Final/OT

Saints 33

(12-0, 6-0 away)

Redskins 30

(3-9, 3-3 home)

Coverage: FOX

1:00 PM ET, December 6, 2009

FedEx Field, Landover, MD 

1 2 3 4 OT T
NO 0 17 3 10 333
WSH 10 7 10 3 030

Top Performers

Passing: D. Brees (NO) - 419 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: Q. Ganther (WSH) - 8 CAR, 46 YDS

Receiving: R. Meachem (NO) - 8 REC, 142 YDS, 1 TD

Brees drives Saints 80 yards in :33 to tie; Hartley's OT kick wins it

Associated Press

LANDOVER, Md. -- The New Orleans Saints had no business winning. Two of their biggest plays were unbelievable flukes, bad mistakes that somehow morphed into positive results. Then they needed the other team's kicker to miss a 23-yard field goal just to stay alive, and a freeze-frame replay reversal to get the ball in overtime.

Looking Ahead

The Colts and Saints are each four games away from finishing the NFL regular season undefeated, the latest in a season the NFL has ever had two teams which haven't lost.

Week Colts opp. Saints opp.
14 Broncos @Falcons
15 @Jags Cowboys
16 Jets Bucs
17 @Bills @Panthers

But the Saints are living a charmed life these days, and the Washington Redskins are as snakebit as can be. New Orleans trailed by 10 in the fourth quarter Sunday and played more than four quarters without holding a lead -- until Garrett Hartley kicked an 18-yard field goal 6:29 into the extra period for a 33-30 win.

"I don't know about the voodoo, but I definitely believe in destiny," said Drew Brees, who led a no-timeout, 80-yard drive in just 33 seconds to tie the game late in regulation. "I believe in karma, and what goes around comes around. We've been on the other side of this deal probably too many times, and maybe it's our time, that we start catching some of the breaks."

Yasinskas: Lucky And Good

An 11-0 record told you the Saints were good. Getting to 12-0 proves they're lucky as well. Blog

Catching the breaks? That sure explains how the Saints are now 12-0 with the NFC South title in hand. How else to explain a badly shanked punt that turns into a 29-yard gain, or an interception by Brees that somehow becomes a touchdown for teammate Robert Meachem?

"Crazy plays," linebacker Jonathan Vilma said. "When you're hot, you're hot. And sometimes it's better to be lucky than good."

New Orleans also showed it can brave the cold, winning a sub-40 degree game for the first time since 1995. Well, maybe. The defense, led by former Redskins defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, offered minimal resistance, allowing Washington to pile up 455 yards and score 30 points for the first time in Jim Zorn's 28 games as coach.

High-Flying Saints

The Saints haven't lost a game, and they owe a lot of that to their potent offense. It's one of the best in the first 12 games of any NFL season.

Season Team Points W-L in span
2007 Patriots 469 12-0
1950 Rams 466 9-3
2009 Saints 440 12-0
2000 Rams 436 8-4
2004 Colts 431 9-3
1941 Bears 429 11-1

"When we do this long enough," Saints coach Sean Payton said, "you find yourself on the end of wins maybe sometimes that you feel fortunate to have."

The biggest number for Washington (3-9) was three -- as in the number of consecutive losses in which they've blown a fourth-quarter lead.

"I don't think the best team won today," Redskins center Casey Rabach said. "We had some bad breaks, some bizarre things happened."

Fast Facts

• The Saints improved to 12-0, tied a single-season franchise record for wins and clinched the NFC South by erasing a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit and winning in overtime.

• Garrett Hartley, who hadn't kicked for the Saints this season, hit four FGs including the game-winner in OT.

• The teams combined for 918 total yards, including 775 passing yards, and 53 first downs.

• Robert Meachem set career highs in receptions (8) and receiving yards (142) and had two TDs, extending his streak to five games with a score.

• Rapid Reaction

-- ESPN Stats & Information

Asked if he thought there was any way his team could lose when leading convincingly in the fourth quarter, receiver Devin Thomas said: "There's always a way possible -- especially with our team -- with this little curse we got where we can't ever get over the hump."

So how did it happen? Leading 30-23, the Redskins marched downfield and set up the gimme field goal that would have put the game out of reach. But Shaun Suisham pushed the attempt wide right from a mere 23 yards with 1:52 to play.

Brees went right to work, moving quickly before hitting Meachem wide open over the middle for a 53-yard touchdown with 1:19 to go, essentially sending the game to overtime.

The Redskins had the ball to start the extra period, but Mike Sellers fumbled when he was upended by Chris McAlister after making a catch -- a turnover that was only verified after a meticulous replay reversal -- giving the Saints the ball at the Washington 37. Brees needed only seven plays to march New Orleans to the 1 before Hartley made the game-winning kick.

