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(Sunday, October 18th)
Final Score: New Orleans 48, NY Giants 27
New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Drew Brees threw for 369 yards and four touchdowns on 23-of-30 passing to lead the New Orleans Saints past the New York Giants, 48-27, in a battle of unbeaten NFC powerhouses at the Superdome.
Brees, who connected on 15 consecutive passes at one point in the rout, recorded his 32nd career game with at least 300 passing yards as the Saints moved to 5-0 for the first time since 1993.
Marques Colston hauled in eight passes for 166 yards and a score for the Saints (5-0), who were coming off their bye week and had 315 total yards of offense in the first half. Lance Moore, Robert Meachem and former Giant Jeremy Shockey each caught a touchdown pass in the win.
Shockey made his first appearance against his former team since being traded to New Orleans during the 2008 offseason after a series of run-ins with head coach Tom Coughlin and general manager Jerry Reese. The fun-loving tight end made four Pro Bowls during his six-year tenure with the G-Men.
Pierre Thomas recorded 72 yards on 15 carries, while Mike Bell and Reggie Bush had rushing TDs for the Saints. Heath Evans also found the end zone for New Orleans, which had lost each of its games following the break in its first three seasons under head coach Sean Payton coming in.
"Certainly Jeremy (Shockey) is a high-profile player but I think his focus was on the team," said Payton. "It really wasn't about going back and playing his old team...I thought he handled it really well."
Eli Manning, a New Orleans native playing in his home city for the first time as a professional, was a pedestrian 14-of-31 for 178 yards with a touchdown and an interception for the Giants (5-1), who had yielded just 104.8 passing yards in their first five games. David Carr replaced Manning late and went 4-for-5 for 72 yards with a score.
Ahmad Bradshaw racked up 48 yards and a TD on 10 carries in defeat, while Hakeem Nicks totaled 114 yards and a score on five catches. Mario Manningham amassed 50 yards and a score on four grabs for the Giants, who were seeking their first 6-0 start since 1990 when the club won Super Bowl XXV.
The Saints got on the board with the opening drive of the game. Starting at his own 30, Brees led his team down the field with a 5-for-7 completion rate before New Orleans was faced with a 4th-and-goal from the two-yard-line. Bell, though, leaped over the pile and into the end zone to make it 7-0.
The Giants were held to six plays on their ensuing drive and again the home team took advantage.
It took the Saints six plays to go 80 yards and Shockey hauled in a one-yard score to close out the trek, which gave New Orleans a 14-0 lead with about 2 1/2 minutes left in the first.
Lawrence Tynes nailed a 49-yard field goal in the waning seconds of the opening stanza. However, Meachem hauled in a 36-yard TD pass early in the second stanza, but the extra point was no good as the Saints assumed a 20-3 advantage.
New York answered with a scoring drive of its own. On the trek, Manning had an interception overturned due to a roughing-the-passer call, Brandon Jacobs briefly left the game due to a stinger and Bradshaw trotted in a 10-yard score to make it 20-10.
Brees hit Moore for a 12-yard score on the ensuing New Orleans touch to balloon it to a 17-point difference. However, the visitors responded with a four-play, 37-yard drive that Manningham closed out with a 15-yard scoring reception that was wrestled from Darren Sharper in the air.
New Orleans moved the ball quick, with Brees hitting Colston for 60 yards on a pair of passes before the drive stalled at the one. Facing a 4th-and-goal, instead of kicking a field goal, the Saints decided to try to punch it in. However, Bell was stopped in his tracks and the Giants took over.
An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty moved the ball to the 16, and Manning hit Manningham for an 18-yard strike on first down with about 30 ticks left in the half. Then on the next play Roman Harper blitzed and hit Manning on his blind side, which caused a fumble. The Saints recovered it and advanced the ball to the New York seven.
"They executed extremely well on both sides of the ball, I didn't think we made enough plays," said Coughlin. "Early in the game we had a chance with some plays that I thought were well designed...we just didn't get it done. They were making those plays we were not making those plays."
On second down, Bush ran off the left end for a seven-yard score that made it 34-17 with nine seconds left in the half.
The Saints picked off Manning in the third quarter and started at their own 29-yard-line. It took the team nine plays to find the end zone, and as a wide- open Colston hauled in the 12-yard score to put the Saints ahead 41-17 with about four minutes left prior to the final frame.
"Obviously Drew (Brees) got a hot hand, he was locating the ball down the field," said Payton. "We wanted to be aggressive and get the ball down the field some. The receivers made plays, Marcus (Colston) had one of his better games of the season."
Tynes hit a 38-yard field goal early in the fourth frame to close it to 41-20.
Evans' two-yard touchdown run capped an eight-play, 80-yard drive and gave the Saints a 48-20 advantage midway through the fourth.
"Obviously we could not stop them...there's no excuses we played poorly, we have to regroup," said Coughlin.
Nicks grabbed a 37-yard TD pass from Carr late in the game to account for the final margin.
The Saints outgained the Giants, 493-325...New York had just 84 yards on the ground...Moore's scoring catch in the second quarter was the 100th TD thrown by Brees as a Saint...Manning is 31-10 in his past 41 starts and fell to 6-2 as a starter indoors...Nicks recorded his third straight game with a TD...Colston has eight TDs in his past eight games...Saints linebacker Scott Fujita went to the sideline with a left leg injury late in the first quarter. New Orleans officials called it a lower left leg injury...Giants right tackle Kareem McKenzie left late in the first half after stepping awkwardly on the ball following a Manning fumble. New York officials reported it was a right- leg injury...New Orleans entered this marquee matchup as the league's highest- scoring team, having averaged a potent 36 points over the course of its four- game season-opening winning streak....Coming in, Manning had thrown for 10 touchdowns on the year, one more than Brees for the league lead...The Giants still hold a 14-11 edge in their all-time series against the Saints, but were 30-7 home losers when they last met New Orleans, during the 2006 campaign...The Giants are 0-3 at the Superdome since last winning there in 1993...Coughlin is 2-3 in his career against the Saints, including 1-2 since coming to the Giants. Payton, who served as offensive coordinator for the Giants from 1999 to 2002, is 2-0 against both Coughlin and his former employer as a head coach.
10/18 18:06:07 ET