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Consecutive New Orleans Saints slip-ups on special teams and defense helped Giants seize momentum | Week 4 Turning Point of the Game

A 26-yard punt return preceded 54-yard touchdown pass

The New Orleans Saints return home to take on the New York Giants in Week 4 on October 3, 2021 at the Caesars Superdome.
The New Orleans Saints return home to take on the New York Giants in Week 4 on October 3, 2021 at the Caesars Superdome.

The lead looked comfortable for the New Orleans Saints.

And even though they'd failed to convert on third-and-2 from their 25-yard line with 7:59 left in the fourth quarter – Taysom Hill's quarterback keeper was stuffed for no gain by the New York Giants – the Saints still maintained a 21-10 lead as they prepared to punt with 7:14 left.

But consecutive plays by the Giants, on special teams and offense, resuscitated New York and lead to New Orleans' undoing in a 27-21, overtime victory by the Giants on Sunday in the Caesars Superdome.

First, Blake Gillikin's 55-yard punt to the Giants' 20-yard line was returned 26 yards by C.J. Board, who was filling in at punt returner because Jabrill Peppers was out with an injury suffered earlier in the game.

Then, lightning struck. On first-and-10 from the 46, quarterback Daniel Jones took a shotgun snap, looked left and found running back Saquan Barkley free down the sideline behind Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore. Barkley said earlier in the game, he'd run a similar route and advised Jones that since he believed Lattimore sat on the out route, Barkley might spring open if he turned upfield.

He was, and after safety Marcus Williams couldn't make the tackle once Barkley cut back inside, all that was left was for Barkley to outrun Lattimore to the goal line, which he did.

In nine seconds, the Giants trimmed a two-score game to a one-score game and when they added the two-point conversion on a run by Jones, the one-score game became a field goal game at 21-18.

The Saints didn't score again; they punted after advancing to their 46-yard line, and the Giants took the momentum they'd seized and rode it to victory. New York tied the score on an 11-play, 59-yard drive that resulted in a 48-yard field goal with 31 seconds left in regulation. And after New York won the coin toss in overtime, Barkley capped the only possession of the extra period – a nine-play, 75-yard touchdown drive – with a 6-yard run to end it.

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