You've now had more than 12 hours to digest the New Orleans Saints disappointing 40-32 season opening loss to the Washington Redskins, but there's still more to be done, so let's continue the process by poring through the post-game coverage to figure out exactly where it went wrong. Maybe I ate the wrong food or drank the wrong beer. Perhaps it was my choice of Gameday Gear...I'll just have to review the film and try to get better for next week.
Redskins vs Saints coverage
Redskins vs Saints box score
NFL Game Center: Washington Redskins at New Orleans Saints | nfl.com
Includes recap, statistics, highlights, official game book.
New Orleans Saints Fall To The Washington Redskins, 40-32 | neworleanssaints.com
Saints just fell short in a fourth quarter comeback against the Redskins.
Saints Postgame Notes | neworleanssaints.com
Saints postgame notes following the 40-32 loss to the Washington Redskins
From the Saints Sideline
Washington Redskins stun New Orleans Saints 40-32 | NOLA.com
Nakia Hogan - Stage seemed ripe for a Saints blowout but Redskins and RGIII flipped the script.
New Orleans Saints can't contain RG3, lose 40-32 | wwltv.com
Bradley Handwerger - The New Orleans Saints promised that this offseason’s trials wouldn’t be used as motivation once the regular season began. They weren’t lying.
New Orleans Saints defense remains team's biggest question mark: Ten observations | NOLA.com
Mike Triplett - Breaking down the Saints' 40-32 loss to the Washington Redskins.
New Orleans Saints were surprisingly flat, perhaps overconfident, in loss to Washington Redskins: First take | NOLA.com
Mike Triplett - Too early to push the panic button - but things need to change fast after sloppy start.
Washington Redskins deliver rude wake-up call to New Orleans Saints | NOLA.com
Jeff Duncan - In a city famous for hand grenades and drive-through daiquiri stores, wake-up calls tend to be ruder here than other places.
Robert Griffin III has his way with New Orleans Saints defense | NOLA.com
Peter Finney - Before Sunday's game, Drew Brees had a prediction. He said, "it's only a matter of time before Robert Griffin III takes the league by storm.''
New Orleans Saints miss Sean Payton and much more in loss to Redskins | wwltv.com New Orleans
Bradley Handwerger - For much of this offseason, there was underlying expectation that the New Orleans Saints would come out and pick up where they left off at the end of 2011.
Quick Take: Saints poor, outplayed by Redskins in opener | sportsnola.com
Ken Trahan - It was an old fashioned butt whipping. The better team clearly won.
Deke: It Was A Bad Day! - WWL | AM870 | FM105.3
It’s only one game, right?
Saints-Redskins recap: How the game was won | NOLA.com
Larry Holder - Redskins execute their plan to fluster Saints.
Saints-Redskins recap: Did you see? | NOLA.com
Larry Holder - RGIII, officiating among the topics.
Grading the New Orleans Saints offense | NOLA.com
Nakia Hogan - Offense receives 1 1/2 Fleur de lis against Redskins.
Grading the New Orleans Saints' defense | NOLA.com
Nakia Hogan - Defense receives one of a possible four Fleur-de-lis.
Grading New Orleans Saints coaching | NOLA.com
Nakia Hogan - Coaching receives 1/2 out of four Fleur-de-lis
Grading New Orleans Saints coaching | NOLA.com
Nakia Hogan - Coaching receives 1/2 out of four Fleur-de-lis
Rapid Reaction: Redskins 40, Saints 32 - NFC South Blog | ESPN.com
Pat Y. - Thoughts on the New Orleans Saints' 40-32 loss to the Washington Redskins on Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
New Orleans Saints didn't do their job - NFC South | ESPN.com
Pat Y. - The New Orleans Saints didn’t lose their season opener because they are without suspended coach Sean Payton.
Redskins vs. Saints: Griffin III, Washington stun New Orleans, 40-32 | The Washington Post
Mike Jones - Asked this week how he thought Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III would transition to the NFL, New Orleans Saints star Drew Brees described his fellow Texas native as "a winner," and said: "It’s only a matter of time before he takes this league by storm. I just hope he doesn’t do it on Sunday."
