At New York
4:25 p.m. ET
72 degrees, clear
Key Decision #1: (NO ball, trailing 7-0 / fourth-and-2 at NO 33 / 6:59 Q1)
• The Giants opened the game with a nice stop of the Saints offense, and then had a nice 75-yard drive for a TD and a 7-0 lead on their first possession, in front of an excited home crowd.
• On the ensuing Saints possession, it appeared the Giants defense had forced a Saints punt, and if they were to get the ball back with a 7-0 lead, the Giants home crowd would have been roaring.
• Saints head coach Sean Payton called for a very unexpected fake punt – he had the ball snapped to upback — and backup QB — Taysom Hill, who took the ball for a first down run.
• The Saints converted the first down into a FG and cut the deficit to 7-3 and turned some of the momentum that was starting to build for the Giants.
• Payton continues to use backup QB Taysom Hill all over the field. In this game, he lined up numerous times as the QB and was effective in an RPO role. Hill also returns kicks, and plays tight end as well. Defensive coordinators will have to account for him when he is on the field.
• While the Giants gave up 33 points, their defense actually played a very good game, repeatedly frustrating the Saints in the red zone. This has been the theme for the Giants this season, as their offense has not performed well.
• The Giants have terrific speed on offense, but it is clear that head coach Pat Shurmur is queasy about calling longer developing downfield pass plays due to a below-average offensive line. At some point we believe he will have to open it up, as their defense will have a tough time staying on the field as long as they do.
• While the Saints played, overall, a very good game, this team still is having trouble properly closing out games efficiently. The Saints took a 26-10 lead with 6:47 left in the game. The Giants went into their two-minute offense and the Saints played very poorly on this series, which ultimately led to a fairly quick Giants TD and 2-point conversion. With 3:40 left, the Saints led by only one possession, and on the ensuing kickoff, returner Ted Ginn fumbled the kick. While he recovered his fumble, the Saints had to start on their own 3-yard line.