24 - 49 Final
  for this game

Brees lights up Giants as Saints stay atop NFC South

Nov 29, 2011 - 7:20 AM New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Drew Brees was absolutely on fire Monday night, throwing for 363 yards and four touchdowns while leading the New Orleans Saints to a dominating 49-24 victory over the struggling New York Giants at the Superdome.

Brees became the first player ever with four TD passes, 350 yards passing and a rushing touchdown on Monday Night Football.

"It was a great team win," Brees said. "I feel like we have the opportunity to be better."

Lance Moore and Jimmy Graham each caught a pair of touchdown passes for the Saints (8-3), who have won three in a row and sit one game ahead of the Falcons in the NFC South.

New Orleans, which was fresh off its bye week, used a three-headed rushing attack on Monday. Pierre Thomas, Mark Ingram and Darren Sproles combined for 197 yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries.

The Saints will be under the national spotlight again next week, as the Lions come to town for a Sunday night game. New Orleans is 5-0 at home this year.

"We felt like this was going to be tough opponent coming in with two losses they had prior to our game," Saints head coach Sean Payton said. "I thought our players handled the schedule well. I was pleased with the win."

Eli Manning completed 33-of-47 passes for 406 yards, two touchdowns and an interception for the Giants (6-5), who have dropped three straight contests and sit one game back of the Cowboys in the NFC East.

With starting running back Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) out for a fourth straight game, Brandon Jacobs carried the ball 13 times for 46 yards and a score. He was limited to just 21 yards last week against the Eagles, while the team had just 29 yards rushing as a team in that game.

Victor Cruz had nine catches for 157 yards and two touchdowns for New York, which arguably has the toughest schedule in the league over the remaining five games -- Green Bay, Dallas twice, Washington and the city-rival Jets.

"We didn't stop them," Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said. "We prepared well, but when we got in the game we didn't cover well. We're going to keep fighting."

The Saints got the ball to start the game and marched right down the field to the 18-yard line. But a pair of offensive penalties -- delay of game and pass interference -- set up a 3rd-and-25. Moore caught a 14-yard pass to bring out the field goal unit. Holder Chase Daniel took the snap and threw a pass to Graham, who made a nice spin move prior to being stopped two yards short of the first down.

New York took over at its own 10 and relied on Manning's arm. The visitors got down to the 18, but an interception halted the drive. Manning lofted a pass into the end zone for tight end Jake Ballard, but linebacker Will Herring jumped up and picked off the pass.

New Orleans took advantage with a 10-play drive that featured three different running backs. A pair of 23-yard plays -- a Graham catch and Sproles run -- helped move the ball inside the 10. On 3rd-and-goal from the four, Brees rolled to his right and completed a pass to Moore. The wide receiver stretched the ball over the goal line with one hand for a 7-0 lead with 14:52 left until half.

The Giants used the passing game again on the ensuing possession to move the ball to the 24. Lawrence Tynes made a 42-yard field goal to make it 7-3 with 9:30 remaining.

The Saints created some distance with a pair of touchdowns before the half. Sproles caught a pass on third down and sprinted 22 yards down the left sideline. Brees used a play-action pass on the next play to find Devery Henderson on a 24-yard play. Graham caught an easy five-yard TD pass two plays later to make it 14-3 with 2:21 left.

After forcing the Giants to punt, Marques Colston recorded a 50-yard catch- and-run down the left sideline. Colston added catches of 13 and 15 yards before Moore hauled in a 10-yard TD pass for a 21-3 edge with 35 seconds remaining.

Tynes missed a 61-yard field goal as time expired in the first half.

New York tried to gain some momentum back early in the second half. A 15-yard personal foul on the Saints gave the Giants the ball near midfield, and a 24- yard catch by Ballard put the ball at the 19. Despite not having much success on the ground, Jacobs rumbled into the end zone from eight yards out to cut the gap to 21-10.

But New York's defense failed to stop a red-hot Brees again. Faced with a 1st- and-15 near midfield, Brees broke multiple tackles before throwing a 15-yard pass to Thomas. Two plays later, Thomas turned a screen pass into a 24-yard gain. Brees then found a gap in the middle of the field for an eight-yard rushing touchdown.

New Orleans essentially put the game away with a big defensive play. Giants running back Da'Rel Scott took a direct snap for no gain before fumbling. The call was upheld following a review, and Brees and Graham quickly hooked up for a 29-yard score. Graham caught the ball along the left sideline and stretched the ball over the pylon for a 35-10 margin with 4:13 left in the third.

Cruz caught a 72-yard TD pass from Manning with 14:50 to play in the game, but Thomas negated that with a 12-yard touchdown run.

Each team scored one more touchdown before the end of the game. Cruz caught a four-yard TD pass and Ingram had a 35-yard run.

Game Notes

The Giants hold a 14-12 edge in their all-time series with New Orleans, but have lost the last three encounters between the clubs...Manning completed 21 straight passes at one point, which was one shy of the NFL single-game record...The Saints have won 11 straight November games...The Saints had 577 yards of total offense, the second-most ever allowed by the Giants. New York allowed 682 yards against the Bears in 1943...The Giants had 73 yards rushing...New York was without wide receiver Mario Manningham, tackle Will Beatty and linebacker Michael Boley...The Saints were without linebacker Jonathan Vilma...Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora left the game with a sprained ankle...New York wide receiver Hakeem Nicks took a hard hit from Saints safety Isa Abdul-Quddus, but he stayed in the game.