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Giants' win streak comes to an end in New Orleans


NEW ORLEANS – Deep analysis can be a godsend for someone enduring difficult times, but Giants coach Brian Daboll was uninterested in a detailed rehashing of one of his team's most disappointing defeats of the season, a 24-6 loss to the New Orleans Saints Sunday in the Caesars Superdome. So, in a postgame news conference that consumed a bit less than five minutes, Daboll was short and direct.

All but leaking disappointment, Daboll's answers included, "Collectively, just not good enough. Pretty much take any area, (it) just wasn't good enough. Give them (the Saints) credit. They did well. (They) were efficient in the pass game. We weren't really efficient in the pass game." … "We couldn't get the run game going, had a number of sacks (allowed). They were pretty efficient, 6 of 12 on third down and 2 of 2 in the red zone. So, collectively, it just wasn't good enough." … "We had a couple of drops out there early that, I thought, could've helped us. Overall, (it was) not good enough." … On why the stunts from the Saints gave the Giants trouble: "They did a good job running them, and we didn't do a good enough job blocking them." … "They did a better job than we did all of the way around."

You get the idea. Daboll was unhappy with the product his team put on the field. The offense totaled just 193 yards and ran the ball 16 times for only 60 yards. Saquon Barkley carried nine times for 14 yards, the fifth-lowest total of his career. The Giants did not score an offensive touchdown for the fifth time this season. They were two-for-16 on third down. The defense surrendered three touchdown passes to Saints quarterback Derek Carr.

"They were just better than us today," Barkley said. "No excuses, we didn't win our battles, almost everyone, including myself. It's as simple as that."

The result was the end of the Giants' three-game winning streak and their ninth loss against five victories.

Standout rookie quarterback Tommy DeVito completed 20 of 34 passes for 177 yards but was sacked seven times for losses totaling 57 yards.

"We just lacked execution on offense," DeVito said. "We weren't good on third downs. We have to be better. I don't think we played with enough swagger. I put that on me because I'm like, I take that personally, as far as playing with energy, playing with juice. So, I need to be better with that."

He'll get another chance. Daboll said after the game DeVito will start Christmas Day in Philadelphia.

The Giants actually took an early 3-0 when Randy Bullock kicked a 56-yard field goal five minutes into the game. The Giants' only other points came via a 40-yard field goal by Jamie Gillan on the final play of the first half. Yes, Jamie Gillan. The team's punter was called into emergency duty when Bullock injured his hamstring the kickoff following his field goal. There was no immediate word how long he will be sidelined.

It was Gillan's first career field goal and his second attempt; the first was a 61-yard try in MetLife Stadium for the Cleveland Browns against the Jets. It fell short.

"(Stuff) happens," Gillan said. "When your name gets called, you have to get it done."

How often does he practice field goals?

"I don't," Gillan said. "I did in college. I can still rely back on that. It's a totally different kicking motion. I don't want to tax my leg during the week by kicking field goals very much. It adds to it, whereas I'm a lot more straight on, so I don't practice it."

Bullock is kicking because Graham Gano underwent knee surgery. Gillian soon found himself in the injury tent on the sideline but was able to return to kick the field goal.

"You don't anticipate two guys possibly going down," Daboll said. "So, give him credit. He fought through it. He kicked off. We will see where we are."

Gillan's field goal lifted the Giants to within 7-6 at halftime. But they didn't score a point in the final two quarters.

"We had everything we want in front of us, and we came out and they kicked our ass in the second half," guard Justin Pugh said. "Just unacceptable."

Carr, who had thrown a 7-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Keith Kirkwood in the first quarter, added scoring passes of 23 yards to tight ends Juwan Johnson in the third quarter and Jimmy Graham in the fourth. Blake Grupe added a 50-yard field goal. Despite playing without Chris Olave, the Saints' leading receiver, Carr completed 23 of 28 passes for 218 yards and was sacked only once.

The Giants' offense, meanwhile, never made it as far as the red zone. Their deepest advance all day was to the Saints' 21-yard line, on the possession that ended with Gillan's field goal.

If a silver lining existed for the Giants, it was tight end Darren Waller, who returned to the field after missing four games with a hamstring injury. He was one of four players with a team-leading four receptions, including a 29-yarder.

"I felt good," Waller said. "I mean, it's natural, you know, movements and just processing that you've got to get used to after not being in a game environment for a while. So, it felt good to be out there and be a part of what the offense is doing and just be in the mix."

But it wasn't enough to help win the game and keep the Giants realistically in the postseason race.

"It's tough, man," Waller said. "You've got to earn the right to get to where you want to go, you've got to go into tough environments and win and it's not an easy thing to do. That's why there's only a certain amount of teams that lead the playoffs. But, yeah, it's tough to swallow. There's no doubt about it, but guys have just got to stick together because there's still games to be played, still moments to where we can put our best on display and we've got to take advantage of it."

As Daboll noted repeatedly, "they did a better job than we did. Not good enough all the way around."

There's still time to change that.

View photos from the Giants' Week 15 matchup against the New Orleans Saints.


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