, Md.
The team has struggled with inconsistencies all season, but against the Saints, they weere almost perfect. Quarterback Kirk Cousins played an elite game, and the offense racked up 514 yards in the victory.
Washington (3-5) got off to a hot start on the opening possession. Cousins was perfect in the 10-play, 96-yard drive, connecting with tight end Jordan Reed for a 16-yard touchdown reception to give Washington its longest scoring drive since Dec. 3, 2000.
On the first possession for New Orleans (4-5), running back Mark Ingram broke loose to rush for a career-long 70 yards.
Washington’s poor tackling against Ingram set up quarterback Drew Brees for a four-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Brandin Cooks to tie the game at 7-7.
Cousins connected with wide receiver Jamison Crowder at the end of the first quarter for an 11-yard touchdown reception, giving Washington a 14-7 lead.
Washington Redskins running back Matt Jones (31) leaps for extra yardage past New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Kevin Williams (93) during the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints in Landover, Md., Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Mark Tenally)
The chemistry between Brees and Cooks proved to be too much for Washington’s secondary once again in the second quarter. Brees stepped into the pocket to deliver a textbook 60-yard touchdown pass to Cooks to tie the game at 14.
After struggling to hold onto the ball all season, Washington running back Matt Jones had a big game against the Saints’ defense. In the second quarter, Jones caught a screen pass from Cousins at the 20-yard line, and ran it up the field, swatting defenders left and right for a 78-yard touchdown. Jones finished with 186 total yards.
Washington’s offense cooled down after Jones’ momentous run, but kicker Dustin Hopkins continued to widen the gap with two field goals. By halftime, Washington led New Orleans 27-14.
The Saints were shut out in the third quarter, with Washington’s defense holding them to just 51 yards. They went three-and-out on two of their three possessions in the quarter.
Less than one minute into the fourth quarter, Washington’s defense decided to get in on the action and score its first points of the year. Safety Dashon Goldson intercepted a tipped pass and ran it back 38 yards for a pick-six to extend the lead to 44-14.
The Saints’ chances after Goldson’s interception were slim to none, but Washington linebacker Perry Riley Jr. sealed the victory with a juggling, one-handed interception in coverage.
Cousins finished with a perfect passer rating (158.3), completing 20-of-25 for 324 yards and four touchdowns. Reed had three receptions for 29 yards and two touchdowns.
Brees completed 19-of-28 throws for 201 yards and two interceptions.
Next: Washington will face an undefeated Carolina Panthers team on the road on Nov. 22 at 1 p.m.