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Saints Can’t Recover From Sloppy Start

From Associated Press

Playing a “home” game in the Meadowlands, the New Orleans Saints bumbled and fumbled their way to a 27-10 loss against the New York Giants on Monday night.

In front of 68,031, the Giants, visitors in name and jersey color only, took advantage of the Saints’ sloppiness -- six turnovers and 13 penalties -- from the first play, a fumbled kickoff.

“It was supposedly their home game, but we just played like it was our home game,” said Giant defensive end Osi Umenyiora, who had two sacks.

Nomads after the damage to the Superdome caused by Hurricane Katrina, the Saints (1-1) were given a home game at Giants Stadium by the league.

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Some trickery by the Saints immediately backfired. Michael Lewis handed off the return to Fred McAfee, who fumbled at the 10. Three plays later, rookie Brandon Jacobs scored on a one-yard run to put the Giants ahead, 7-0.

The Giants (2-0) increased the lead to 14-0 on a six-yard pass from Eli Manning to Tiki Barber with 4 minutes 13 seconds to play in the first quarter.

The Saints scored on an 86-yard drive capped by Joe Horn’s 21-yard touchdown catch with 14:11 to go in the half.

A penalty led to a 12-yard touchdown run by Barber, who had 83 yards in 22 carries, for a 21-7 lead for the Giants with 1:54 to go before halftime.

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The Saints’ miscues continued in the second half, with Brooks’ fumble setting up Jay Feely’s 39-yard field goal with 7:48 left in the third quarter.

Horn fumbled while stretching for the end zone with 3:40 to go, sealing the victory for New York.

“They didn’t just beat our butts and drag us all over the field,” Horn said. “We gave them the ball and they capitalized.”

Brooks was 27 for 45 for 375 with a touchdown and three interceptions. Manning was 13 for 24 for 165 yards and one touchdown.


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