New Orleans Saints, recovering from bounty scandal, lose opener to Redskins | The Washington Post
Mark Maske - The New Orleans Saints’ offseason of bounty-scandal turbulence gave way to an afternoon of exasperation in their season-opening loss to the Washington Redskins.
Redskins Win Battle Of The Bayou: 40-32 Final | redskins.com
Redskins.com’s Brian Tinsman takes a closer look at Sunday afternoon’s regular season kickoff game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Rapid Reaction: Redskins 40, Saints 32 - NFC East Blog | ESPN.com
Dan Graziano - A few thoughts from the Washington Redskins' stunning 40-32 season-opening victory over the Saints in the Superdome.
Robert Griffin III breathes life into Redskins - NFC East Blog | ESPN.com
Dan Graziano - The defense doesn't always watch its own offense very closely, choosing instead to spend its time on the sideline getting its rest, going over the plays of the drive just past and the plans for the next one.
SAINTS OFFENSIVE LINE/RUNNING GAME COACH AARON KROMER
"Today was a day that was frustrating because our fans deserve more than what we gave them today. When it's all said it done, they deserve more. They deserve better play by the New Orleans Saints. Now let's credit the Redskins. Let's be honest, this team came in and played well. They ran the ball well. RG3 scrambles a few times and made some nice plays. Their defense did a nice job. They did the things that we expected; that's the hard part to take. It's the things we practiced and expected. We didn't play well enough to win. We were close, but it would have been a sloppy win if we did. We need to play better this week."
(on what can be improved for Week 2) "We have been in this situation before. We are going to pull together because we have a lot of character on this team. We have a tight knit team. We have guys that feel for each other and will work together. We need to get all the parts together and get it times up perfectly. There were no indications that this would happen. If you look at the Houston preseason game, there were no indications that this would happen. We were clicking, we were moving the ball, we had timing with our receivers, our defense did a good job against the run, and we just need to go back and look at ourselves. Each one of us, starting with me, needs to go back and look at ourselves and figure out what I can do better, what each individual can do better and how close we can stay."
(on if it was a mistake not to run the ball more early on) "You are not going to run the ball when you get 12 penalties. In the first half, if you go back and look at the drives when we ran the ball once for a first down and ran it again and got a 10 yard holding penalty now you are out of running range. The only reason those plays were chosen is because of the situations we were in."
(on Washington's offense in preseason vs. today) "I think they showed a lot of their offense (and) general scheme (in the regular season). You are always going to change personnel and how you do things, but if you look at the plays in general they are the same kind of plays. You are always anticipating with RG3 that he is going to be running the ball with some kind of read option off the backside defensive end or faking it to the right and bootlegging to the left. These plays are going to come up and you anticipate it. I don't think they did anything that we didn't anticipate."
(on what went wrong on offense) "We got behind the chains, we had penalties. As soon as you do that you get out or rhythm so you have to get a play that can get you halfway back and we weren't able to do that. When you play football you get 11 guys together and they need to be in sync. Early on, we had one guy each play that wasn't with us and we have to overcome that. We have to get that fixed and we will."
(on the 12 men on the field penalty) "Adversity is going to come in a game, things are going to happen and you have to overcome it. I talked the guys last night about character, there is going to be some crisis in the game. There is crisis in life, there is crisis in a game and you have to overcome it. We have the resolve in our locker room to overcome those things they same way we are going to overcome this game"
(on the decision to play Will Smith) "Will Smith practiced all training camp. He missed one week of practice. He was schooled up on the gameplan. He is our best defensive end, a former captain, so it was important that he play."
(on what prevented Saints from overcoming adversity today) "Penalties hurt us. When we have had challenges in the past we were able to chunk away at yardage, and today when we got behind the chains a couple times it killed us in our third down conversions. When you look at it, time of possession was way out of whack. They did a very nice job of keeping the football, and we did not do a good job of keeping the football and that stemmed from penalties."
(on failure to convert on third downs) "Today the difference was penalties. It was second-and-20, so when we got to third down it was third-and-long was too many times. You get in third-and-long situations you are not going to convert. When we were converting on a normal basis, or on a first in the NFL basis as we did last year, we were in manageable situations so the percentages go down obviously the further you are."
