Eli Manning went into Sunday thinking it might be a day the Giants have to score a lot of points. He just didn't know how many it would take.
The Giants' franchise quarterback toyed with history, throwing a career-high six touchdowns and no interceptions as his offense exploded for 42 points after scoring only twice in the previous two games. But on the other side was Drew Brees, who tied the NFL single-game record with seven scores in the 52-49 victory for the Saints. Overall, the two teams playing yesterday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome combined for 101 points, 1,030 yards and 63 first downs.
"I'm not going to give you a lot of adjectives to describe the way I feel about not stopping them," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "You're just going to have to live with the fact that we didn't do a good enough job, we didn't stop them enough, we got the lead in the game, we should have won the game, we didn't win the game. "We couldn't stop them, we didn't stop them. Find the words. Frustrating. You want to explode, but that's not going to help."
IT WAS OVER WHEN
Saints kicker Kai Forbath made a 50-yard field goal as time expired. Right before, the Saints forced the Giants to go three-and-out -- a rarity in the third-highest scoring game in league history -- and punt the ball from their own 25-yard line with 20 seconds remaining. Marcus Murphy returned Brad Wing's punt 24 yards into Giants territory and fumbled. But New Orleans wide receiver Willie Snead was there to recover the ball. In the ensuing melee, Wing was flagged 15 yards for a facemask penalty, moving the ball to the Giants' 32 with five seconds remaining.
While one certainly goes to Forbath, it was all about the quarterbacks on Sunday. Lost in the big numbers, two of Manning's six touchdowns came on fourth down as he increased his career total to 276. On Sunday alone, Manning moved ahead of Joe Montana (273) and Vinny Testaverde (275) and claimed 10th place on the all-time list. Meanwhile, Brees became the eighth player in history to throw seven touchdowns in a single game, joining the fraternity of Sid Luckman, Adrian Burk, George Blanda, Y.A. Tittle, Joe Kapp, Peyton Manning and Nick Foles.
>> EXPERTS REACT TO GIANTS LOSS
"It was a wild one," Manning said. "I don't know if I played in one quite like that, with that many touchdowns, back and forth, Drew playing great. Lot of touchdowns, lot of offense, and just a wild one. Wish we could have come out on top."
Added Brees: "Well, I'll say that this is going to be the last time that I watch highlights of Clemson-N.C. State and Texas Tech-Oklahoma State before I go to bed, because those games were just like that."
WHAT THE LOSS MEANS FOR THE GIANTS
It will be a long week for the defense. But with Washington (3-4) and Philadelphia (3-4) on their byes and Dallas (2-5) losing its fifth-straight game, Big Blue (4-4) remained atop the NFC East at the midway point in the schedule. In their last two games before the bye week, the Giants take on the Buccaneers in Tampa and then will host the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots in Week 10 at MetLife Stadium.
"No matter what it is, offense, defense, special teams, it hurts to lose," Coughlin said. "We did pretty much everything that we could do on one side of the ball. We also got a defensive touchdown. It should have been enough. It wasn't."
WHAT THE WIN MEANS FOR THE SAINTS
After a 1-4 start, New Orleans has won three in a row to climb back to .500 and stay alive in a competitive NFC South. Brees also put to rest any questions about the rotator cuff injury that forced the 36-year-old to miss Week 3.
"It's not about the numbers," Brees said. "That's cool to look at and it goes on the stat sheet, but it's not like I came out today with the intent to break a few records just to shut some people up. I think our mindset is that every time we step on the field we have the opportunity to do something special, I will say that."