photo courtesy of the new orleans advovate.
Big Blue Fails to Stop Saints’ Alvin Kamara in 33 – 18 Loss
by Alexander George
The New York Giants and New Orleans Saints have had a history of high scoring games, in the past decade, between quarterbacks Eli Manning and Drew Brees. In their highest scoring game on November 1, 2015, the Saints defeated the Giants 52 – 49. Eli Manning (30 for 41, 350 yards 6TDs) and Drew Brees (39 for 50, 505 yards, 7TDs & 2INTs) combined for over 850 yards and 13 touchdowns. By the end of last night’s game, both quarterbacks barely broke over a total of 400 yards and only 1 touchdown was thrown in which the Saints defeated the Giants 33 – 18.
Drew Brees (18 for 32, 217 yds.) had a relatively quiet game considering how many yards and touchdowns he can compile in any given NFL regular season game. Brees can be ironically be labeled as a “game manager” in this victory. In the 4 games Brees played this season, the Saints quarterback threw for the fewest amount of yards and failed to score a touchdown. He only broke over 200 yards due to a 24 yard scramble and throw to tight end Josh Hill (3 Rec for 63 yds.) in the last touchdown drive of the game.
Alvin Kamara (19 ATT for 134 yds 3TDs & 5 REC for 47 yards) is the NYG Underground player of the game. Kamara’s 135 rushing yards is a career high in his second year as a Saints running back. It is only his second 100 yard rushing game of his career. (In his rookie season, Kamara contributed with a 106 yard, 1 touchdown performance in a 47 – 10 romp over the Buffalo Bills). He even received the longest thrown pass by Drew Brees of 25 yards.
On the Giants side of the ball, Eli Manning (31 for 41, 255 yards and 1TD) had a solid game but was never able to air the ball for over 20 yards more than twice. Manning’s longest pass of 27 yards was a catch and run play by franchise wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. (7 REC for 60 yds & 1 ATT for 10 yds). The last time a 40 plus yard bomb has been thrown to OBJ was in the 2016 season. The offensive line is to blame for the quarterback’s lack of an air attack as he got sacked 3 times for 21 yards. Saints linebacker Demaro Davis (11 Total Tackles, 9 Solo Tackles, 2 Tackles for Losses, 2 Sacks and 2 QB Hits), sacked Eli Manning on a critical 3rd down play which resulted in a Giants punt followed by a Saints touchdown in the next drive extending the lead to 26 – 10 midway through the 4th quarter.
The Giants running game was at a sub-standard level as well with their lead rusher Saquon Barkley (10 ATT for 44 yards, 1TD & 6 REC 56 yards, Longest REC 13 yards) limited to under 50 yards for the second time in 3 games. His longest rushing play of 28 yards accounted for over 60% of his yardage. The lack of an offensive line, in terms of its run blocking, is very critical to Barkley’s limitations of consistently rushing for over 100 yards.
In the first half of the game, neither team played to high scoring expectations. Eli Manning, after engineering an initial brilliant drive of 10 plays for 75 yards, in which he threw for over 40 yards and a touchdown to receiver Sterling Shepard (10 REC for 77 yds 1TD), stalled afterwards throwing for only 20 yards the rest of the half.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees fared slightly better throwing for over 100 yards but did make a scoring impact. Kicker Wil Lutz accounted for all of the Saints points in the first half. He was extremely busy in the 2nd quarter converting on all 4 of his attempts of 42, 34, 37 and 26 yards.
Although the Giants special teams did not stop a fake punt leading to the Saints first score and they did commit 6 penalties for 61 yards, the turning point of the game was Wayne Gallman’s (2 ATT for 6 yds & 3 REC for 17 yds, Long 11 yds) fumble caused by defensive back P.J. Williams and recovered by cornerback Marshon Lattimore. The subsequent drive resulted in 3 points and a 9 – 7 Saints lead in which they never trailed again.
Despite Barkley’s contributions in getting the Giants the last 10 points of the game, through a key 28 yard running play in setting up a 33 yard Rosas field goal and a 1 yard touchdown leap late in the 4th quarter, for his 3rd rushing touchdown this season, Alvin Kamara’s 3 second half rushing touchdowns of 9, 4 and the 49 yard game clinching score was just too much for Big Blue to overcome as they now fall 2 games below .500 with a record of 1 win and 3 losses.