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Osi Umenyiora remembers spraining his ankle and going into the locker room for X-rays in the second quarter in New Orleans last year.
"By the time I came out, they scored like four or five touchdowns in that span," Umenyiora said. "It was like we didn't know what had happened."
Ask Perry Fewell about the night Drew Brees torched his defense for five touchdowns -- four through the air and one on the ground in a 49-24 Saints win -- and the defensive coordinator is in no mood to reminisce.
|Drew Brees has thrown eight touchdown passes in his last two games against the Giants.|
"I want to forget about that game," Fewell said. "Because they kicked the [bleep] out of us."
On Sunday, the Giants will be reunited with Brees and the Saints, and they're hoping this game will be more memorable.
The problem is, Brees has been an absolute nightmare for the Giants.
Jason Pierre-Paul may think it will be "easier" for the Giants to face a more conventional offense and quarterback in the Saints and Brees after spending Monday night trying to figure out what Robert Griffin III was going to do in the Washington option offense. But Brees has practically owned the Giants. He is 4-0 against Big Blue, with 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions. In the past two meetings, he has passed for eight touchdowns and had a 143.8 quarterback rating.
In those four wins over the Giants, Brees' teams have scored 45 or more points three times and scored no fewer than 30.
Forgive Umenyiora for wondering what Pierre-Paul meant by "easier."
"I would never say that," Umenyiora said. "I played against Drew Brees four times in my career, and they've been blowouts every single time. So I'd never say there's anything easy about playing against him."
But Pierre-Paul can point back to two weeks ago, when the Giants smothered Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers 38-10 at home. During that game, the Giants harassed Rodgers, sacking him five times and picking him off once. Rodgers finished with just 219 yards passing and one touchdown.
Fewell trotted out his three-safety look, with Antrel Rolle, Kenny Phillips and Stevie Brown, and moved pieces around to keep Rodgers searching for answers while daring Green Bay to run the ball.
The Giants have two things going their way against New Orleans. They will have the speedy Saints out of the Superdome, where they have destroyed the Giants 48-27 and 49-24 in their last two meetings. New York has to hope the outdoor air and potential rain will slow down the New Orleans offensive attack a bit.
"They're looking forward to getting us to drink their water and play on their turf in front of their crowd," said Saints interim head coach Joe Vitt.
Also, the Saints and Brees have struggled this season without coach Sean Payton, who is serving a one-year suspension after the bounty scandal.
Brees has thrown seven interceptions and just three touchdowns in the Saints' past two games, both losses. He threw two interceptions that resulted in touchdowns in a loss to the 49ers two weeks ago. Then he threw five picks and saw his 54-game streak of having at least one touchdown pass snapped in a 23-13 defeat at the hands of the Falcons.
"Very uncharacteristic of me and not what I'm used to," Brees said. "Mom always said there would be days like that.
"I also know this: I'm not losing any confidence."
The Giants haven't lost any confidence either, despite losing three of their past four games. But Rolle wants to see the Giants display a nastier disposition against Brees and the Saints.
The defense was punched in the mouth in the fourth quarter of New York's 24-20 loss to Pittsburgh on Nov. 4.
They failed to show up in a 31-13 loss at Cincinnati. They dominated Green Bay but stumbled in Washington, where they couldn't get RG3 off the field in the final 3:51.
The Giants haven't been able to finish games the way they would like, and Rolle said it might have to do with their mentality before they even kick off a game. He wants to see more bark and bite -- and fewer pregame compliments showered on the opposing star quarterback.
"All dogs bite," he said. "Just need to go out there and play ball. That's it. Save the hugs and kisses for after the game."
Rolle knows full well how deadly accurate Brees can be. He experienced it live last year. But he wants to see Brees try to do it again against what he hopes will be a motivated and angry defense on Sunday.
"He is definitely one of the best quarterbacks in this league, hands down," Rolle said. "He has proven it. He has shown it. But he has got to go out and show us come Sunday."