(on what was most disturbing besides penalties) "I think that the entire team needs to look themselves in the eye, look in the mirror and say ‘what can I do better? How can I prepare better? How can I be a better teammate? How can I win a football game by doing my job?'."
(on a sloppy first game without Sean Payton) "Listen, this team is going to stay together because of their core and the character within it. As we went in that locker room after a tough day as we had could not have gotten any tighter as a group, we said ‘we are going to get this fixed.'"
QB #9 DREW BREES
"We'll regroup like we always have. The first thing is looking at the film and seeing what we all can do better. We lost the first game of the year last year and finished 13-3. We have the mentality and the guys to do it."
"It's disappointing in that it was the home opener. What it comes down to is doing all the things that prevent you from winning football games. It's turnovers, it's penalties that cost you drives and keep your defense out there entirely too long. You add all those things up and you gave them way too many opportunities. We've got to get better on first down, we've got to get better on third down, we've got to score points and we've got to take care of the football."
(on Robert Griffin III) "I thought he was extremely impressive. They sustained a lot of drives and kept our defense out there a long time. They were consistently scoring points. Unfortunately, we weren't able to match what they were doing."
(on the Redskins' defense) "They played their scheme very well. If you look at our third-down percentage - 2-for-11 - that's about as bad as we've ever been."
(on if distractions were a factor?) "Not at all. It's the NFL. You better bring it every week. Not to say we ever would take anybody lightly. We knew what type of team they were. It's hard to believe we had a chance to tie it at the end."
(on having a chance at the end) "We've won plenty of games when we've been down. Despite everything that's happened, we can tie it and extend the game. We've done that plenty of times before. How we got down was the disappointing thing."
"There's a foundation that's been built. We're going to get in tomorrow, we're going to look at that film, we're going to take a critical eye and say ‘how can I get better?' It's the way we work, the way we prepare, the way we approach each day. We've got a lot of football left.
"There was a lot of emotion going into the game because of the events of the last few days. At times when the emotions are so high, you get into the game and you can have a lapse. We recognized that from a game last year against the Houston Texans, when Steve Gleason came out and led the ‘Who Dat' cheer.
(on four three-and-outs in the first six possessions) "I can't recall the last time we did that. I can't recall the last time we had this many third-and-longs. I can't recall the last time we were this inefficient in the passing game. We're going to be better than that."
(On if they surprised them defensively) "No, I wouldn't say they surprised us. They didn't do anything that we hadn't seen before or weren't anticipating. They played their scheme very well. In the end, our third down percentage was as probably as bad as it has ever been. You can attribute that to all of the third and longs. I couldn't tell you how many times we were third and ten or plus. You are going to sustain drives, if you get third and mediums. You keep their defense on the field, our (offense) on the field and you are going to score points. You are going to wear them down. We just have to find a way to improve that."
WR #15 COURTNEY ROBY
(on his return of a blocked punt for a touchdown) "I think it was definitely a spark. That's the role of special teams. You're always trying to find a way to set an edge for the offense or defense. That was right before the half. (Martez Wilson) was able to break free and I was able to scoop and score."
"A loss is a loss. We've got to go back to the drawing board.
"Year after year, you try to work hard, try to make a play whenever possible and try to be somebody that's dependable. I'm just doing what I'm coached (to do).
"Anytime you have penalties, it's disappointing. All you can do is overcome it. Some hurt more than others."
S #27 MALCOLM JENKINS
(on the Redskins offense and Robert Griffin III) "Most of the big plays they got were off bootlegs. That aspect is always tough to defend, and (Griffin) made us pay for it. He took the throws that were open. The play-action passes, he made the good reads. He had a good game."
(on the Redskins game plan) "They had a great game plan for it, especially early in the game. They ran the ball well, which is one of the things we needed to stop. When you get that kind of combination, that's hard to defend."
(on the loss) "You take your lumps as they come. There (are) always things to improve on. Whenever you lose the turnover battle and have ten penalties, that's hard to overcome. If we make the plays we need to make and don't have all the stupid penalties (it could be different)."
"I don't think we go into the game thinking we're going to give up 40. Each game is going to take on a life of its own."
(on facing a quarterback like Griffin in Week 1) "It's easier to gameplan as you get into the season. The first game's always hard to anticipate. I thought we made some adjustments late in the game. That's a tough offense to go up against. It's going to be a good year for (Robert Griffin III)."
