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John DeShazier's turning point in Saints-Giants: Blocked field goal

10-point swing proved to be pivotal in 16-13 loss

The relevant question didn't seem to be whether the New Orleans Saints would score points. Rather, it seemed to be: How many?

Handed the ball on offense at the Giants' 25-yard line, courtesy of linebacker Michael Mauti's sack-and-strip of New York quarterback Eli Manning that was recovered by defensive end Paul Kruger, the Saints were in business with 4:06 remaining in the first half of a scoreless, defense-dominated first half.

And even though on first down, receiver Brandon Coleman drew a 10-yard penalty for offensive pass interference, New Orleans still appeared to be in good shape to work its way back into comfortable field goal position, at least, in three plays.

The Saints did just that following the penalty, gaining 15 yards on second- and third-down completions from Drew Brees to Brandin Cooks and Travaris Cadet, respectively. Then, "it" happened.

Wil Lutz's 38-yard field-goal attempt, which would have given New Orleans a 3-0 lead, was blocked by Giants defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins, who knifed his 6-foot-2, 320-pound frame between a couple of blockers in the middle and swatted down the kick.

From there, cornerback Janoris Jenkins did the rest, scooping the loose ball at the 35 and scoring on a 65-yard return. And that 10-point swing, in what would become a 16-13 Giants victory, proved to be tremendously uplifting for the Giants, and impossible to overcome for the Saints.

"Big gap pressure," is how Saints Coach Sean Payton described it. "We're too good. That shouldn't be something we're discussing in Week 2 of the season, so we will get that cleaned up and that's my fault."

Said Jenkins: "Yeah, we thought we could get one because the wings open up wide and then turn their backs, so our special teams coach preached all week that we could possibly get a blocked field goal and it happened."

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