Saints vs. Giants: New Orleans' Biggest Winners and Losers from Week 14
At MetLife Stadium, it was cold and wet outside; the weather was miserable. What else was miserable? New Orleans Saints football.
This season has sure been a roller-coaster ride. They lost four in a row, got back to .500 and proceeded to go on a three-game losing streak. What happened to that drive? After winning a few games, it seems the team has lost all its steam.
In Week 14 against the Giants, the Saints displayed the same undisciplined, sloppy, turnover-prone football that has plagued them for the majority of the season. They did give Saints fans some hope for the first 28 minutes of the game, but then it all unraveled, and the Giants just exploded.
When a team commits 10 penalties for 81 yards, four turnovers and manages to constantly give the opposing team good field position due to bad special teams coverage, it's hard for any team to win.
Let's take a look at some of the Saints' winners and losers from Week 14.
Loser: Drew Brees
This is not Drew Brees' year. No. 9 has been wildly inconsistent, inaccurate and turnover prone. Brees threw two more costly picks that were forced to tight end Jimmy Graham; that makes nine interceptions and only four touchdowns in the past three games for the quarterback.
Brees is trying to do too much. He finished the game completing 26-of-43 passes for 354 yards, one touchdown and two picks.
Winner: Mark Ingram
Mark Ingram was a beast in the run game. Ingram showed his power, speed and agility. He ripped off some big runs (his longest going for 19 yards), keeping many New Orleans drives alive.
He was a major contributor to a successful Saints run game. The Saints finished with 142 rushing yards total.
Ingram finished the game with 68 yards on 13 carries, averaging 5.2 yards per carry.
Loser: Saints Special Teams
Did the Saints special teams forgot that their was a game Sunday?
This unit was not ready for this game. They gave the Giants great field position for the majority of the game, and that hurt the team big time.
This was one of the Saints' worst special teams performances in their history. They gave up 287 yards on six kickoffs, including a 97-yard touchdown return by David Wilson that came after Saints cornerback Elbert Mack returned a 73-yard interception for a touchdown.
Truly a momentum killer.
Winner: Darren Sproles
With a crowded New Orleans backfield, Darren Sproles has kind of been the forgotten man. That changed in Week 14.
Sproles, who got more carries this game due to Chris Ivory's injury, was one of the Saints' major contributors to the offense. He finished the game with 56 yards rushing and a touchdown on five carries, averaging 11.2 yards per carry.
Sproles also contributed to the pass game with four receptions for 28 yards and a touchdown.
Loser: Saints Secondary
The New Orleans defense played well for the first 28 minutes of the game. It disappeared after that.
Giants quarterback Eli Manning torched the Saints for four touchdown passes, picking apart the Saints secondary. Manning threw touchdowns to Victor Cruz (who was all over the field with eight receptions for 121 yards), Martellus Bennett, Hakeem Nicks and Domenik Hixon.
Patrick Robinson, Johnny Patrick and Jabari Greer all looked overmatched, getting burned by the Giants receivers.
Winner: Joe Morgan
Wide receiver Joe Morgan only had two receptions, but those two receptions went for 106 yards. Morgan is making a name for himself for big-time catches for big yardage.
Morgan had a 62-yard reception and then a 44-yard reception. That means he averaged 53 yards per reception. That makes seven receptions this season for 310 yards.
He was a key player in Sunday's game. His big plays kept Saints drives alive and gave them good field position.