Hot off the press! Check out post-game observations from award-winning writer Les East. I'll add one more - the Saints whupped the Giants today.
BALLGAME -- Saints 48, Giants 27
New Orleans and Minnesota look like the class of the NFC while the Giants have serious issues on defense.
Naked bootleg? Saints end up just below 500 yards on the day after Brunell is dropped for a 9 yard loss on 3rd down inside two-minutes. Oh well.
Saints recover the onside kick attempt yet a Giant player was able to touch it first. He lost it, and Pierre Thomas fell on the loose ball.
Bad news, Saints & Giants fans. The Ravens missed a mid-range FG at the gun, and the Vikings are now 6-0 after a 33-31 win.
Touchdown, Giants! Hakeem Hicks is wide open down the sidelines with Usama Young trailing badly in the deep zone. Think Darren Sharper isn't crucial? It's 3-plays and 50 yards for New York.
48-27 NEW ORLEANS (3:15 left)
David Carr is in for Eli.
Eli's day: 14-31 for 178 and 1 TD (and 1 int).
Boooooo! Tom coughlin uses his last timeout after three straight Saints runs. Does he want to get people hurt in a game his team trails by 28 with 4:27 left?
Tracy Porter knocks the ball free from Steve Smith on a deep 3rd-down throws (8th pass breakup for N.O. today). I am guessing we've seen the last of Eli; Mark Brunell is coming on for Brees.
Drew's day: 23-30 for 369 yards and 4 TDs (no picks)
After a review to see whether Meachem had a legal catch before he fumbled out of bounds (he did), Heath Evans takes the dive play into the house from 2-yards out.
48-20 NEW ORLEANS
Meachem again! Brees hits him at the Giants 2. The pass was underthrown, or its 6.
Saints are pounding the rock with Thomas and Bell now. Those two backs help them look like the Deuce McAllister-led Saints of 2006. That team, like this one, can cram the run down opponents' throats with 4th quarter leads in hand.
The penalty forced New York to kick a field goal from 38-yards out.
41-20 NEW ORLEANS (12:09 left)
Eli just had a true Archie moment. Like his dad, he ran for dear life for a losing team to scramble and find Jacobs on 4th down for a touchdown...only to have it called back on account of a holding call.
Manning finds Hixon on 4th down to give the Giants 1st-and-goal. Gregg Williams sent 6, but Eli found his man.
Fight night at the Dome? After the Saints snuffed out a screen play, Brandon Jacobs was in a Muhammed Ali posture to goad Remi Ayodele to swing at him. Didn't happen. It has not been a happy homecoming for Jacobs (Assumption native) and Manning.
Too much time for Eli. He buys time to his left to find Hicks for a 58-yard play. The rookie from North Carolina has plenty of speed for a big wideout.
End of 3rd Quarter:
Saints have outgained the Giants 420 yards to 177.
Giants pressure (for once) saves a touchdown as Brees had to throw too soon with Devery Henderson breaking wide open.
Reggie Bush turns a no gain into a 5 yard loss when all you need to do is avoid negative plays and run clock. He is not a tailback.
Roman Harper breaks up a deep throw to Hakeem Nicks on 3rd down. Looked like the Saints strong safety lucked out thanks to a slight-underthrow by Manning, who needed to be perfect today to save his team. It hasn't happned.
Fujita is out for the game with a calf pull. Giants RT McKenzie is out with a groin injury.
Touchdown, Saints! There is no 'D' in New York Giants - at least not today. Colston is free-and-clear for a 12-yard scoring catch. No pass rush made it impossible to cover Colston that long in the redzone. It took 9-plays for New Orleans to go 71-yards.
41-17 NEW ORLEANS
Field goal call? No way! Brees hits Moore over the middle for 22. Why the Giants were is a Charmin-soft two-deep zone I have no idea...
It's coming back. Colston with a grab at the NYG 6. But he had stepped out of bounds and come back into play. Now the Saints are out of field goal range facing 3rd-and-17 at the 41.
Saints on the move. Colston with his 6th grab for 135 yards so far. He owns the middle of the field. It is Colston's 12th career 100-yard game receiving. Only Joe Horn (27) and Eric Martin (18) had more in the Black and Gold.
Reggie Bush converts a 3rd-and-1! He's the new Mr. Inside!
Jabari Greer picks off an underthrow by Manning. The Saints blitz freed up Harper again, and Eli is furious at Bradshaw for not picking up the free rusher. Maybe that's why the more productive of the two NYG backs doesn't play all of the time.
Morstead boomed a high 58-yard punt and didn't out-kick his coverage. Hixon had a 25-yard return because the Saints coverage teams are not very good. Marvin Mitchell with another bad angle.
ZZZZ. Three-and-out for the Saints (yes, really) after the Giants jumped offsides on first-and-ten.
Three-and-out for the Giants. Saints can put them away with another scoring march here.
Try this on for size. Lenny Vangilder just told me that the Giants had been giving up 210 yards passing a game (Saints have 247 already). New Orleans has more yards and points in one half than the last 3 Giants opponents (Bucs, Chiefs and Raiders) combined. Those three teams stink, and the Saints are pretty good.
