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ReFo: Saints @ Giants Week 14

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  • ReFo: Saints @ Giants Week 14

    Excerpt: "Entering this game, Saintsí quarterback Drew Brees was a lifetime 4-0 against the Giants with a margin of victory of at least 20 points in each, including a 49-24 demolition in Week 12 a year ago. It was only fitting that in this nightmarish season in New Orleans the Giants handed them their worst defeat of the season, 52-27.

    Special teams was the story of the game as the Giants dominated from the opening kickoff, taking advantage of the Saintsí porous coverage unit. With the help of four takeaways, they ran practically every offensive play in New Orleans territory.
    The Saints displayed the same maddening inconsistency on offense and defense that has extinguished any remaining playoff hopes. Conversely, the Giants came away with a much-needed win as they go into the final weeks of the season in what has suddenly become a tight divisional race.

    New York Ė Three Performances of Note

    Breakout Performance

    We canít mention the Giants without highlighting the terrific play of David Wilson (+3.0offense, +3.5 returns), who was impactful from start to finish. His 58-yard return on the opening kickoff set an early tone, but he wasnít done there, putting his devastating speed on display all game and shredding the Saintsí coverage unit for an average of 56.8 yards on four returns. None was better than his second return of the game when he answered a New Orleans pick-six by going 97 yards for the tying touchdown. And if not for a couple of timely tackles by kickoff man Thomas Morestead, Wilson and teammate Jerrel Jernigan might have put up more return scores.

    Wilsonís play on special teams shouldnít overshadow his performance rushing the ball, though, as he averaged 7.7 yards on 13 carries and scored two touchdowns, including an electric 52-yard run late in the fourth quarter. Letís hope he sees the field going forward, as he adds an explosive element to the Giantsí rushing attack that should blend well with the strength and consistency that Ahmad Bradshaw brings to the party.

    The Giants were able to pressure Drew Brees on 18 of his 44 drop-backs, in large part due to the play of Jason Pierre-Paul (+6.0), who terrorized the New Orleans offensive line en route to a season-high nine QB disruptions. Regardless of who was in front of him, Pierre-Paul had no trouble getting into the New Orleans backfield, as he beat tackles Jermon Bushrod, Zach Strief, and William Robinson at least twice each for pressures. Dave Thomas didnít fare much better, allowing a hurry and picking up a holding penalty on his attempts to contain the end.

    Justin Tuck
    and Osi Umenyiora werenít bad either ó each produced four pressures, including the teamís only sack on the day, on 61 combined rushes. Tuck was particularly effective rushing from the interior of the defense where he collected a hit and a hurry from two of his seven pass rushes against Ben Grubbs at DRT. This is usually the time of year that we see the Giantsí pass rush light the blue touch paper. Itís too early to tell if this was the start of that, but this was at least a better performance by the Giantsí base pass rush than weíve seen for most of the season.

    Mixed Bag at QB

    Another inconsistent day on whatís been an up-and-down season for Eli Manning. As usual, he showed why heís one of the top quarterbacks in the game as he threw for 259 yards and four TDs ó none of which was more impressive than his 5-yard TD to Hixon late in the first quarter, when he laid the ball out perfectly in the back of the end zone. However, for each great throw and great decision, there was seemingly one on the opposite end of the spectrum. The first quarter pick-six to Mack was as bad a throw as heís made on the season, as Eli was both late and inaccurate on an intermediate out-route. And though he only ended up with two picks in the big win, he realistically could have ended with five, as he put three other passes right on the hands of Saint defenders. Ultimately, these poor decisions didnít matter for the Giants, but it was not the most encouraging performance against one of the poorer defenses in the league.

    Game Notes
    -- On throws outside of the numbers, Eli Manning was four of eight for 35 yards and two interceptions to the left side, but completed 10 of 11 passes for 116 yards and two TDs to theright.--

    Michael Boley
    allowed all 12 passes thrown into his coverage to be completed.
    Ė Through Week 14, the Saints have passed on 86% of snaps when Darren Sproles is in the game.

    PFF Game Ball

    This one goes to David Wilson, who was dynamic as a rusher and returner for the Giants." Read more...
    ďNever argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.Ē MB Rule # 1