It’s been a wild first half at Met Life Stadium with the Giants taking advantage of some sloppy play by the Saints early and then some clutch throws from Eli Manning that has helped them take a 21-13 lead into halftime.
Manning showed why he’s so dangerous with the football late in a half as he drove the Giants downfield on a 9-play drive that was capped off by a beautiful 5-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Domenik Hixon.
The Saints opened up the scoring with a 73-yard touchdown run by cornerback Elbert Mack after he intercepted Giants quarterback Eli Manning’s pass intended for wide receiver Jerrel Jernigan. However, the Giants responded right back with a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown from David Wilson. Wilson already had come close to breaking one earlier in the quarter to open the game with a 58-yard kick return, however the Giants were unable to get any points from the drive. Wilson is electric whenever he touches the ball and he’s given the Giants excellent field position with his kick returns. The Saints are going to realize that perhaps it’s not a wise move to kick the ball in his direction.
Saftey Antrel Rolle backed up his talk during the week and came up big in the first half for the Giants defense with a fumble recovery on the first drive of the game for the Saints and a forced fumble on their second drive. The Giants would take advantage of that with a quick drive that was capped off by a 6-yard touchdown pass from Manning to tight end Martellus Bennett which put the Giants in front with a 14-7 lead.
Quarterback Drew Brees managed to get the Saints offense as he took them downfield on a nice 14-play drive in which they were able to get a 32-yard field goal by Garrett Hartley to trim the Giants lead to 14-10. The Saints would then get another chance as Brees drove them downfield to set up a 25-yard field goal from Hartley to pull within 14-13.
The Giants were unable to fully captilize on the great field position they were getting from Wilson’s kick returns. Wilson had three big returns and scored on one of them, however the Giants failed to get points on the other two drives including a missed 32-yard field goal from Lawrence Tynes who’s normally automatic.
Ahmad Bradshaw was in and out of the game with what was listed as a knee injury. The run game was non existent in the first half for the Giants. Wide receiver Victor Cruz also left the game briefly to have his shoulder looked at, however retunred to the game and has looked effective alongside Hakeem Nicks and Bennett in the passing game.
It’ll be interesting to see if the Giants look to get more from their run game in the second half. They tried to do that last week against the Redskins and instead they came off as being too conservative.
This is an important game for the Giants in the division standings. Dallas and Washington have both won their games, so the Giants must get a win today to stay a step ahead of them for first place in the NFC east.