The New Orleans Saints finally play their first real home game of the season when they host the 0-3 New York Giants on Sunday. When Hurricane Ida struck the Louisiana coast on August 29, it displaced the Saints organization to Dallas.
They've practiced in Texas since, playing the Packers in the regular season opener in Jacksonville as the ‘‘host'' team and playing at Carolina and New England the last two weeks.
This is the 31st meeting between the Saints and Giants, all during the regular season. New York holds a 16-14 advantage in the series, but New Orleans owns a 9-4 record against the Giants at home.
FIRST ALL-TIME MEETING
The first game between these teams took place on October 8, 1967, during the Saints inaugural season. After playing the first three games in franchise history at home, all losses, New Orleans played the first road game in franchise history in New York.
The Saints played the Giants evenly through the first two quarters, going into halftime tied at 14. Gary Cuozzo got his first start with New Orleans. He completed 14 of 28 throws for 156 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception.
New York held the Saints to just 210 yards, while accumulating 535 yards of offense as they pulled away in the second half. Future Hall of Fame QB Fran Tarkenton passed for 348 yards and two scores in a 27-21 Giants victory.
FIRST MEETING IN NEW ORLEANS
The Saints played the Giants in each of their first three seasons of existence on the road before finally hosting them on October 4, 1970. New Orleans still played their home games in Tulane Stadium at the time.
New York jumped to a 10-0 second quarter over the home team. The Giants outgained the Saints in total yardage on the day, 361-183, but New Orleans took advantage of crucial second half mistakes.
Rookie WR Ken Burrough caught a touchdown pass to narrow the Saints deficit to 10-7 before halftime. The second half was scoreless outside of a special teams fumble recovery by New Orleans WR Al Dodd that resulted in a touchdown. It was the deciding score in a 14-10 New Orleans victory, their first win of what would be a 2-11-1 season.
FIRST MEETING IN THE SUPERDOME
New York and New Orleans would play five times in the 1970s, with the Saints winning three matchups. The first time these teams played in the Superdome, which opened in 1975, was on October 29, 1978.
The Giants forged their way to a 17-7 halftime lead and rolled up 204 rushing yards on the Saints defense. They held New York quarterbacks to just 10 of 26 passing and intercepted them three times while putting together a second half comeback.
Saints running backs Chuck Muncie and Tony Galbreath combined for 168 total yards, including 107 on the ground. TE Henry Childs caught two second half touchdowns from QB Archie Manning in a 28-17 New Orleans victory.
TRAGEDY, PART I
One of the most tragic moments in American history took place on Monday, September 11, 2001. Terrorist attacks along the eastern seaboard resulted in the hijacking and crashes of four commercial airlines.
At the center of this tragedy was the city of New York. Two planes crashed into the Twin Towers, causing their collapse.
The NFL postponed their games that subsequent week, and the Giants were on the road when the league returned to action on September 23.
New York's first home game after the terrorist attacks was on September 30, against the New Orleans Saints.
New Orleans outgained the Giants in total yardage, 330-253. New York got 111 yards rushing from RB Ron Dayne and powered their way to a 21-13 win.
The offensive coordinator for the Giants that day? None other than future Saints head coach Sean Payton.
TRAGEDY, PART II
Sunday won't be the first time that a major hurricane was one of the storylines in a game between the Saints and Giants. On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated the city of New Orleans and most of the Gulf Coast region.
Katrina's damage to the Superdome and the city caused the Saints to play on the road for the entire 2005 season. Most of that year they played their home games in San Antonio or Baton Rouge. Their first home game of the season was scheduled to be on September 19, 2005, against the New York Giants.
In an atrocious and classless decision, the NFL moved the contest to New York but designated New Orleans as the ‘‘home'' team. Saints QB Aaron Brooks threw for 375 yards, 284 on a combined 17 receptions to wideouts Joe Horn and Donte' Stallworth.
New Orleans was undone by six turnovers that afternoon, including three interceptions of Brooks, in a 27-10 defeat. The Saints floundered their way to a 3-13 season. It led to a change at head coach and quarterback.