Brees, Saints Dwarf Giants As New Orleans Matches Best Start in 16 Years

Paul Augustin, Jr.Senior Analyst IOctober 19, 2009

NEW ORLEANS - OCTOBER 18:  Drew Brees #9, Heath Evans #44 and Lance Moore #16 of the New Orleans Saints celebrate after scoring a touchdown against the New York Giants at the Louisiana Superdome on October 18, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

So much for a bye week messing up the rhythm of the league's best offense.

I'd like to say that I had this game figured out, but I'd be lying if I did.

You see, I assumed that because the Saints had failed miserably in every other game immediately after a bye week under Sean Payton, they would struggle against a good team like the New York Giants.

I figured that the Giants, who were missing several defensive starters in the back seven, would rely on the strength of their ferocious down linemen to get constant pressure on Drew Brees.

To the disappointment of some of my friends and family (and myself), who are all big Saints' fans, I picked the 5-0 Giants to win, 31-27.

It was the Saints, instead, who would remain undefeated and move to 5-0.

About the only thing right about my prediction was that the losing team scored 27 points.

New Orleans out-played New York in nearly every facet of the game.

Offensively, they gained about 500 total yards, scored seven touchdowns with seven different players, converted more than half of their third downs, had a 12-minute edge in time of possession, and played a turnover-free game.

The defense held Eli Manning to under 50 percent passing and forced two turnovers.

In my game preview, I stated three keys for a Saints victory. Let's see how the Saints did...


1) Start Fast


I would say scoring a touchdown on each of their first four possessions, jumping to a 20-3 lead, and nearly setting a franchise record with 34 points in the first half qualifies as starting fast.


2) Neutralize the Giants' front four.

Check again.

The Giants' front four got one hit on Brees and never sacked him.

It seems that the closest they got to pressuring Brees was the three times they jumped offsides.


3) Slow down the Giants' running game.


The Giants only ran the ball 19 times, because they were down by two or more scores for most of the game.

Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw combined to average 4.8 yards per carry and one touchdown.

The Saints need to improve this aspect of their game as they should expect a heavy dose of Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams in Miami next weekend.

Most Impressive Stat of the Game

Brees averaged 12.3 yards per throw , not per completion.

Saints fans can stop worrying about his two-game drop in production.


Most Disappointing Stat of the Game

Domenik Hixon returned nine kicks and punts for 281 total yards.

The Saints' biggest weakness in three of their five games has been their kick and punt coverages.

Game Balls

If the team is going to give a game ball to coach Adam Zimmer, then so will I. His mother died suddenly on Oct. 8th. Adam's father is Cincinnati Bengals' defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer.

Drew Brees tossed four touchdown passes in three and a half quarters.

Marques Colston had 166 yards and caught each of the eight passes thrown his way.

Jabari Greer intercepted his first pass of the season and tied for the team lead with five tackles.


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