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Brees Torches Giants Secondary as G-Men Stumble Late Yet Again

This game felt like it belonged in Week 3 more than it did in Week 8.

101 points scored. Back and forth. Lots of offense. Lots of excitement. But only one team can win. And a game like this can give a team a boost to propel them forward to do great things, and leave the other one wondering what went wrong.

The Giants were on the wrong end of this one, and that’s putting it lightly.

The obvious, troubling takeaway from this game is just how horrendous the Giants defense is. Granted, this is a unit playing without three starters, as CB Prince Amukamara is still out, and LBs Jon Beason and J.T. Thomas both sat this one out. But this defense had been bad before, and a combination of the injuries and the opponent really magnified the defense’s shortcomings on Sunday.

The Giants gave up an unfathomable 614 total yards to the Saints, including 511 from QB Drew Brees, who had a career day. All game long, Brees led New Orleans down the field at will, and the Giants couldn’t buy a stop. The Saints were 7-for-11 on third down, and 1-for-1 on fourth. Saints P Thomas Morstead basically got the day off, as New Orleans punted just twice.

(Photo: AP)

(Photo: AP)

And yet, a resilient Eli Manning, who had a career day of his own, managed to keep the Giants in it until the very end. Heck, even a defense that looked lost all day actually made a play late when Giants CB Trumaine McBride took a fumble recovery 63 yards to the house to give the Giants a 49-42 lead with just over seven minutes remaining.

And then, as if the Giants re-watched the tape from Week 1 and Week 2 on how not to play at the end of a game, all three units faltered late, giving the Giants yet another late-game letdown.

The Defense

Steve Spagnuolo’s unit had been brutal all day before the McBride fumble recovery, and couldn’t maintain that momentum when they needed to most.

The Saints started from their own 20-yard line with just over seven minutes remaining. Down by seven, they obviously needed a touchdown. The Giants needed a stop. They didn’t get it.

As they marched down the field, the Saints managed to convert 2-of-3 third downs, and on the one they didn’t convert, of course they converted on fourth down. All the while, they ran down the clock, knowing they could score at will, and chose to do so with little time remaining.

The drive lasted 14 plays and 6:35. The Giants would get the ball back with 36 seconds left, hoping they could at least get in field goal range for a shot at the win. But…

The Offense

Big Blue’s offense went dormant at an extremely inopportune moment.

A three-and-out lasted just 31 seconds. It didn’t help that Rueben Randle appeared to drop what could have been a long, game-winning touchdown. But it was not meant to be, as the Giants were forced to punt with 20 seconds left. And then…

The Special Teams

Hoo boy. Flashbacks to DeSean Jackson and Matt Dodge.

Well, maybe not that bad. But still.

Instead of punting out of bounds and forcing the Saints to either take a knee or try a Hail Mary before going to OT, Brad Wing punted directly to Saints return man Marcus Murphy, who broke off a strong return to the Giants 47 yard line. That should have been it. A field goal from there would have been about 62 yards out.


Flags flew at the end of the play, as Wing was called for a facemask on Murphy. The ball was moved to the Giants 32, putting Saints K Kai Forbath right in field goal range.

Nailed it. Giants lose.


Game Balls & The Goat

Offensive Game Ball: QB Eli Manning

This one was easy.

Manning was on his game today, completing 30-of-41 passes for 350 yards and a career-high six touchdowns and no picks. He showed great chemistry with Odell Beckham, connecting on 8-of-9 targets for 130 yards and three of the scores. With his defense doing him no favors, Manning single-handedly kept the Giants in the game. The Giants’ running game has failed to really get going this year, so if the Giants want to contend for the division crown, they’ll need more stellar performances from their franchise quarterback.

Defensive Game Ball: CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

DRC has had a great season, and he continues to step up for an undermanned and overmatched defense that is still without Prince Amukamara. Rodgers-Cromartie racked up seven tackles and an interception, and looked decent in coverage. Hopefully he can keep it up while Amukamara heals up.

The Goat: The defense


Up Next

The Giants pay first overall pick Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4) a visit next Sunday. Earlier today, the Bucs shocked the Falcons with an upset OT victory.

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