A face mask penalty on Brad Wing ended up being the difference in a wild 52-49 loss by the New York Giants to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. Kai Forbath kicked a 50-yard field goal as time expired to give the Saints the victory.
After 14 touchdowns, including seven touchdown passes by Saints' quarterback Drew Brees and six by Giants' quarterback Eli Manning a disastrous turn of events on a punt with 20 seconds left gave New Orleans a chance to win.
Brad Wing punted and Marcus Murphy returned the ball 24 yards to New York's 47, A face mask penalty on Wing pushed the ball to the 32, and the Saints capitalized with the winning field goal.
"We kicked it in such a way that we should have had better coverage," said Giants head coach Tom Coughlin. "We punted it for distance ... didn't expect the guy to run the punt back, and of course I didn't expect the penalty."
The Giants and Saints are now both 4-4.
Brees finished 40-of-50 for 511 yards, seven touchdowns and one interception. New Orleans had 614 yards of total offense.
"We couldn't stop 'em, we didn't stop 'em," said Coughlin. "We did an awful lot of good things to win, but not enough obviously in the end."
Manning finished 30-of-41 for 350 yards. The six touchdown passes were a career high. He was not intercepted.
According to Elias, Eli Manning is the first QB in NFL history to throw six touchdowns and no interceptions in a loss.— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) November 1, 2015
The Giants twice erased 14-point deficits. They trailed, 28-14, late in the first half and again 42-28 entering the fourth quarter. The Giants scored 21 straight points, the last seven coming when Trumaine McBride ran back a Willie Snead fumble 63 yards to give the Giants a 49-42 lead with 7:23 to play.
The Saints tied the score on a Brees' 9-yard pass to C.J. Spiller with 36 seconds to play. The Giants then went three-and-out before the disastrous game-altering punt.
Wing couldn't explain the final sequence:
"We just can't let them get into that position to begin with," he said. "I don't know why they (referees) came back and enforced it (facemask penalty). That's all I have to say about it - I'm just not sure."
In the end, this is another game the Giants had in their grasp that got away.
"We got the lead in the game. We should have won. We didn't," said Coughlin.
Scoring play: 2-yard pass, Eli Manning to Odell Beckham (Giants)
Drive summary: 10 plays, 60 yards, 4:01
Key play: Manning hit Beckham for the score on fourth down.
Score: Giants 7, Saints 0 (9:43)
Scoring play: 39-yard pass, Drew Brees to Willie Snead (Saints)
Drive summary: Six plays, 80 yards, 1:54
Key play: Two plays after the Giants failed to get a challenge in time, Brees hit Snead on a flea flicker
Score: Giants 7, Saints 7
Scoring play: 26-yard pass, Brees to Brandon Cooks
Drive summary: Five plays, 96 yards, 3:03
Key play: After a Brad Wing punt pinned New Orleans at their 4-yard line, Brees hit Ben Watson for 46 yards to midfield on the first play of the drive.
Score: Saints 14, Giants 7, 2:30
Scoring play: Manning to Beckham, 2-yard pass (Giants)
Drive summary: 9 plays, 79 yards, 3:53
Key play: Orleans Darkwa enters the game and rus four times for 23 yards, including a 17-yard run.
Score: Giants 14, Saints 14 (13:34)
Scoring play: 53-yard pass, Brees to Marques Colston (Saints)
Drive summary: Five plays, 80 yards, 2:26
Key play: Colston uncovered by Giants for easy touchdown across the middle.
Score: Saints 21, Giants 14 (11:15)
Scoring play: Brees to Snead, 2-yard pass
Drive summary: 14 plays, 60 yards, 7:07
Key play: The touchdown pass to Snead made Brees 19-of-21 for 300 yards passing in the first half.
Score: Saints 28, Giants 14 (1:50)
Scoring play: Manning to Shane Vereen, 2-yard pass (Giants)
Drive summary: 10 plays, 80 yards, 1:44
Key play: Two Saints penalties, a pass interference and a roughing the passer, gave the Giants 20 yards and two first downs.
Score: Saints 28, Giants 21 (:07)
Scoring play: 50-yard pass, Manning to Beckham (Giants)
Drive summary: Four plays, 65 yards, 2:02
Key play: Beckham's third TD came off a Manning play-action pass where he beat double coverage deep.
Score: Giants 28, Saints 28 (13:08)
Scoring play: Brees to Cooks, 21-yard pass (Saints)
Drive summary: Eight plays, 80-yards, 2:49
Key play: Damontre Moore committed a roughing the passer penalty following an incompletion. That gave New Orleans a first down at the Giants' 31-yard line.
Score: Saints 35, Giants 28 (10:14)
Scoring play: Brees to Ben Watson, 20-yard pass (Saints)
Drive summary: Nine plays, 80 yards, 3:50
Key play: The touchdown pass was Brees' sixth, tying a New Orleans franchise record
Score: Saints 42, Giants 28 (:33)
Scoring play: Manning to Dwayne Harris, 9-yard pass (Giants)
Drive summary: 11 plays, 80 yards, 3:14
Key play: Manning hits Harris on 4th-and-5 from the 8-yard line, floating a pass into the middle of the field that somehow finds its way to Harris in the end zone.
Score: Saints 42, Giants 35 (12:29)
Scoring play: Manning to Harris, 20-yard pass (Giants)
Drive summary: Three plays 65 yards, 1:01
Key play: The Giants defense forced the Saints to punt for only the second time in the game.
Score: Giants 42, Saints 42 (9:30)
Scoring play: Trumaine McBride (Giants), 63-yard fumble return
Key play: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie knocks a ball away from Saints receiver Willie Snead. McBride returns it for the score.
Score: Giants 49, Saints 42 (7:23)
Scoring play: Brees to C.J. Spiller, 9-yard pass
Drive summary: 14 plays, 80 yards, 6:35
Key play: Brees' TD pass was his seventh of the game, tying an NFL record. The Saints also converted a fourth-and-1 at their own 29-yard line.
Score: Giants 49, Saints 49 (:36)
Scoring play: Kai Forbath, 50-yard field goal
Key play: 15-yard face mask penalty on Giants punter Brad Wing
Final Score: Saints 52, Giants 49