Saints "Brees" by G-Men

Formerly undefeated Eli, Giants lose 48-27

By BRETT MARTEL
|  Monday, Oct 19, 2009  |  Updated 8:06 AM EDT
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Cheerleaders of the NFL

AP

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) can only watch as New Orleans Saints safety Roman Harper (41) chases after the ball he fumbled in the first half. It didn't get much better.

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Eli Manning returned to his hometown only to see Drew Brees torch the New York Giants' league-leading defense.

Brees ended his two-game streak without a touchdown throw by completing 23 of 30 passes for 369 yards and four scores Sunday, and New Orleans easily remained unbeaten, 48-27.

The Giants (5-1) came into the game giving up averages of 210.6 yards and 14.2 points. The Saints (5-0) had 34 points and 315 yards by halftime, as Brees threw three TD passes to reach 100 since the Saints signed him as a free agent in 2006.

Manning looked like his father Archie sometimes did when he played for the Saints, fumbling on a sack and throwing an interception under pressure when Ahmad Bradshaw missed a block.

It was Manning's first game in the Louisiana Superdome, but not a memorable one -- or for fellow Louisiana natives Brandon Jacobs and Corey Webster. Manning was 14 of 31 for 178 yards. He lost his cool at least once, yelling at Bradshaw and slapping his shoulder pad after the running back's lapse in protection precipitated a rushed throw that Jabari Greer intercepted early in the third quarter, stalling a promising drive.

Manning connected with Mario Manningham for a 15-yard score in the second quarter, but also overthrew an open Steve Smith on a deep pass that could have resulted in a touchdown in the first half. He was replaced by David Carr after the game was out of reach in the fourth quarter.
    
By contrast, Brees went for long stretches without missing, at one point connecting on 15 straight throws, two short of the franchise record he already owns. That stretch included his first three touchdown passes: 1 yard to former Giants tight end Jeremy Shockey, 36 yards to Robert Meachem and 12 yards to Lance Moore.
    
Marques Colston, a college standout at Hofstra, put on a show for his fans watching back in the New York area, often victimizing Webster as he caught eight passes for 166 yards and a 12-yard touchdown. He twisted gracefully in the air to snag passes thrown high and behind him, held the ball while absorbing hard hits and broke tackles while struggling for extra yards. He averaged 20.8 yards a catch, and his longest gain went for 40 yards.
    
New Orleans racked up more than 500 total yards before a sack of backup Mark Brunell made it 493. Moore caught six passes for 78 yards and Meachem had two catches for 70. New Orleans had 133 yards on the ground, led by Pierre Thomas' 72. Mike Bell, Reggie Bush and fullback Heath Evans all scored on runs.
    
By the end, jubilant fans rained down thunderous chants of "Who dat say they gonna beat them Saints. Who dat, Who dat!''
    
New Orleans has beaten all comers by 14 points or more and knocked off two straight unbeaten teams from New York, having defeated the Jets 24-10 in Week 4. New Orleans hasn't trailed once all season.
    
Brees marched the Saints 70 yards in 15 plays on the game's opening drive for a 7-0 lead. Webster nearly intercepted one third-down pass, but ended up tipping it to Moore for an 18-yard gain.
    
On fourth-and-1 from the 2, Bell soared over the pile for a score, demonstrating he's no longer hampered by the right knee sprain that sidelined him two games.
    
The Saints led 20-3 early in the second quarter when Darren Sharper intercepted Manning for what would have been his sixth interception -- and third for a TD -- this season. But Jonathan Vilma's roughing-the-passer penalty gave New York the ball at the New Orleans 19. Bradshaw scored on a 10-yard run.
    
Manningham's TD cut it to 27-17, capping a drive that began with Domenick Hixon's 68-yard kickoff return.
    
The Saints took a 34-17 lead at halftime on Bush's 7-yard run, capping a wild exchange. First, the Giants held the Saints on a goal-line stand, stuffing Thomas on fourth down from the 1. Soon after, Manning was sacked and stripped by safety Roman Harper. Saints linebacker Scott Shanle recovered and advanced the ball to the Giants 7, setting up Bush's TD.

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