Saints ‘Brees’ past Giants, 49-24
Drew Brees took a few triumphant strides toward the goal post with the ball in his hand and rose up for an imitation, Michael Jordan- style dunk over the crossbar.
He had to settle for a finger- roll instead.
It was one of the few times Brees came up short Monday night as the New Orleans Saints made everything look easy in a 49-24 victory over the slumping New York Giants, who have lost three straight.
“ I was a little more tired than I thought I would be,” Brees said of his celebration, which came right after he finished an 8-yard scramble with a dive into the end zone. “I do apologize to MJ.”
Brees was prepared for a little ribbing from teammates and coaches, but they mainly complimented him after he passed for 363 yards and four touchdowns, in addition to his scoring run.
“There’s that confidence that players around him have, and obviously we have in him,” Saints coach Sean Payton said of Brees. “ He made some fantastic throws tonight.”
Tight end Jimmy Graham had five catches for 84 yards, including touchdowns of 5 and 29 yards. Brees’ two other scoring strikes went to Lance Moore, who had five catches for 54 yards.
This was a game New York was desperate to win after losing its previous two to San Francisco and Philadelphia.
Instead, the Giants ( 6- 5) dropped a game behind first-place Dallas in the NFC East and face the possibility of a four-game losing streak when they host the unbeaten Green Bay Packers next weekend.
The Saints (8-3), meanwhile, maintained a one-game lead over Atlanta in the NFC South.
They also padded their rushing stats with 205 yards on the ground, including touchdown runs of 12 yards by Pierre Thomas and 35 yards by rookie Mark Ingram.
Marques Colston had three catches for 78 yards, all on the Saints’ 34-second, 88-yard touchdown drive late in the second quarter that gave New Orleans a 21-3 halftime lead. Colston’s longest reception went for 50 yards when he caught a pass along the left sideline, slipped a tackle and raced up field.
The Giants took a beating on the scoreboard and on the field. Defensive end Osi Umenyiora went out with a sprained ankle and receiver Hakeem Nicks was rocked on a vicious hit by Saints rookie safety Isa Abdul-Quddus.
Eli Manning completed 21 straight passes for the Giants — mostly after the outcome was decided. New York did not get into the end zone until Brandon Jacobs steamrolled safety Roman Harper on an 8- yard scoring run that made it 21-10 in the third quarter, but the Saints went right back down the field and scored on Brees’ 8- yard scramble.
Notes — Brees took back the NFL passing lead from Tom Brady. Brees now has 3,689 yards, keeping him on pace to break Dan Marino’s single-season mark of 5,084 set in 1984. ... Brees has passed for at least one TD in 38 straight games, the second-longest streak in NFL history.