(on no takeaways by the defense) "We had a few opportunities that we let slip by, but they did a good job of protecting the ball as well. We've got to get the ball out, though. We have to create those turnovers and give ourselves a chance."
S #41 ROMAN HARPER
(On the game) "We didn't make the plays that we needed to. We let the quarterback get out of the pocket. We had bad penalties. We didn't get off the field. The pass interference on me was what it was. It set them up for a touchdown though. We had a couple of offsides (penalties). We played bad ball. It just wasn't smart. That's the most disappointing part. I like the effort that this team has (given). We have to be smarter though. We didn't help ourselves at all today. You have to give Washington credit because they won the game. We are so much better than what we did today. We have to recognize that and be smart. That's what it comes down to."
HEAD COACH MIKE SHANAHAN
"I really thought that our football team, to say the least, played awfully hard throughout the game. We played a good football team today, as you can see. They never gave up. They kept on coming back. It takes 46 guys to play extremely hard to come away with a victory."
(on the play of the defense, especially late in the game) "Since we started OTA's, we have had a lot of guys working extremely hard throughout our practices, throughout preseason games. It really didn't surprise me that they played like they did today. They played extremely hard. They made a bunch of big plays out there. Obviously, (there were) a lot of heroes out there today."
(on the play of Robert Griffin III) "I thought that Robert did an unbelievable job to play the way that he did in the first game in the National Football League. The poise that he played with and some of the throws that he made (were great). Just to execute the offense in this environment (was impressive). You can't hear the snap count. At times he was a little off. He kind of bumped into the running back a couple of times. They (the Saints) threw a lot at us. (There were) a lot of blitzes. They are a very well-coached team. To come away with a win and the way that we played is a big plus for our guys."
(on if the Saints defense was off balance) "That's what you try to do. You will have to ask their defense for sure. We obviously do a lot of things to try to keep people off balance. That's what you try to do offensively. Obviously, Robert presents a big problem. He can run the football, and as you can see, he can throw it. He made some plays."
(on Pierre Garcon's injury) "The top of his foot was bugging him. He could have come in. The x-rays were negative, so that is a positive. He was sore enough not to come back, which is disappointing because he had a heck of a catch in the beginning of the game."
(on Pierre Garcon's ability) "I'm glad that we've got Pierre on the football team, to say the least. He's a big play guy. He's big. He's strong. He is 215 pounds. He is in that 4.4 range. He can block. He wants the football, so we gave it to him early."
(on keeping Drew Brees under 50 percent accuracy) "First of all, he is so good. It is amazing to me some of the plays that he makes. Playing from behind, his ability to stay poised, his footwork, looking at the field and being able to avoid the rush (are just some of his skills). We played well enough to win. You've got to get some turnovers. You've got to find a way to beat them, especially in this environment. And you've got to do it as a team. Forty-six guys have to play well."
#10 QB Robert Griffin III
(On today's game) "It was a lot of fun out there. I think everyone was comfortable with the game plan that we had coming in. We did a lot of things that we hadn't shown in preseason. I think everybody executed it to a T. Us being able to adapt the offense, it is harder for them to do things and (we can keep them off guard. I thought everybody did a great job."
(On whether Washington had New Orleans confused) "I think that they would just see the look and think of what was coming from what we had done on previous plays, so they were kind of out of place for our adjustments. I don't think they were necessarily confused. I think they thought they had it right but we would hit them with something else. That's what you've got to do. Defenses do it to offenses; you think you have it figured out and then they do something different. We had some adjustments at halftime, but I went out on the field and they didn't do what they did the first time. They got us a couple of times, we got them a couple of times, and thankfully we came out on top."
(on what it was like coming on the field with the Redskins offense for the first time with over 70,000 fans screaming) "It was definitely loud, first of all. You can feel it in your body, the loudness, and it's crazy. The guys told me it was going to be like that. It was the loudest place I've ever played in, but why not? It's New Orleans, Louisiana and it's the Superdome. We came out, played big on a big stage, and did a good job."
