Drew Brees cut the Giants down to size with four airborne touchdowns and one on the ground as the New Orleans Saints romped to a 49-24 triumph on Monday that further damaged New York’s NFC playoff hopes.
Quarterback Brees tossed a trio of early scores that allowed New Orleans to take a commanding 21-3 lead into halftime and the home team continued to rack up the points in a high-scoring second half.The Giants (6-5) have now lost three straight to fall out of the NFC East Division lead and one game behind the Dallas Cowboys.
The Saints (8-3) maintained their one-game edge over Atlanta, who beat Minnesota 24-14 on Sunday, in the battle for the NFC South crown after their red-hot quarterback led them to a third straight win.
“It’s all about making a run here now that we’re in December. The challenge is to get better as you go through the season,” Brees told reporters.
With his latest performance, NFL passing-leader Brees remains on course to break Dan Marino’s single-season record of 5,084 yards.
He threw for 363 more yards to take his season tally to 3,689 and connected with tight end Jimmy Graham and Lance Moore for two touchdowns each. New Orleans registered 577 total yards in the game.
Giants quarterback Eli Manning compiled 406 yards passing and had a pair of scoring throws to Victor Cruz in the second half that gave the scoreline a more flattering look for the visitors.
New York had opened the third quarter with a scoring drive to pull within 21-10 but that was as close as they would get.
Brees capped a drive with a nifty eight-yard running score and the Saints added a second straight TD to push the lead up to
Cruz caught nine passes for 157 yards and the two scores in the fourth, where the Giants also recorded two rushing TDs.
New York managed just 73 yards on the ground and has struggled in that department since losing lead rusher Ahmad Bradshaw to a broken foot four games ago.
“We moved the ball well at times, got into their territory and made some mistakes that kept us from scoring points,” Manning said. “Eventually it just got a little out of hand.”