Nothing like a Jeremy Shockey fumble to start off a great day for S Chris Horton, a rookie seventh-rounder and surprise starter due to illness. Horton also had two picks on tipped balls (including the game icer) and assisted on a key third-and-one stop in the fourth quarter. Incidentally, he wears my number (48) as did great Redhorns RB Stephen Davis. Horton had a great training camp and preseason; he'll eventually be the starting safety.
This was exactly the game I was hoping for: steady improvement, learn how to win. Against an under-talented and depleted Saints secondary, QB Campbell looked poised and in control (24/36 321 yards.) His game-winning 67 yard TD to Moss capped a 7-minute span in the 4th quarter when he went 7-7, 157 yards, 1 TD.
All of the skill players stepped up: Campbell, Moss (164 yards), Portis (2 TDs), Cooley.
The run defense was outstanding all game. While the pass defense had their hands full with Bush et al, that phase generated all three turnovers. Starting, of course, with that Shockey fumble. Tee hee! Don't let it get in your head (2 catches, 22 yards), ass face man!
Special teams were very disappointing, and their failure nearly cost the game. The punting game was atrocious: bad kicks, gave up a TD and Randle El fumbled. He might lose his job, but the likely options aren't so likely (Moss, the injured Thrash). Here's a krazy idea: complete my Brian Mitchell fantasy and let Rock Cartwright return punts. Woeful 3-5 FG isn't good enough. This entire unit must improve.
Huzzah to Coach Zorn: he went for it on 4th and 2 on the N.O. 34 with 1:58 remaining. He talked it over at the two minute warning and decided to play for the win rather than play not to lose. Second huzzah: he correctly identified what QB Campbell needed to work on in practice and he coached him to the promised land, i.e. WR Moss in the end zone.
As the Redhorns steadily progress, I would like to see these improvements against the Cardinals: better 3rd down (still only 6/24), better pass D, better kicking. The Cardinals are 2-0 on paper, having defeated only the fudgetastic 49ers and Dolphins. They can't run and haven't yet faced an actual offense.
Go Washington Redhorns Go!
In other news
A rule change is imminent after Ed Hercules blew a devastating call in the Chargers loss. Next year, expect that play (incomplete pass whistled dead) to be reviewable. The brutal "final straw" couldn't have happened to a better coach.
Bad news for the Vikings: Steve Smith has finished his suspension and will be on hand with his 2-0 Panthers to blast open the Vikes' 24th ranked pass D.
The world has given up on depressed QB Vince Young, and asks us to embrace Kerry "Vodka" Collins yet again.
Washington Redhorns TE Chris Cooley issued an apology for accidentally posting a nude photograph of himself on his entertaining, sometimes explicit blog: "We are very sorry that we showed a penis on our website all day yesterday."