NOTE: Brees had a pass knocked down at the line before the Bush score to end the 15-straight completions streak.
Touchdown, SAINTS! Reggie Bush takes a handoff out of the shotgun around the left side for the score.
34-17 NEW ORLEANS (9 seconds left)
I got that one right. I have seen the "ball pinned to the ball carrier's body" play save a fumble. It has helped the Saints big-time here. First-and-goal for New Orleans.
Hochuli will review the play. I think they will give this ball to the Giants who recovered the ball after Shanle lost it.
FUMBLE. Shanle scoops up the fumble by Manning. Roman Harper came unblocked from Eli's blindside to cause the strip. Shanle was brought down at NYG 7 and MAY have fumbled before he was down. It looks like the whistle blew. Down by contact, so the Saints will have first-and-goal again!
Kareen McKenzie is hurt. The Giants right tackle is being taken off on a cart. He may have been hurt stepping on the loose ball, of all things.
Manning to Manningham for 18. Clock running inside 30 seconds.
I think the Saints should have ran with Bell. The Giants will have it at their 15 after the flag. Meachem cost them the score. Period.
Thomas is allegedly short of the goalline! This one will be a booth review. Payton ran to the goalline to protest and was called for unsportsmanlike conduct. The replay does not look conclusive enough. Uh oh.
Timeout, Giants again as Bell is stuffed just short of the goaline. One minute left, and it is 4th-and-goal. No doubt the Saitns are going, but will Meachem cost them 7???
Saints run thomas and then Meachem on an end-around. The latter play should have been a score (weak running there). But the bright side is NYG called a timeout (their 2nd) with 1:08 left. shockey just balled Meachem out for that effort.
Brees has not thrown an incompletion since the opening drive. He has now completed 15 straight.
Colston again abuses Webster inside the NYG 10 at the 2 minute warning.
The Saints may score too quickly! Crazy - Colston is wide-open for a 40 yard catch-and-run to the Giants 28.
Touchdown, Giants. Sharper just missed jumping the route at the goalline, but Mario Manningham hauled it in for a 15-yard score. Saints have plenty of time to respond (3:19 left).
27-17 NEW ORLEANS
Another long kickoff return by Hixon. The Giants wedge crushed the Saints to open a huge hole. Morstead slowed down Hixon to save the Saints - at least for the moment - again. New York has it at the Saints 37.
Touchdown, Saints! Lance Moore gets back into the act thanks to a well-execute play-action fake to Thomas. Moore was wide open over the middle of the field. New York has no hope to stop the Saints offense at this rate - 4 possessions and 4 touchdowns.
27-10 NEW ORLEANS
Make-up call? Mike Bell walks in around left end from 7 yards out, but Heath Evans is called for holding former Saint LB Danny Clark.
Former LSU star Corey Webster just got hosed. He was called for a 35-yard pass interference penalty on a play where Colston tripped over his own feet. Two guys threw their yellow hankies, but that was sketchy. Saints ball at the 12.
Make it two-in-a-row for Giants personal fouls in kickoff coverage. New York is flagged for an obvious face mask on Brian Kehl. Saints get more good starting field position (their 39).
Touchdown, Giants. Ahmad Bradshaw is the better option for the Giants in the backfield. He has 5 carries on the drive for 30 yards and a 10-yard score.
Blame Vilma for leading with his helmet. Some of the calls to protect QBs are ridiculous, but your defensive captain has to know better. This is very much a game again.
20-10 NEW ORLEANS
An roughing the passer call by the officials has robbed Sharper of another pick-6! Wow. Vilma was called for helmet-to-helmet contact on Manning. The refs will call that EVERY TIME, but the Giants had to have the call, or this game would be over. New York has the ball at the Saints 20 instead of an early grave.
Saints lose the challenge and their first timeout. But it was worth the risk.
Manning stepped up to pick up the blitz to keep this drive alive. It seems - Payton has thrown his first challenge flag of the day to challenge the spot. Hixon came back for a nice grab and may have been short of the first down at the Giants 49. I like the challenge since there's 10:33 left in the half, and the Giants must keep the ball and score. It doesn't look like they can stop the New Orleans offense at all.
Call it 4-plays, 57-yards for the latest Saints' score. The Giants' secondary is overmatched while their front 4 cannot get pressure on Brees without blitz help.
Brees throws it up into double coverage to Meachem. No matter - the big Tennessee man pulls it in anyway from 36 yards out. PAT blocked (Fred Robbins). Special teams continues to be a thorn for the Saints, but everything else is clikcing.
20-3 NEW ORLEANS
End of 1st Quarter: The Saints will enjoy good field position courtesy of a horsecollar infraction by Travis Beckham on Roby's return. New Orleans will start possesion #3 from their 42.
The Saints outgained the Giants 150 yards to 38 in the first. Brees is currently 11-13 for 123 yards and a score.
After a timeout by NYG, Tynes knocks it through. Give the Saints credit for stopping the Giants after the kick return gave them excellent field position. Just 3 seconds left in the opening quarter.
