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  • Erica Blackburn

Washington continues to struggle in close games

The Washington Football Team fell to the New Orleans Saints, 33-22, at FedExField on a cloudy Sunday afternoon in Landover, Maryland. Washington’s defensive woes continued on against a bottom ranked New Orleans offense who’s missing key players, especially along the offensive line.

Washington got off to a great start, intercepting Saints quarterback Jameis Winston on their first offensive drive and returning it to the 31 yard line. Washington moved the ball but settled for a field goal, making the score 3-0. The lead didn’t last long, as on the third offensive play of their following drive, the Saints hit on a big pass from Winston to wide receiver Deonte Harris for a 72-yard touchdown bomb. Washington chipped into the Saints lead with another good offensive drive and field goal, cutting the lead to 7-6.

Chase Young got his first strip-sack of the year when he forced a fumble on Winston. Washington felt really good early in the game with two turnovers and promptly took a 13-6 lead with a Antonio Gibson touchdown run. Saints running back Alvin Kamara got his first rush touchdown of the game on a drive extended by a penalty on William Jackson III. New Orleans' Cody Parkey missed the extra point, and the two foes were tied up at 13, early in the second quarter.

It appeared the Washington Football Team and New Orleans Saints would head into halftime tied at 13, but a hail mary by Winston to receiver Marquez Callaway gave the Saints a 20-13 edge. Head coach Ron Rivera shared that the team wasn't prepared for it.

Washington's defense held New Orleans to zero points and just one first down in the third quarter, but the Team didn’t do much better. Washington was able to muster up a solid 14 play drive that resulted in another Hopkins field goal. The score narrowed the Saints' lead to 20-16.

On a third-down play from inside his own 10-yard line, Heinicke stood in the end zone before deciding to throw the ball into double coverage, intended for wide receiver DeAndre Carter. It resulted in an interception by New Orleans defensive back P.J. Williams.

Four plays later, Winston threw his third touchdown pass of the game, finding wide receiver Marquez Calloway open for a wide open score. The touchdown increased the Saints' lead from four points to 11, making it 27-16.

In desperate need of a touchdown, Heinicke and the Washington Football Team offense put together a drive and Gibson finished it off with his second touchdown of the game. A failed two-point conversion kept the deficit to five points. Winston's fourth touchdown pass of the game took the lead back to 11 in favor of New Orleans, with just over three minutes remaining in the game. Washington’s final drive of the game went five plays, 25 yards for no points.

The Washington Football Team will take on the Kansas City Chiefs next Sunday at 1pm ET.

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