Saints batter DeVito, Giants for second win in a row

Published 9:00 pm Sunday, December 17, 2023

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Derek Carr quieted the boobirds in the Superdome and Saints defensive players were the ones making Italian-style hand gestures after a season-high seven sacks.

Carr passed for three touchdowns and the Saints largely stifled — and battered — quarterback Tommy DeVito in a 24-6 victory over the New York Giants on Sunday.

Saints defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon had three sacks and celebrated with the same pinched-finger gesture that Giants players had embraced in DeVito’s honor during a three-game winning streak that ended in New Orleans.

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“I’m from Philly,” Kpassagnon said. “We got a whole bunch of Italians out there. So, we’re used to Italian.”

Meanwhile, Carr’s performance was a redemptive one for the first-year Saints QB, who was booed while struggling in recent home games. He connected on 23 of 28 passes for 218 yards without a turnover in one of his most efficient outings of his first season with New Orleans (7-7).

And he did it without top receiver Chris Olave, who was scratched because of an ankle injury.

Carr’s scoring passes went for 7 yards to Keith Kirkwood, 24 to Juwan Johnson and 1 to Jimmy Graham, who caught his third scoring pass in three games.

“It makes you happy because I told you I just want to win here,” Carr said. “To see how we won today, everyone involved, everyone making plays when we needed them. That’s the thing that feels good for me, because there’s a lot of hard work and things that go on behind the scenes that I was just really proud of today.”

Saints coach Dennis Allen made a point of complimenting Carr’s performance before he’d even taken a question about the quarterback and called recent criticism of Carr “unfair.”

“My personal opinion, but I thought he played really good in this game,” Allen said. “Just like with everything else, when you play that position you’re going to get your fair share of criticism and when somebody plays really good I think we need to make sure we recognize that he played well.”

Alvin Kamara added 110 yards from scrimmage for the Saints, who remained tied atop the NFC South with Tampa Bay while ending a heady run for DeVito, an undrafted rookie who became a sensation in New York by leading the Giants back to the fringes of the NFC playoff picture.

The Giants (5-9) are now guaranteed a losing record and will enter their final three games with only a slight chance of sneaking into the postseason as the last NFC wild-card team.

DeVito was 20-of-34 for 177 yards. He left for New York’s final four offensive plays of the second quarter after 6-yard scramble on which he took a high hit from defensive back Isaac Yiadom.

Tyrod Taylor completed two passes for 13 yards before punter Jamie Gillan — in place of injured kicker Randy Bullock — made a 40-yard field goal to cut the Saints’ lead to 7-6 at halftime.

New Orleans pulled away with Carr’s touchdown passes in the third and fourth quarter, along with Blake Gruppe’s 50-yard field goal.

Giants tight end Darren Waller, who missed five games because of a hamstring injury, was activated from injured reserve and was one of DeVito’s top targets, catching four passes for 40 yards.

But the Giants’ offense largely struggled, finishing with 193 total yards and converting just 2 of 16 third downs.

“Collectively it was just not good enough,” Giants coach Brian Daboll said. “You can pretty much take any area. Nothing was where it needed to be.”