Meachem's first-half touchdown was just a big, but much more unorthodox.

The sequence started when the Saints punted from their own 30. Thomas Morstead shanked the kick so badly that it hit Washington's totally helpless Kevin Barnes flush on the back near the sideline. New Orleans recovered at the Redskins 41.

Four plays later, facing third-and-26 at the Redskins 44, Brees backpedalled under pressure and threw a desperation pass deep over the middle toward Jeremy Shockey in triple coverage. Kareem Moore dived over Shockey's back to make an interception, rolled over, got up and ran 14 yards before Meachem simply took the ball away from an upright Moore and started running down the sideline -- high-stepping 44 yards for the team's ninth return touchdown of the season, tying the game at 17 and changing the momentum with 22 seconds left in the first half.

"It was a huge play," Payton said. "It's your game changer."

Game notes


Brees went 35 for 49 for 419 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Meachem caught eight passes for 142 yards. ... Washington's Jason Campbell, frequently picking on first-round draft pick Malcolm Jenkins, completed 30 of 42 passes for a career-high 367 yards and three touchdowns with one interception. Thomas had seven catches for a career-high 100 yards and two touchdowns. ... The game-time temperature was 36 degrees. The Saints' previous sub-40 win was Dec. 24, 1995, a 12-0 win over the New York Jets in 33-degree weather at the Meadowlands, according to STATS. ... Redskins injuries: DT Cornelius Griffin (sprained knee), WR Antwaan Randle El (sprained shoulder), DT Kedric Golston (sprained elbow) and DT Albert Haynesworth (sprained ankle).

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
NO
WSH
1st Downs2528
Passing 1st downs
2119
Rushing 1st downs
45
1st downs from penalties
04
3rd down efficiency
6-147-12
4th down efficiency
0-10-0
Total Plays7467
Total Yards463455
Yards per play6.36.8
Total Drives1110
Passing408367
Comp-Att
35-4930-42
Yards per pass
8.28.7
Interceptions thrown
11
Sacks-Yards Lost
1-110-0
Rushing5588
Rushing Attempts
2425
Yards per rush
2.33.5
Red Zone (Made-Att)0-43-7
Penalties7-1022-15
Turnovers14
Fumbles lost
03
Interceptions thrown
11
Defensive / Special Teams TDs10
Possession35:0631:23

Passing Leaders

NOC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Brees35/494198.6211-11
WSHC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Campbell30/423678.7310-0

Rushing Leaders

NOCARYDSAVGTDLG
Bell16342.109
Thomas6183.0011
WSHCARYDSAVGTDLG
Ganther8465.8013
Cartwright13393.0016

Receiving Leaders

NORECYDSAVGTDLG
Meachem814217.8153
Thomas8648.0014
WSHRECYDSAVGTDLG
Thomas710014.3240
Randle El47318.3044

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERNOWSH
wshTD8:17Fred Davis 8 Yard Pass From Jason Campbell (Shaun Suisham Kick is Good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 94 yds, 4:40
07
wshFG2:52Shaun Suisham 32 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 9 plays, 57 yds, 3:29
010
SECOND QUARTERNOWSH
noFG12:18Garrett Hartley 34 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 12 plays, 50 yds, 5:34
310
noTD5:42Marques Colston 40 Yard Pass From Drew Brees (Garrett Hartley Kick is Good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 87 yds, 4:27
1010
wshTD2:25Devin Thomas 5 Yard Pass From Jason Campbell (Shaun Suisham Kick is Good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 78 yds, 3:17
1017
noTD0:39Robert Meachem 44 Yard Fumble Return (Garrett Hartley Kick is Good)
Drive info: 4 plays, -3 yds, 1:09
1717
THIRD QUARTERNOWSH
wshFG11:09Shaun Suisham 28 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 10 plays, 64 yds, 4:00
1720
wshTD7:57Devin Thomas 13 Yard Pass From Jason Campbell (Shaun Suisham Kick is Good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 56 yds, 1:34
1727
noFG2:40Garrett Hartley 27 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 10 plays, 64 yds, 5:13
2027
FOURTH QUARTERNOWSH
wshFG12:55Shaun Suisham 21 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 9 plays, 63 yds, 4:44
2030
noFG6:56Garrett Hartley 28 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 12 plays, 69 yds, 5:59
2330
noTD1:27Robert Meachem 53 Yard Pass From Drew Brees (Garrett Hartley Kick is Good)
Drive info: 5 plays, 80 yds, 0:33
3030
OVERTIMENOWSH
noFG8:40Garrett Hartley 18 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 8 plays, 36 yds, 5:16
3330