LANDOVER, Md. (AP) -- Deuce McAllister did everything but score.
Question on the Saints: Can the Saints make a run at a wild-card spot?
With the surprising fall of the Panthers, there's still plenty of time left in the season for the Saints. They are playing with a lot of confidence and finish the season with three of their four games at home. This team is looking to reverse the late-season collapse it's suffered the previous two seasons.
Question on the Redskins: Have the 'Skins underachieved, or do they simply have too many holes?
This team's problems start with the coach, the game plan and the personality of their system. Also, they aren't protecting their QB and the defense seems to be too old. This all adds up to another potentially losing season in Washington.
Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.
The only constant in a season that has seen the New Orleans
Saints beat the losing teams and lose to the winners, McAllister
ran for 100 yards for the ninth consecutive game Sunday in a 24-20
victory over the Washington Redskins.
"You know he's going to get five yards a pop," cornerback
Ashley Ambrose said. "Deuce is a man-child. People don't realize
how strong he is, how fast he is. We're going to ride him out."
McAllister was 63 percent of the offense, running for 165 yards
on 30 carries and catching four passes for 31 more. His 100-yard
game streak ties him for third all-time with Walter Payton and Fred
Taylor; Barry Sanders holds the record with 14.
"You can think about it after the season," said McAllister,
who has 1,393 yards rushing. "But right now the Ws are a lot more
All six Ws have come against teams with losing records, while
the Saints (6-6) are 0-6 against teams above .500. They'll need to
get over that hump to make the playoffs for the first time since
"I know we can make it to the show," Ambrose said. "The last
couple of years, this team has faded in the end, but this is the
time now to step up."
The Redskins (4-8) have no such hope left. They have lost three
straight and seven of eight, and the defense failed to hold a lead
by giving up the winning drive in the fourth quarter for the third
straight week. Ten of Washington's games have been decided by seven
points or fewer.
"This is new for a lot of us, trying to win the close ones,"
coach Steve Spurrier said. "We're in a bad habit right now, and
something bad's happening to us near the end of the game. We're not
making anything good happen to overcome it."
Aaron Brooks shook off a knee injury to run for two scores and
pass for another, but McAllister handled the ball on 35 of New
Orleans' 67 offensive plays. The winning score was Brooks' 15-yard
pass to Boo Williams with 9:38 remaining, a drive set up by Keyuo
Craver's 52-yard kickoff return.
Craver's was a rare big play after a day of gaffes by the
Saints' special teams.
Washington's loss marred Tim Hasselbeck's first NFL start. With
Patrick Ramsey out with a foot injury, Hasselbeck was 22-of-42 for
232 yards with one interception, one lost fumble and a crucial
third-down overthrow when Laveranues Coles was wide open late in
the fourth quarter.
"That's the play I want back," said Hasselbeck, whose ups and
downs were reflected in the expressions from his wife,
ex-"Survivor" contestant and new "The View" host Elisabeth. "I
didn't give him a chance to put his hands on the football. To put
it out of bounds the way I did, it really gives us no chance."
The Redskins were hurt by eight penalties for 120 yards,
including two pass interference calls on Champ Bailey against Joe
Horn on the Saints' first two touchdown drives.
The Redskins did have two firsts. Chad Morton's 94-yard kickoff
return was the first touchdown scored by Washington's defense or
special teams. Trung Canidate (115 yards) became the first Redskin
to rush for 100 yards.
A 40-yard pass interference call on Bailey set up the game's
first score -- Brooks' 7-yard quarterback draw on his gimpy knee.
"You should have seen the look he got when we called the
quarterback draw," coach Jim Haslett said.
Brooks rolled his eyes and laughed when asked about the play.
"I was a little skeptical about it, but, hey, you've got to put
your body on the line," he said.
The Redskins were leading 17-10 in the third quarter, but they
gave the Saints loads of help to tie it. Regan Upshaw's late hit on
the quarterback and Bailey's second interference penalty accounted
for 29 yards of a 77-yard drive. Brooks made Jessie Armstead whiff
on 2-yard scramble for the touchdown.
John Hall's 49-yard field goal gave the Redskins their final
lead, but the defense failed again.
There were no sacks by either team, leaving Washington's
Bruce Smith tied with Reggie White atop the all-time list. ...
Injuries: Washington WR Rod Gardner (bruised forearm), New Orleans
RBs James Fenderson and Fred McAffee (sprained ankles), LB Cie
Grant (calf strain), DE Willie Whitehead (knee). ... Hasselbeck's
brother, Matt, started Sunday for Seattle. It was only the second
time in NFL history two brothers started on the same day. Brock
Huard (Seattle) and Damon Huard (Miami) started games on Nov. 26,
2000. ... Washington RB Ladell Betts returned after missing four
games with a broken arm.