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Inside the Numbers: Record-setting offense



EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –** The Giants' 52-49 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday was one of the most statistically fascinating games in franchise and NFL history. The final numbers included plenty of records, precedents, and unusual occurrences. Some of them were reported immediately following the game – the 101 combined points tied for the third highest-scoring game in NFL history, and the 13 touchdown passes set a league record. New Orleans' Drew Brees tied the individual mark with seven scoring throws.

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That's just a fraction of the statistical news from the game. What follows is a rundown of the stats from that memorable game.

It's obvious that big numbers are the norm when the Giants visit New Orleans. Thank you to the Elias Sports Bureau for its assistance.

• The teams combined for 1,024 yards (608 by the Saints), the second-most ever in a Giants game. The record of 1,042 yards was set on Nov. 28, 2011, in the previous game the Giants played in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The 834 combined passing yards were the highest total ever in a Giants game.

• The 1,024 total yards and 834 passing yards were the highest totals in an NFL game since Oct. 26, 2014, when Pittsburgh and Indianapolis combined for 1,087 and 907, respectively. The Steelers won that game, 51-34.

• The Giants and Saints combined for 63 first downs (including 35 by New Orleans), which is the second-highest total in NFL history. Seattle and Kansas City set the mark with 64 first downs on Nov. 24, 2002 (each team had 32). The Giants and Saints briefly shared the record, because the Saints were originally credited with 64 first downs. But an error made in the original play-by-play was corrected after the game, giving the Saints one less first down.

• New Orleans' 52 points were the most allowed by the Giants since Nov. 27, 1966, when they lost to Washington, 72-41, in the highest-scoring game in NFL history. The Saints were the first team to score 50 points against the Giants since Washington on Sept. 19, 1999 (in a 50-21 victory).

• The 49 points tied the NFL record for most points in a defeat, and set a Giants record. On Dec. 22, 1963, the Oakland Raiders defeated the Houston Oilers, 52-49. The Raiders, like the Saints, rallied from a late 49-42 deficit and won on a late field goal. The previous Giants record for points in a loss was 41, in the record-setting game in Washington 49 years ago. Under Tom Coughlin, it was 38 points (45-38 loss to Philadelphia on Dec. 13, 2009).

• The winning team in the last four Giants-Saints games scored 48, 49, 52 and 52 points. It is the first time in NFL history two teams played four consecutive games in which the winner scored at least 48 points in each of them.

• It is also the first time winning teams have scored at least 52 points in consecutive head-to-head meetings since Pittsburgh defeated San Diego, 52-24, on Nov. 25, 1984, and the Chargers answered with a 54-44 victory on Dec. 8, 1985.
• The Giants scored seven touchdowns (six on offense) for the first time since Dec. 9, 2012 – their most recent meeting with the Saints before Sunday. That was a 52-27 victory in MetLife Stadium.

• The Giants' offense had most recently scored six touchdowns on Sept. 25, 2014, in a 45-15 victory at Washington.

• The Saints' offense was the first to score seven touchdowns against the Giants since … the Saints, when the Giants had last visited New Orleans on Nov. 28, 2011. Before that, the last offense with a seven-touchdown outburst vs. the Giants belonged to … the Saints, on the Giants' previous visit to New Orleans, on Oct. 18, 2009. Brees threw four touchdown passes in each of those games.

• The Superdome has been an inhospitable venue for the Giants. In their last four visits there, including 2003, the Giants have allowed 45, 48, 49 and 52 points to become the first team ever to give up at least 45 points in the same stadium in four consecutive visits.

• In Coughlin's 12 seasons and 195 games (including playoffs) as head coach, the Giants have allowed 48 or more points three times – each time in New Orleans.

• The two-highest opposition yardage and first down totals of the Coughlin era were also given up by the Giants in New Orleans. The Saints gained 608 yards Sunday and 577 yards in 2011. They had 35 first downs Sunday, and 31 four years ago.

• The Giants' 28 first downs on Sunday was their highest total in a loss since they had 29 on Nov. 28, 2011 – in New Orleans.

• The Giants scored 28 points in the final two quarters on Sunday, their highest-scoring second half since they scored 31 points on Dec. 9, 2012, against the Saints.

• The Saints scored 10 points in the game's final 36 seconds. It is the first time since the 1970 merger the Giants allowed 10 points in the final 36 seconds of a game.

• Eli Manning threw six touchdown passes without an interception on Sunday, the 15th time in NFL history a quarterback had those impressive numbers. But Manning was the first quarterback to do it in a loss. The last QB with a six-touchdown, no-interception game was Ryan Fitzpatrick, then with Houston, against Tennessee on Nov. 30, 2014. When Y.A. Tittle set the Giants record with seven touchdown passes on Oct. 28 1962, he did not throw an interception.

• Manning's six touchdown passes increased his career total in the Superdome to nine. That is tied with Seattle's CenturyLink Field for his highest total in a stadium outside the NFC East.

• Brees completed 18 consecutive passes on Sunday, which ties the longest single-game streak against the Giants. Jim Everett of the Los Angeles Rams had a streak of 18 in a row on Nov. 12, 1989.

• In the last two games, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Trumaine McBride returned interceptions 58 and 63 yards, respectively, for touchdowns. It is the first time the Giants scored touchdowns on interception returns in consecutive games since Dec. 7-13, 1997 (Jessie Armstead, 57 yards at Philadelphia, followed by Jason Sehorn, 35 yards vs. Washington).

The Giants had not scored defensive touchdowns of at least 50 yards in consecutive games since Nov. 5-12, 1961, when Jimmy Patton and Tom Scott scored on interception returns of 51 and 65 yards vs. Washington and Philadelphia. The 1961 season was the last in which the Giants had two defensive touchdowns of 50-plus yards (they had three that year).

• Odell Beckham Jr. has 141 receptions in his first 20 career games. He needs just nine catches in the next four games to set the NFL record for fewest games to reach 150 receptions:

Name Games to 150
Anquan Boldin 25
Reggie Bush 26
Lionel Taylor 28
Marques Colston 28

• Beckham's 141 catches are the most by a receiver in his first two seasons with the Giants. Plaxico Burress held the record with 139 in 2005-06.

• Beckham has 1,959 receiving yards, and needs 41 yards Sunday at Tampa Bay to tie the record for fewest games to 2,000.

Name Games to 2,000
Bill Groman 21
Charley Hennigan 22
Bob Hayes 24
Lance Alworth 24

• In the last two weeks, Dwayne Harris has a kickoff return touchdown and two receiving touchdowns. He is just the fourth player in Giants history with a kickoff return score and at least two receiving touchdowns in a single season. The others were Jack Hagerty in 1929, Joe Scott in 1948 and David Meggett in 1992.

• The Giants lead the NFL with a plus-11 turnover differential, their highest differential since they finished the 2012 season at plus-14.

• The Giants have scored 215 points this season – 108 in the first half, and 107 in the second half.

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