Sept 30, 1:00 pm (FOX) - Saints at Giants
| Game 3
Giants win the home opener for the NY area fans.
Ron Dayne rushed for a career-high 111 yards on 19 carries.
Michael Strahan had 3 sacks and 7 tackles and forced 2 fumbles.
Jessie Armstead had 1 sack.
Rodney Williams had 8 punts for a 46.5 yard average.
Ike Hilliard playing for the first time, had 2 catches for 32 yards.
It was an emotional game right from the start.
"It was very touching for anyone sitting there in the stands. You felt closer to everyone else, more so than ever before. Tony Bennett sang "America The Beautiful" while everyone including the firefighters, Port Authority people and policemen looked on. It was cold and windy. I wish the weather was better. It was
all very overwhelming for a lot of fans, and the players on both sides took it right onto the field. I mean, it was a mean and nasty day, and right away it turned into a mean and nasty game."
Michael Lewis opened the game with a 68-yard kickoff return to the Giants 23.
"That was pretty depressing, and the Giants defense was tested right away. They stopped Ricky Williams for two yards, and then the Saints got hit with a 15 yard personal foul on Kyle Turley. I don't know why he thought he could get tough with Michael Strahan. He just hurt his team, and became a bad guy for the fans to
boo the whole game. Anyway, there were some incompletions, another 5 yard penalty on the punt, and the Giants were out of that fix."
Turley drew 4 flags during the game.
"It seemed like more than that. The fans went wild on the next series when Strahan got past him and sacked Brooks 14 yards back. You just had to keep watching Michael Strahan and Turley going at it, and by the time the game was over, Strahan had three sacks and had knocked the ball loose a couple of times. He
had a great game!"
The Saints came close at the end of the game.
"As usual, the Giants gave you your money's worth. It looked like we were comfortably ahead at the half when it was 14-3, but then the Saints made it 14-10 in the fourth quarter. Kerry came back and hit Joe Jurevicius for a long touchdown pass to make it 21-10, and I felt
a lot better. Jurevicius had caught maybe only one pass the entire game before that, I guess because he was sharing time with Ike Hilliard. Then again there weren't a lot of completed passes this game against the tough Saints defense.
Our defense loosened up a bit, and the Saints got a field goal, and then were driving like you said, but the Giants kept them out of the endzone."
Overall Gamegirl what did you think?.
"I was glad that we won it, for the players and all the fans, including myself. Everyone who lives in this area needed this one. It would have been hard to walk away with a loss to the Saints after being ahead for most of the game.
I'll never forget today. Overall it was a very exciting day, and a very exciting game. I'm glad NY is making a comeback, but as every Giants fan knows, you don't get excitement like this on Broadway!"
Ron Dayne came alive today.
"If you say that, you're not paying attention to what he's been doing this year. In the first game, he had 6 carries for 30 yards, in the second, he was 16 for 46 yards and one touchdown, and today he gained 111 yards on 19 carries, including a career-best 55-yard
run, and a touchdown. This guy is out to show everyone he has what it takes to make it in the NFL. Dayne's certainly proven to the Giants that he's a team player by taking all the criticisms, and sharing the running back role."
Tiki Barber pulled a hamstring and didn't play in the second half.
"That happened when he scored the touchdown. Hopefully it's not something that will keep him out, because the team really needs that guy on the field for everything he can do, even with Ron Dayne. Collins also needs Barber for a short target, like on that 9 yard pass he caught, although Collins got one to Ron Dayne for 7 yards."
Collins didn't throw much, only 18 passes.
"As I said in the preview, I thought he would be hesitant this game coming off those three interceptions against Kansas City. It was great to see Ike Hilliard out there making 'Ike Hilliard' type catches on the two he caught. Jurevicius won't complain that one of the two he reeled in was for a touchdown. Collins
was careful not to make mistakes, and there were actually only nine completed passes this entire game, but Collins made them count."
Rodney Williams had some game once again.
"Rodney Williams had some week! He was hit from behind by a taxicab, and his 1998 Land-Rover rolled four times near Exit 14 on the New Jersey Turnpike. Luckily he was wearing his seat belt, and he walked away from it. Buckle-up everybody. Williams bailed out the team a number of times this game with 8 punts that
averaged 46.5 yards. In case you're wondering where this kid came from, he's from Georgia Tech. He tried out for the the Rams in 1999 and the Redskins last year, and now the Giants have him, hopefully for a good long time."
That was a rough fourth quarter.
"You said it. The Saints just kept coming back. Brooks had them down at the Giants 9 and threw an incomplete pass. Then he tried to get it to Joe Horn on the next two downs, but New York defensive backs Sam Garnes and Will Peterson both made big plays, knocking the ball down. On fourth down, he connected, but
Jackson had pushed off to make the play, after coming back in from out of bounds.
