UPDATE: That's it. So much for a happy homecoming for Eli Manning. Final 48-27 Saints, so Giants go 5-1. Summary will be up in a bit. Now we'll have to wait and see if this proves a playoff tiebreaker between the two teams.
UPDATE: David Carr's going to end the game nicely, having hit Nicks for a 37-yard touchdown. Only 3:15 remaining, however. 48-27 Saints. Gotta love Nicks. Great draft pick so far, and not because of that easy catch. He actually had a pretty nice game today under the circumstances.
UPDATE: Replay upheld the completion, so it's first-and-goal from the 2. Evans takes it in to become the seventh player this game to score a touchdown. Talk about a balanced, diversified offense. 48-20 Saints.
UPDATE: Oops. No timeout. Play clock didn't start, and then Coughlin challenged the completion. Maybe they'll just wash this one out of their memories.
UPDATE: Wow. Payton's running it up. He gets a 28-yard shot from Brees to Meacham, and then calls timeout at the 2 with like 7:07 left. If nothing else, the Giants are going to remember this one for the postseason.
UPDATE: Example of how today's going: Manning makes a great fourth-down scramble at the 10 and hits Jacobs in the end zone, only to get it called back on a hold. Tynes goes out for a senseless field goal from 38 is good. 41-20 Saints. The nephew looks good, wayno2424!
UPDATE: Bottom line here, the secondary is going to be answering a lot of questions this week on whether they got exposed. I say it goes half and half. Yes, there was a lot of poor coverage, expecially by C.C. Brown. But the secondary thrived on the Giants' up-front pressure this year, which was non-existant today. So the whole defense gets blamed for this one. Just didn't have the speed to keep up and make the adjustments.
UPDATE: Saints were moving, but Brees uncharacteristically underthrew Henderson on a deep shot that had Terrell Thomas beaten, and the Saints will punt when the fourth quarter starts. No big deal, this game's over.
UPDATE: See what I mean? Dockery tried to jam Colston at the line, couldn't do it, and left him open in the end zone for Brees touchdown pass. 41-17 and there's still four minutes left in the third.
UPDATE: Big break on illegal touching as Colston stepped out of bounds before long completion. It's third-and-17 now, and Giants desperately need to stop this one. But Moore grabs a 21-yarder for the first down. At this point, Giants don't deserve to be in this game. Giants: Done.
UPDATE: Manning just gave Bradshaw an earful for missing the blitz pickup. Lesson learned. Lesson reinforced: Brees just found Colston for 26 to the Giants 34. Ball at the 31 on third-and-7 timeout.
UPDATE: Manning was moving the team until he threw a pressured pass to Nicks that was intercepted by Greer at the Saints 20. I'm thinking this one might be over, barring a miracle. And it's not Christmas yet.
UPDATE: Hey, the front four finally got some third-down pressure on Brees, and he couldn't complete the pass. Then Hixon had a nice return on the punt. Offense has to capitalize here on the first three-and-out of the game.
UPDATE: Here's the real bad news. I wouldn't expect Payton to sit on this lead. Bet Brees goes to work deep.
UPDATE: Here we go. Hixon to the Giants 26. Jacobs is back in with the shoulder and he bangs for three. Jacobs again for no gain. Better get Bradshaw back in there. Deep shot to Hixon fails, but Hixon had offensive pass interference anyway. Giants punt. Not a good sign at all.
UPDATE: Giants will get the ball to start the second half, so at least Hixon will have a chance to gain field position. First possession is going to be huge for this offense.
UPDATE: I'm not trying to be a homer here, but I have a feeling the second half is going to be a lot of fun. If the defense can clamp down a little (God knows how you do that against this quarterback and such a diversified offense), I think Eli has the capability of finding 17 points of offense. It all depends on the D, though.
UPDATE: Manning kneels out the first half and goes into intermission down 34-17. How bad is the defense today? They've given up over 300 yards of total offense already, and Marques Colston already has 100 receiving yards. Brees has been amazing, going 17-of-20 for 257 yards and three touchdowns. Giants haven't even breathed on him, let alone put him on his back. Worse yet, the second half has to be all passing for the Giants, which means Saints are gonna tee off on Manning. Bleak, bleak, bleak.
UPDATE: Result of review was the the ball didn't come loose at the 7, so it's the Saints' ball at the 7 with 18 seconds left. Brees had 15 straight pass completions before Tuck just knocked it down. Reggie Bush brought it in from the 7 thanks to a good block by wide receiver Moore at the 1. They'll go into halftime down 34-17. Still not out of reach, but the defense isn't helping anything today.
UPDATE: No breaks today as Manning gets sacked and Shanle recovers fumble and returns to the Giants' 7. On top of that, Kareem McKenzie got hurt stepping on the ball as it came out of Manning's hand. Play is being reviewed as McKenzie gets taken off on a cart. Doesn't look good all around.
UPDATE: They're looking at Thomas' run upstairs, but confirm it was short of the goal line.
UPDATE: Great goal line stand and an unsportsmanlike conduct call gives the Giants the ball on the 16. Maybe this is where the turnaround starts.