14-3 NEW ORLEANS
Could have been 6! Manning throws off the fingertips of Steve Smith inside the Saints 5. Darren Sharper took a bad angle; he IS human. Smith has become Eli's go-to guy but should have laid out to snag that pass. Tynes in to try from just inside 50.
Scott Fujita is sans-helmet on the Saints sideline with a leg issue. That's why Mitchell was in the game. Now Evans has replaced Mitchell.
Whiff! Marvin Mitchell comes clean into the backfield to hit Jacobs only to miss completely (horrible angle) to free up a 13-yard run.
Morstead kciks one short of the 5, and Hixon bursts up the middle of the field for a big return past midfield. Morstead saved the score with a tackle.
Brees is now the 3rd quarterback in Saints history to throw for over 15,000 yards (Archie Manning and Aaron Brooks). Shockey has now caught a pass in 100 straight games in his career.
Now it's touchdown, SAINTS! Brees makes it 6-for-6 on the drive finding the revenge-minded Shockey for the score on the play-action pass. Brees has picked New York apart so far.
14-0 NEW ORLEANS
I was wrong. The official (Ed Hochuli) ruled Colston's elbow down at the one. First and goal for New Orleans from there.
Touchdown, SAINTS! Brees to Colston over the middle for 29 yards. The Saints' best WR was matched up with LB Antonio Pierce - no contest! Colston landed on a Giants DB inside the one and fell across the goalline. New York head coach is wasting a challenge here.
Brees to Colston and then to Henderson. This drive is typical Brees-Payton stuff. They are picking on any matchup against Blackburn and cornerback C.C. Brown, the replacement for injured starter Aaron Ross.
Brees to Moore and then to Shockey on an excellent back-shoulder throw-and-catch. Think the former Giants tight end isn't pumped...
Giants will punt after a single first down - their streak of opening possession scores end. Eli Manning looked deep for Domenik Hixon, and Jabari Greer kept pace to deflect the pass away. New York only ran once on the possession (Brandon Jacobs for 7). These teams reversed roles offensively to start the game. Saints balance has won out so far.
The Giants are supposed to the ball-control team. The Saints have sent a message. A 15-play, 70-yard march taking just over half of the opening quarter clock to yield a score.
The Saints got 43 yards through the air and 27 on the ground (including the final four plays from the Giants 12 to punch it in...impressive.
Touchdown, SAINTS! Mike Bell gets his first touch - a first down and a leaaapppping touchdown off the left side. Carl Nicks mauled every Giant in his path throughout the drive.
7-0 NEW ORLEANS
This is a different mindset for Payton. Three straight runs by Thomas leaves the Saints inches short on 4th down from inside the 2.
Moore (3 grabs) is owning the Giants on short route. No pressure on Brees plus slow linebacker makes it easy for New Orleans.
Lance Moore makes a tremendous catch for the Saints' 2nd conversion on 3rd down in as many chances. Bad throw by Brees as 2 NYG defenders had their hands on the ball before Moore reeled it in for 18 yards. A little luck can go a long way - great concentration by Moore.
Brees converts by rusnning for 6 on 3rd and 3. Giants will not blitz much today.
Saints near midfield already. Reggie Bush catches a pass out fot he backfield isolated on Chase Blackburn, who replaced injured Michael Boley. Blackburn is too slow to cover Bush as a receiver.
Short kickoff by Lawrence Tynes is returned by Courtney Roby to the Saints 30.
New Orleans wins the coin toss and elects to receive. Both teams have scored points on their opening possessions of every game they've played this season, so the Saints are looking to continue their part of the trend and score first.
The Saints defensive starters are being announced right now. Game time is near! Check out some early photos from our Giants-Saints gallery at today's game. We'll have plenty more by day's end.
SAINTS - K Garrett Hartley, CB Leigh Torrence, RB Lynell Hamilton, LN Jo-Lonn Dunbar, C Nick Leckey, DT Kendrick Clancy, TE Darnell Dinkins and 3rd QB Chase Daniel.
Analysis: Mike Bell is active and ready to share duties with Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush. Look for Thomas to lose more carries due to the similar roles Bell shares with him in the offense. No Clancy in the middle of the d-line means more action for Remi Ayodele, who will have to hold the line against the best offensive line in the NFL today. Hartley will not appear in his first game on the active roster since serving a 4-game suspension; with P Thomas Morstead booming kickoffs and rock-steady John Carney place-kicking, there's no need to change what's working.
GIANTS - WR Ramses Barden, RB Danny Ware, CB Aaron Ross, LB Michael Boley, OT Adam Koets, OT Guy Whimper, LB Clint Sintim and DL Chris Canty.
Analysis: Defensive starters Ross and Boley will be missed by New York today. Canty is also a solid run-stopper missing from the d-line rotation. The Giants have managed to dominate the worst offenses in the league the last two weeks despite these injuries. New Orleans hopes that good fortune (and performance) is stifled this afternoon.
Good morning from the Crescent City. We have fall weather (finally) outside, but it is climate controlled here in the Dome as we await the Saints-Giants tilt.
To get ready for the game, check out our preview plus Ken Trahan's take on the matchup.
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