The way this game went, it was fitting that it ended with the Giants scrambling to keep them out of the endzone, and with a double penalty on the Saints. It was fitting that the Giants got the win, that they didn't let the fans, their honored guests, and themselves down. It was fitting that everyone in the NYC area got to feel good for awhile, watching the Giants come away with a 21-13
Giants - Kerry Collins 9-18 for 135 yds.
Saints - Aaron Brooks 28-54 for 291 yds. 1 INT.
Giants - Ron Dayne (19-111) Tiki Barber (3-21) Kerry Collins (3-10) Greg Comella (1-9) Amani Toomer (1-1) Damon Washington (1-1) .
Saints - Ricky Williams (16-53) Aaron Brooks (4-17) Joe Horn (1-4) Deuce McAllister (1-0).
Giants - Joe Jurevicius (2-60) Ike Hilliard (2-32) Amani Toomer (1-25) Tiki Barber (1-9) Ron Dayne (1-7) Damon Washington (1-2) Greg Comella (1-0).
Saints - Willie Jackson (8-105) Robert Wilson (7-61) Ricky Williams (4-49) Joe Horn (4-48) Albert Connell (4-25) Cam Cleeland (1-3).
Giants - 153
Saints - 74
Net yards passing
Giants - 100
Saints - 256
Giants - Ron Dixon (2-48) Daniel Campbell (1-0)
Saints - Michael Lewis (2-82) Fred McAfee (1-22) Tom Ackerman (1-11)
Giants - Amani Toomer (2-10) Tiki Barber (1-20)
Saints - Michael Lewis (4-9)
Giants Shaun Williams (1-5)
Time of Possession
Giants - 27:31
Saints - 32:29
Giants - Michael Barrow 7-3-0, Shaun Williams 7-0-0, Jason Sehorn 7-0-0, Michael Strahan 7-0-3, Kenny Holmes 5-2-0, Sam Garnes 2-5-0, Will Allen 5-0-0, Brandon Short 3-2-0, Jessie Armstead 3-1-1, Keith Hamilton 2-2-0, Cornelius Griffin 1-3-0, Will Peterson 3-0-0, Emmanuel Mcdaniel 2-0-0.
Saints - Charlie Clemons 6-1-2.5, Kevin Mathis 6-1-0, Joe Johnson 3-3-1, Keith Mitchell 4-0-0, Sammy Knight 4-0-0, Fred Thomas 4-0-0, Darren Howard 3-1-0, Darrin Smith 2-2-0, Jay Bellamy 2-1-0, La'roi Glover 2-1-1, William Whitehead 2-1-0, Chris Oldham 1-1-0.5, Michael Hawthorne 1-0-0.
NYG - TD, Ron Dayne, 6 Yd run (Morten Andersen kick is good), 07:52. Drive: 6 plays, 81 yards in 1:41, NYG 7-0.
NYG - TD, Tiki Barber, 14 Yd run (Morten Andersen kick is good), 03:31. Drive: 5 plays, 51 yards in 2:39, NYG 14-0.
NO - FG, John Carney 32 Yd, 00:01. Drive: 11 plays, 50 yards in 3:30, NYG 14-3.
NO - TD, Willie Jackson, 32 Yd pass from Aaron Brooks (John Carney kick is good), 07:48. Drive: 7 plays, 64 yards in 2:31, NYG 14-10.
NYG - TD, Joe Jurevicius, 46 Yd pass from Kerry Collins (Morten Andersen kick is good), 06:05. Drive: 3 plays, 40 yards in 1:35, NYG 21-10.
NO - FG, John Carney 30 Yd, 04:36. Drive: 5 plays, 46 yards in 1:24, NYG 21-13.
Giants are 42-30-5 in home openers.
Giants are 21-12 at home under head coach Jim Fassel.
Giants are 26-1 under Fassel when leading at halftime.
Giants are 32-1 when they go into the 4th quarter with a lead, including an NFL-best 31 in a row.
Punter Rodney Williams averaged 46.5 yards on 8 kicks.
Morten Andersen kicked 3 extra points, and extended his NFL record scoring in his 272nd consecutive game.
Ron Dayne, the 1999 Heisman Trophy winner, out-rushed Ricky Williams, the 1998 winner, 111-53. Dayne broke Williams' NCAA career rushing record in 1999.
Tiki Barber pulled a hamstring on his scoring play and did not return to the game.
Glenn Parker left the game in the third quarter with a concussion.
Kerry Collins started his 25th straight game. Only Brett Favre (144), Peyton Manning (51) and Rich Gannon (35) have started more games in a row.
Both teams combined for 25 penalties totaling over 200 yards.
Washington at Giants Oct 7 at 1:00 pm.
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