UPDATE: Nice stop on third-and-goal from the 1, but Saints are going for it on fourth down.
UPDATE: That turnaround? Ain't gonna happen this half. Brees just found Colston for 40, and again for like 22 at the two-minute warning. Figure the Saints for another touchdown before halftime at this rate.
UPDATE: That was some move replacing Moss with Hixon. He just returned one like 66 yards to the Saints' 37. Singlehandedly giving the Giants a chance. Great touchdown catch by Manningham, taking it out of Eli's old friend Darren Sharper at the goal line to get back to 10, 27-17. It's not over, but the defense has to do a 180 to give the offense and special teams a chance.
UPDATE: Nope. Brees ran a good play-action, freezing the DBs and allowing Moore to get wide open in the end zone for a touchdown and a 27-10 lead. Everything is getting exposed here.
UPDATE: Huge break on the pass interference call on Webster, but Giants can't stop anything anyway. Let's see what happens afteer the hold on Evans marches it back to the 18. If Giants get out of this with a field goal, they'll be lucky.
UPDATE: Any suggestions on how to deal with the Saints' offense. Can't get pressure from the four-man rush, and the ball comes out too fast for blitz to be effective. Besides, you blitz, and you leave fewer men for coverage, which seems self-defeating at this point. By the way, it's Jacobs' left shoulder. Possible stinger.
UPDATE: On-field call is upheld, so New Orleans gets a timeout and Giants get the first down. Bradshaw's finally in and responds with a 13-yard run to the 38. Suggestion: Giants might want to consider keeping Bradshaw in there until they at least catch up. Manning got a huge break on the roughing the passer call on Jonathan Vilma that nullified a pick and a touchdown from Darren Sharper. Jacobs had a nice run but got hurt and is being looked at by the medical staff. But Bradshaw takes it 11 yards for a much-needed touchdown. Talk about turnabout. Could give the Giants the momentum they so sorely need right now.
UPDATE: Quick count. Brees has already completed passes to six receivers. Manning, meanwhile, is having all sorts of problems, but completes a big first-down pass to Hixon, although Sean Payton is challenging the spot.
UPDATE: Brees is just killing the Giants right now. Shockey's going wild with four catches for 37 yards, and then Brees finds Meacham on a 36-yard touchdown against C.C. Brown, who had decent coverage on him but was unable to even challenge the catch. At least Bruce Johnson blocked the extra point to keep it at 20-3. But unless something drastic happens starting now, the Giants are going down. They simply cannot cope with the tempo and Brees' quick release.
UPDATE: Tynes' 49-yarder goes through. 14-3 Saints. Travis Beckum's horse-collar tackle on the kickoff gives the Saints the ball on the 42 as the quarter ends, Saints up 14-3.
UPDATE: Don't know about you, but I'm surprised at how easily the Giants' pass defense is getting exposed. Ball is coming out too fast for any pass rush pressure to be effective, and the DBs aren't covering well. But nice return by Hixon to the 50 on the kickoff. Notice the difference between him and Moss? Then Jacobs breaks off a 14-yard run for a first down, but good coverage prevents Manning from following up with a long pass to Manningham. Then, Manning barely over throws a potential touchdown shot to Smith, forcing a field goal attempt as only three seconds remain in the first quarter.
UPDATE: Replay reversed the touchdown call, but it's first down on the Giants' 1. Brees throws a 1-yard touchdown pass to Shockey as the Giants try to cover him with Danny Clark. Clark just isn't fast enough to keep up with him, so it's a huge mismatch. Saints 14-0.
UPDATE: That's the first failed opening drive for the Giants all season. Not a good sign. Even worse, Brees is throwing it all over the lot to everyone and anyone. He's already hit like five or six different receivers, and the Giants are scrambling to keep up. Then Brees throws a 29-yarder to Colston in over-under coverage by C.C. Brown and Antonio Pierce for an apparent touchdown that Coughlin is challenging. This is not good, either way.
UPDATE: See now where Hixon will fit into the passing game, as he gets a deep try on third-and-3. But Jabari Greer just gets a hand on it with Hixon well behind him to force a punt. Saints are getting some decent pressure on Manning, and have knocked him down once.
UPDATE: That was a 15-play drive by the way. A few more of those, the Giants will be exhausted. Hixon is back at kickoff returner, and brings it back to the Giants' 23.
UPDATE: Shockey just caught his first pass, a seven-yarder to Giants 45. Corey Webster almost broke up a pass to the 25, but didn't knock it down. Giants are clearly having trouble with the Saints' uptempo style, but they did stop Pierre Thomas on third-and-3 at the 2. Saints go for it on fourth and 1 and Mike Bell dives over for the touchdown. No surprise there, since the Saints have scored on all their first possessions this season. But the Giants are going to have to figure out this passing game. Saints 7-0.
UPDATE: New Orleans receives, so the defense gets tested right away. Brees went right downfield on second down but threw long. Then scrambles for a first down. Defense is going to have its hands full today.
About 10 minutes from Giants-Saints. Remember, leave the comments right here. Hope we can get a good conversation going. First question: Shockey or Boss, who wins?
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