NFL 2009: Saints take the Giants aback

The New York Giants hopped southwards to go at it against the New Orleans Saints.  Narrated by Thom Brennaman and Troy Aikman, and televised by Fox, half of the first quarter elapsed before anyone scored.  Saints running back Mike Bell leaped over a goal-line pile into the end zone, punctuating a fifteen play drive.  New Orleans 7 and New York 0.  On their next possesion, Saints quarterback Drew Brees threw to wide receiver Marques Colston, who caught the ball in the air, landed on one of the Giants defenders and then rolled into the end zone.  Slow-motion instant replay revealed, however, that Colston’s elbow had hit the turf after he came down.  So, no TD.  Tom Coughlin, the NY head coach, challenged the TD call and won.  Saints tight end Jeremy Shockey made a TD anyway shortly thereafter.  The first quarter ended with a Giants field goal.  New Orleans 14 and New York 3.

The second quarter opened with another Drew Brees TD pass, this time to wide receiver Robert Meachem.  New Orleans 20 and New York 3.  Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw closed the score gap ever so slightly with a touchdown.  Lance Moore, wide receiver for the Saints, widened that gap again with a TD catch in the second half of the second quarter (and then he did the most adorable celebratory dance–somewhat reminiscent of the Roger Rabbit dance).  Giants wide receiver Mario Manningham narrowed the difference once more with a TD.  New Orleans 27 and New York 17.  With fewer than seventy seconds left in the second quarter, the Giants defense prevented the Saints from making another TD (on 4th and goal).  The first half ended with a TD by Saints running back Reggie Bush.  New Orleans 34 and New York 17.

The third quarter started with Giants QB Eli Manning throwing an interception to Saints cornerback Jabari Greer.  Nine plays later, Marques Colston makes his second TD of the day.  New Orleans 41 and New York 17.  The fourth quarter could’ve started with a brilliant TD catch by Giants wide receiver Domenik Hixon but a holding penalty meant that they went for a field goal instead of attempt a TD on 4th and goal.  New Orleans 41 and New York 20.  Halfway through the quarter, Saints fullback Heath Evans ran the ball into the end zone.  Mark Brunell went in as QB for Drew Brees in the bottom portion of the fourth quarter.  Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks made a smooth TD catch with about three minutes left to play.  New Orleans 48 and New York 27.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. Has Eli Manning lost weight?  Did he get his eyebrows plucked? He looked different today.

2.  A camera cut to Saints linebacker Scott Fujita sitting on the sidelines as Pam Oliver provided voice-over in the top half of the second quarter.  He wouldn’t be coming back in the game on account of a leg issue (I think–I wasn’t paying as much attention to what she was saying compared to what the camera was doing.  It began in a high-angle, medium close-up of Fujita’s right side and zoomed out to a long shot when Fujita started making eye contact with the lens.  It was pretty amazing–he looked right into the camera in that initial medium close-up for two to three seconds before the camera zoomed out).

3.  Lance Moore’s TD dance was filmed by a camera stationed in front of him and most likely at the back corner of the end zone.  Moore was holding the ball in his right hand; his arms were bent about 90 degrees at the elbow.  His lft hand was open, plam facing the camera.  An official was standing behind him at the tame.

4.  New Orleans linebacker Scott Shanle has an interesting cranium.

5.  After Heath Evans made a TD for New Orleans in the middle of the fourth quarter, one of the cameras cut to a high- angle shot of the sidelines where one of the cheer team’s guys ran down (from screen right to left) holding a gigantic Saints flag.  I’m curious; when one auditions for that position, or for the chance to have that duty, is one judged on both technical skills and artistic merit?

Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.

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