Story by Brad Friedman, NewOrleansSaints.com
If last season's New York-New Orleans matchup was any indication, a high-flying offensive affair was in store in the Meadowlands.
Thirty-four combined first half points indicated another shootout was imminent, but a second half defensive resurgence from New Orleans, combined with a crucial goal-line conversion in the fourth quarter, propelled the Saints (1-1) to a nail-biting 24-23 win over the Giants (1-1).
New Orleans largely grounded New York's aerial attack in the second half, holding Eli Manning and company to just 90 yards and no touchdowns through the air after allowing 155 yards and two scores during the opening half. New York's lone second half score came in the form of a 35-yard field goal midway through the third.
The story reads similarly for New Orleans's offense. Its first half performance featured 200 total yards, a 2-yard Tim Hightower touchdown, and a sliding 3-yard Coby Fleener touchdown off of a well-executed play-action bootleg. Wil Lutz connected on a 48-yard field goal toward the end of the third cut New Orleans' deficit to six heading into the final quarter, but that would serve as New Orleans's only score through the second half's first 25 minutes.
After a mostly dormant fourth quarter, New Orleans pieced together the drive it needed. The eight-play, four-minute-plus drive concluded with a 4-yard Josh Hill touchdown. A lapse in the New York secondary left Hill wide open, though he still did well to drag his feet as his momentum carried him out of the end zone.
The game-winning score was Drew Brees's second of the day, who finished 28-of-38 with 345 yards.
Five minutes remained after Hill's touchdown, but New Orleans's defense held steady to preserve the win.