Three first-half fumbles and a slew of penalties in the second half weren’t enough to derail the New York Giants from coming out on top in a 16-13 win over the New Orleans Saints.
After a nail-biter win the week before in Dallas, the Giants were the more dominant team on both sides of the ball in Week 2 but turnovers kept them from pulling away from the Saints. Yet at the end of the day it was the Giants, led by quarterback Eli Manning, who ended up doing enough to squeak out another close game.
Victor Cruz fought for the ball on the Giants final drive, wrestling it away from Saints cornerback Ken Crawley for a 34-yard reception. Kicker Josh Brown would make a 23-yard field goal in the game’s final moments for the win.
The win followed a much different philosophy for the Giants than last year’s loss at the Superdome where these same two teams combined for 101 points. The Saints punted on their first five possessions.
The turning point of the game came with 2:30 left in the second quarter of a scoreless game. A Manning fumble set-up the Saints in good field position but Johnathan Hankins was able to rise-up and block Saints kicker Wil Lutz’s 38-yard field goal attempt. Janoris Jenkins scooped up the loose ball to race 65 yards for a 7-0 Giants lead.
The Saints struggled but were kept in the game by a Giants offense that managed to move the ball in the first half to the tune of 165 total net yards of total offense but saw running back Shane Vereen, then Cruz as well as Manning each have a fumble.
The Giants hadn’t started a season with two wins since 2009 when they started 5-0 only to lose four straight en route to an 8-8 finish.
The Giants against Brees
The Giants did a reputable job in limiting Brees, the NFL’s active passing leader. On a day where he passed Dan Marino for third all-time on the NFL’s passing list, Brees was far from his normal self. In the first half the Giants pass rush got him out of sync as the Saints offense struggled to move the ball. Brees had just 243 passing yards and a touchdown, a far cry from his usual self.
Despite a second-quarter fumble, Manning had a good day for the Giants and was efficient in picking apart the Saints young secondary. It was a lot of dump passes and underneath stuff from Manning but it worked. Like Brees, it wasn’t the prettiest of days 10th all-time on the league’s passing list. Manning was efficient and clutch, especially in the game’s final drive to set up Brown’s game-winning field goal.
Janoris Jenkins makes a statement
This offseason, Jenkins was one of the big-name signings of the revamped Giants defense and he certainly lived up to the hype. He came into the team as a bit of an enigma, a player with a reputation to take snaps off and fade late in the game. But he shone against the Saints, making big plays such as the blocked field goal that he ran in for a touchdown and a big pass breakup in the third quarter.