The New Orleans Saints will complete a two-game road trip to division leaders when they head to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. for the first time in franchise history to face the New York Giants on Sunday, December 9 at 3:25 p.m. CT.
The game will be regionally televised on FOX (WVUE-FOX 8 locally). New Orleans will be looking to improve their 2012 record to 6-7 as they fight to stay alive in a race among several teams for the final NFC Wild Card playoff spot, as they face two of those other teams (Tampa Bay and Dallas) after the Giants tilt. Since 2009, the Saints have posted a 20-10 record at visiting stadiums, ranked first in the NFL during this period. The Saints come into the contest off a 23-13 loss to the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome on Thursday, Nov. 29.
After initially falling behind 17-0, New Orleans inched back to within seven points midway through the third quarter on a 21-yard field goal by K Garrett Hartley, followed by a 52-yard shot by the kicker late in the period to inch within four points. New Orleans then forced a threeand-out to get the ball back for the offense following a 20-yard punt return by RB Darren Sproles.
However Atlanta S William Moore picked off a pass by QB Drew Brees in New Orleans territory and returned it to the Saints 41-yard line. The Saints defense would hang tough again, allowing the Falcons to kick only a field goal. However following an unsuccessful drive at the start of the fourth quarter by New Orleans, the Falcons would edge ahead by ten points on a 55-yard field goal by K Matt Bryant. Brees would end up having his NFL-record 54-game streak with at least one passing touchdown broken by the Falcons.
There were several bright spots for New Orleans in the contest despite the loss. The Falcons offense converted only 1-of-11 third downs, failing to convert until the third quarter. At one point during the second and third quarters, New Orleans forced five consecutive three-and-outs. In his first return to the Georgia Dome since signing with New Orleans in the offseason, LB Curtis Lofton led the defense with 12 tackles.
Offensively, RB Pierre Thomas powered the New Orleans running game, carrying 14 times for a game-high 84 yards (6.0 avg.), while WR Lance Moore had a game-high seven receptions for 123 yards. Sproles had punt returns of 20 and 21 yards. New York holds a 14-12 edge in the all-time series, with the Saints having won the last three contests. In the last meeting between the two clubs, the Saints defeated the Giants, who would go on to capture Super Bowl XLVI, 49-24 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Nov. 28, 2011.
The Giants (7-5) are coming off of a 17-16 loss at the Washington Redskins on Monday night that further tightens the NFC East race, as well as position for a playoff spot in the conference.