(on how important it was to get his confidence up on the first drive with the short passes) "I think it's great for any quarterback to get a couple of easy passes at the beginning of a game so you can get in a rhythm instead of going out there and chucking it deep every time. Sometimes you can do that, like we did in some preseason games. It was definitely great. They were just giving us some looks, we never called screen or anything like that. It's just another wrinkle in our offense that worked the first couple of plays, then they started playing it, which opened up a lot of other stuff."
(on his first NFL touchdown) "They blitzed on that play and I was hot. I was looking to throw to my hot receiver but he got covered. Pierre (Garcon) was the primary receiver on that, so I had enough time to look back to him and throw it to him. One thing receivers don't like to do is run across the middle for a long period of time. Pierre ran across the middle, caught it, and did a good job finishing the play. I commend him for that. This is actually the ball from that touchdown; they gave it to me. My first touchdown in the NFL."
(Could this debut have gone any better for you personally?) "We could've scored a few more points. Nothing is ever perfect; there are some plays I wish I could have back. Falling down on a keeper, fumbling in the red zone when we had an open guy for a touchdown, all those things. I'm not going to be a Debbie Downer. We won the game so I am going to be happy about that.
(on now that it's over if it was as special as he thought it would be playing in front of so many family members for his NFL debut) "It was phenomenal. It's good to be around family. I miss that, being away from everyone. My parents were extremely happy to see their family as well. To have them in here cheering and to see all the Redskins fans show up to the Superdome was pretty exciting."
(on the play of Aldrick Robinson) "He did a great job. We all know that Aldrick is a guy that definitely stepped up through the OTAs and preseason. He made a lot of big plays for us. He definitely did a good job of making sure that he was ready. Pierre had a great game early on, and once he was sidelined we had to have a guy step up big, and Aldrick did that."
"My mind was really clear going into this game. I left my phone in Virginia, not on purpose. I just sat in my room and watched some TV, had time to think about things. The one thing I try to do is not stress about anything or to go out and try to prove anything to anyone. I just go play and have fun; this is a game that I have played for a long time. The guys in that locker room, I'm still a rookie to them. After this game they told me I'm not a rookie anymore."
(on how this memory stacks up with all of the others?) "It's at the top. You can win a high school state championship or get there a couple of times. You can win a bowl game in college. But to get to the NFL, the pinnacle of it all, and win your first game playing against a Hall of Famer in Drew Brees. At the end of the game he told me he was proud of me. That's big for him to say that after they had just lost a game. I respect him for that and this is definitely number one on my list."
#11 WR Aldrick Robinson
"Robert (Griffin III) did great today. He went out there and executed the game plan, that's for sure. And that's why we won the game.
(on his touchdown in the first half) "I knew I was going to get it. All I had to do was catch it and walk on into the end zone."
#46 RB Alfred Morris
"As the game went on, I felt a lot stronger, and I'm glad they were calling my number a lot - especially in the second half. That's something I've been working on; to get stronger and stronger. That's my will, to go out there, work hard and not be stopped."
#20 CB Cedric Griffin
(on forcing a fumble by WR Marques Colston) "It was just a good play on my part to go for the ball. I went right after the ball and it popped out. And from there a lot of guys went after the ball and it went out for a touchback. It was a big play."
"He (Colston) was running a slant pattern toward the goalpost and (I) just came in with an uppercut and got the ball loose. It was a great play by him (Colston) to catch the ball but it was a great play by me to make the turnover and change the momentum of the game.
#91 LB Ryan Kerrigan
"It was a real team effort out there. The offense held for ball for what seemed forever and that was awesome because we always felt rested. For us to hold them like we did in the first half was great. They (Saints) scored most of their points trying to catch up so for us to come down here and leave with a win in our first game of the season is great."
"I thought he (Robert Griffin III) played great; and (had an) awesome performance. He lived up to all of the hype - he's as good as advertised. I mean how many great plays did he make out there?"
#88 WR Pierre Garcon
(on his 88-yard touchdown) "It's a play we work on all of the time and we got lucky. They (saints) got out of position, Robert threw a great ball, I caught it and ran. The end zone looked real far away, I looked on the screen a couple of times and said 'gosh'. But I made it and it worked out great for us."
(on the significance of the play) "It was a big play - a game changer and gave us the momentum. It was a great call by the coach and we caught them out of position. It worked perfect - just like we drew it up."
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