SPORTS

Redskins-Saints live blog features RG III debut, Drew Brees

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) passes in the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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FINAL THOUGHTS: RG III had quite the rookie debut, completing 19 of his 26 passes for 320 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Drew Brees, frustrated early, wound up with 339 passing yards and three touchdowns.

Washington's defense was stout, and the Redskins' offense was crafty and shifty before a bruising New Orleans defense.

One game, folks. But a good one for D.C.-area fans. 

FOURTH QUARTER: Hail Mary pass into the end zone fails. Redskins win.

FOURTH QUARTER: Redskins play it safe. Punt gives the Saints possession at their 20 with 22 seconds remaining.

TWO MINUTE WARNING --

FOURTH QUARTER: Brees to Darren Sproles on fourth-and-goal from the 2. Touchdown. Redskins 40, Saints 32. . .2:25 left.

BUT SUDDENLY: Here come the Saints, marching to the 1 -- helped by a stupid Redskins personal foul.

NEXT PLAY: Alfred Morris in for the touchdown. Redskins, 40-25. Game over? More than likely.

FOURTH QUARTER: DeJon Gomes intercepts a Brees pass with 3:23 left and returns it to the New Orleans 3.

OK: Time left is 3:39. Saints will begin work on their 27. And, ahem, a fellow named Brees is behind center.

THE SUPERDOME: It's not a good place for a visiting team to be right now. Seriously, the crowd noise is mind-bending.

AND THERE YOU GO: On a fourth-and-10, Brees goes to the end zone for a touchdown. Two-point conversion pass good. Redskins, 33-25.

SO HERE WE GO: Former Saints coach Jim Haslett, now the Redskins' defensive coordinator, needs to have his unit keep it up. . .

TRUST ME ON THIS ONE: There's a relatively elderly gentleman right now on a street in the French Quarter listening to the game on his little radio and playing sad songs on his saxophone. Really.

FOURTH QUARTER: Billy Cundiff's fourth field goal, a 45-yarder, without a miss. Redskins, 33-17 with 10:52 remaining.

-- THE FORTH QUARTER BEGINS --

THIRD QUARTER: London Fletcher saves a touchdown with a short pass deflection, and the Saints settle for a field goal from 21 yards. Redskins, 30-17

THIRD QUARTER: Brees is beginning to look like Brees as the Saints go marching down the field. . .

UPDATE: Andrew Luck isn't doing so well for Indianapolis, which trails at Chicago. 

THIRD QUARTER: Billy Cundiff converts his third field-goal attempt, this time from 37 yards. Redskins, 30-14.

OBSERVATION: FOX TV announcers already have annointed the Redskins DBs to royalty. Please.

THIRD QUARTER: Saints opening drive takes all of 34 seconds off the clock. That's playing into the Redskins gameplan.

THIRD QUARTER: Ah the good tidings continue for Washington. A deep pass into the end zone on fourth-and-1 is incomplete but pass interference is called on the Saints, giving the Redkins the ball on the 1. Next play, Alfred Morris TD. Redskins, 27-14.

SECOND HALF IS UNDERWAY

JUST WONDERING: What Sean Payton is doing right now and what NFL chief Roger Goodell is wondering what Payton is doing right now. In this day and age, is "no contact" really even a possibility?

HALFTIME NUMBERS: Griffin is 11 for 13 for 182 yards and two TDs with no interceptions. Brees? 10 for 18, 125 yards, a touchdown and no picks.

KNEE-TIME: So there you go. Just like that, the Redskins go from owning the game's flow to losing it at the break. Griffin was nothing short of "wow" in the first half but the late block gives Brees a whole lotta hope in the final two quarters.

SECONDS BEFORE HALFTIME: Redskins punt  blocked, Saints scoop it up, touchdown. Redskins, 20-14. Superdome explodes in noise.

LATE SECOND QUARTER: Short catch, nearly a touchdown, fumble, a review, then  touchback. The misery continues for the Saints. Momentum promptly squashed.

RULES ARE RULES: Forward progress calls can't be reviewed, which just cost the Redskins a potential fumble recovery.

STAT: Saints never trailed by more than 10 points last season during their 8-0 record at home.  

SECOND QUARTER: Redskins drive stalls but Billy Cundiff connects from 41 yards. Redskins, 20-7.

MEANWHILE: Brees -- just sacked on third down -- looks increasingly frustrated with the whole affair thus far, having gone three-and-out three times.

A THOUGHT: Griffin looks like a different player with a different attitude compared to the preseason games.

SECOND QUARTER: Who is this RG III guy, anyway? Long drive capped by a short TD toss to Aldrick Robinson. Redskins, 17-7.

OBSERVATION: From someone who has seen Brees play numerous times -- He just doesn't look like himself. Odds are he snaps out of it.

END OF FIRST QUARTER: Saints had the ball for maybe five seconds. Actually, a little more than three minutes.

FIRST QUARTER: OK, boys and girls. Mr. Griffin responds with an 88-yard toss to Pierre Garcon. First NFL touchdown pass. Mark it down. Redskins, 10-7.

IDLE THOUGHT: That roar for the 20-yard TD pass was maybe a close second to the roar when the Saints finally returned to the Superdome. 

FIRST QUARTER: Well, now. Mr. Brees throws a high dart. Touchdown. Saints, 7-3.

FIRST QUARTER:  Griffin finishes six-for-six on drive that ends with 37-yard field goal by Billy Cundiff. Redskins, 3-0.

FIRST QUARTER: Saints open three-and-out, and now Robert Griffin is leading the Redskins right down the field.

This is your live blog from the Washington Redskins’ season-opening game against the New Orleans Saints at the Superdome in New Orleans. The writer is Skip Wood ( swood@wjla.com ), who spent the better part of 15 years covering the NFL for USA TODAY.

If you prefer instant analysis about such things as, say, why the Redskins appear to be leaning on a heavy nickel package or why their Z receiver read a Saints coverage scheme better than their X receiver. . .yeah, well, there may be a small dose of that but only a small dose.

We hope to make it lively and fun!. Please feel to participate by shooting me an email. Again: swood@wjla.com. Also, please go our Facebook page for potential comments on the live blog. http://on.fb.me/IvU5rQ

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