After failing to come away with any points on their first offensive possession, the Saints found themselves defending deep in their own zone just nine plays later. On first and ten from the Saints 18 yard line, Giants quarterback Eli Manning sent four deep and went for the kill.
Instead it was Saints linebacker Will Herring who came down with the pass in the end zone, which not only saved a Giants touchdown but also put the ball back in the hands of the Saints offense. They would score on the ensuing drive and never look back the rest of the game.
In short, Will Herring's interception was the game changing spark that inevitably propelled the Saints to victory by giving the offense a second chance to take an early lead. Certainly worthy of our break down this week. Make the jump to see how it all happened.
Here's the pre-snap look. Will Herring (circled) is playing up at the line, inside of Will Smith. The Giants have four receiving options, with tight end Jake Ballard (circled) in the slot.
The Giants send all four receivers straight down field. Will Herring picks up Ballard and stays with him.
The pass from Eli Manning to the end zone is in the air. But the coverage is tight, the ball is under thrown and Herring has good position on what is essentially a jump ball.
Herring is able to get both his hands out front. Ballard, on the other hand, is severely handicapped in this situation because he is falling away from the ball.
Herring has a much better grip on the ball with both of his hands. Ballard only has one hand on it.
Herring begins the all-important process of securing the ball as he starts to fall but it's still not free and clear from Ballard's hand.
Now the ball is tucked securely with his left arm as he somersaults in the end zone.
This requires concentration. The ball is safe and warm between Herring's arm and body.
Maintaining possession through the catch is crucial. He can't lose it now!
We're good, baby!