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Game preview: New Orleans Saints vs Washington Redskins

Teams will play at noon Sunday

Following a 34-28 overtime loss at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome last week to the Tennessee Titans, the Saints look to get back in the win column as they visit FedExField to play the Washington Redskins (3-5).     

The 4-5 Saints, playing in their final game before their Week 11 bye, will look to reach the .500 mark.  Since Sean Payton became head coach in 2006, the Saints are 7-2 in their final games before the bye, with their last loss coming in 2013, a 30-27 loss at New England on Oct. 13, 2013 that snapped a five-game winning streak to open the season.    

Sunday's contest against the Redskins will be the last of their four games played against NFC East opponents, having defeated the Dallas Cowboys 26-20 in overtime on Oct. 4 and the New York Giants 52-49 on Nov. 1, while losing to the Philadelphia Eagles 39-17 on Oct. 11. The two home wins were not decided until the final play.  Since 2006, New Orleans owns a 13-8 record against NFC East opponents, including a 1-3 record against the Redskins. Under Payton, the Saints are 1-1 at FedExField.      

The Saints fell in overtime to the Titans when QB Marcus Mariota completed a five-yard touchdown pass to TE Anthony Fasano, snapping their winning streak at three games. QB Drew Brees, making his 151st career start as a Saint, was 28-of-39 for 387 yards, with three touchdowns, a rushing touchdown, one interception and a 118.4 passer rating. It was Brees' 92nd career game of 300 yards or more, one behind Peyton Manning for most career games in NFL history of at least 300 yards. On his third touchdown pass of the day, a one-yard touchdown throw to TEMichael Hoomanawanui, Brees registered his 10th touchdown pass over his last two games, tying a career-high for most touchdown passes over a two-game span. Brees followed up his Week Eight seven-touchdown performance against the Giants with a three-score game against the Titans, joining Y.A. Tittle and Nick Foles as the only quarterbacks in history to throw at least three touchdowns following a game in which they tossed for seven scores. Wideouts Willie Snead and Brandin Cooks each were effective on the day with Snead totaling a career-high -tying six receptions for a game-high 95 yards, and Cooks finishing with 71 yards and one touchdown on four grabs. TE Benjamin Watson, who made his 400th career reception, caught five passes for 60 yards. With the progression of the New Orleans passing game, the Saints are currently ranked first in the National Football League in net yards per game (421.7).     

With injuries sidelining several of New Orleans' defensive starters, others had to step in and play key roles. S Kenny Vaccaro led the team with 13 tackles and DT John Jenkins posted a career-high 11 stops. LB David Hawthorne returned to the lineup and posted his second forced fumble in three weeks, which was picked up by rookie DE Obum Gwacham who enjoyed his most significant action on defense to date.     

The Saints and Redskins have met 24 times, with New Orleans going 8-16 over those matchups. On the road in Washington, the Saints are 5-7, and are winners of three of their last four. The Saints will be looking for their second consecutive victory at FedExField.

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