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Saints vs. Giants Final Score 52-49: Postgame Reaction

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It was a hard road, but the Saints are finally .500 as they win an absolute barn burner of a game against the New York football Giants. In a game of ridiculous offensive statlines, it was (as per usual) a few key defensive plays and a little bit of special teams that ultimately got them the win.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints defeated the New York Giants in their week 8 matchup 52-49. In the game there was a total of 1,030 yards and 101 points.  The Saints accounted for 614 of those yards, with Brees throwing for a staggering 511 yards, 7 touchdowns, and one interception.  Eli Manning accounted for 350 of the Giants' 416 yards, astoundingly not throwing for a single interception among his 41 attempts.  Manning also threw for 6 TDs, on top of his other ridiculous totals.

The Giants kicked off the scoring with a 2 yard TD pass to Odell Beckham Jr. in the first quarter.  On the Saints' ensuing two possessions, Willie Snead and Brandin Cooks both caught touchdown passes.  The quarter closed out with the Saints ahead 14-7.  In the second quarter, Beckham Jr. tied the game with his second TD pass of the game, this one from 1 yard out.  Marques Colston and Willie Snead followed up with their first and second touchdowns (respectively), with Colston's being a 53 yard reception on a busted coverage.  The Giants would close out the half with a statement of their own, with Shane Vereen catching a 2 yard TD pass.  At the half, the game was 28-21 Saints, with the MO being big TD plays for New Orleans and methodical drives for the Giants (obviously the latter should be more sustainable).

In the second half, the Giants immediately tied the game up on a 50 yard TD reception by (who else) Beckham Jr.  Once again, the Saints scored 14 unanswered of their own, as Cooks caught his second TD pass of the game and Benjamin Watson got in on the action with a 20 yard reception.  The third quarter closed out with the Saints holding a respectable 42-28 lead.

At this point, it looked like things might fall apart for the Saints, as the Giants dropped 21 unanswered points on them.  Dwayne Harris caught two consecutive TD passes, one of them a 4th down grab from 9 yards out and the other a 20 yard catch.  This tied the game up.  The Giants then took the lead, as Willie Snead fumbled after a hit by Dominic Rodgers-Cromartie (who played as well as anyone can in a secondary that gives up 7 TD passes) and the ball was scooped by Trumaine McBride.  Brees, however, phased.  Leading the Saints on an amazing 14 play, 80 yard drive that took up 6 and a half minutes of clock.  With 40 seconds left, the Saints forced a 3 & out from the Giants, taking a timeout after the lone completion on the drive.  With 25 on the clock, Marcus Murphy fielded a punt and Brad Wing (Giants punters seem to mess up games, though Wing played excellent) was flagged for a personal foul facemask.  Kai Forbath, in his second game as a Saint, kicked a 50 yard field goal to put the Saints up 52-49 for good, as time expired.

It was an immensely entertaining, tremendously well coached game.  Both quarterbacks showed why they're highly regarded in the NFL, and the running game played well when called upon.  However, in the end, it was a key 3 & out and two consecutive special teams plays that got the Saints the W.  In these games, that's always how it will go, and when good teams get put in a position where they HAVE to make a play, they make that play.  The Saints may not be good yet, but today's game is a huge step in the right direction.

Stat Lines:

Passing:

Drew Brees (NO): 40/50, 511 yards, 7 TDs, 1 INT

Eli Manning (NYG): 30/41, 350 yards, 6 TDs, 0 INTs

Rushing:

Mark Ingram (NO): 16 rush, 80 yards

Rashad Jennings (NYG): 10 rush, 54 yards

Receiving:

Ben Watson (NO): 9 rec, 147 yards, 1 TD

Marques Colston(!)(NO): 8 rec, 114 yards, 1 TD

Brandin Cooks (NO): 6 rec, 88 yards, 2 TD

Willie Snead (NO): 7 rec, 76 yards, 2 TD)

CJ Spiller (NO): 2 rec, 15 yards, game tying TD with 40 seconds left.

Odell Beckham Jr. (NYG): 8 rec, 130 yards, 3 TDs

Shane Vereen (NYG): 8 rec, 60 yards, 1 TD

Dwayne Harris (NYG): 3 rec, 37 yards, 2 TDs

Defense:

Brandon Browner (NO): 8 tackles, half that in penalties.

Jairus Byrd (NO): 2 tackles, 1 assisted, 1 fumble forced

Stephone Anthony (NO): 6 tackles, 5 assists

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (NYG): 7 tackles, 1 INT, 1 fumble forced

Johnathan Hankins (NYG): 5 tackles, 2 assists

Jayron Hosley (NYG): 5 tackles, 2 assists

Note: Khiry Robinson was carted off after what appeared to be a very serious leg injury.  Get ready to lose him for the rest of the season, and hope for a speedy recovery for him.