After a season-high seven sacks, Derek Carr calmed the Superdome crowd, and the Saints defensive players were the ones doing Italian-style hand signals.
In a 24-6 victory over the New York Giants on Sunday, Carr passed for three touchdowns and the Saints mostly stifled— and battered— quarterback Tommy DeVito.
Tanoh Kpassagnon, the defensive end for the Saints, celebrated his three sacks with the same pinched-finger salute that Giants players had adopted in DeVito's memory following a three-game winning run that came to an end in New Orleans.
I'm from Philadelphia, Kpassagnon declared. There are a lot of Italians in that area. We're accustomed to Italian, so
For Carr, the first-year quarterback for the Saints, who had been struggling in recent home games, it was a redemption performance. In one of his most productive performances of his first campaign with New Orleans, he completed 23 of 28 passes for 218 yards without committing a pass (7-7).
And he accomplished it without star wide receiver Chris Olave, who was sidelined due to an ankle ailment.
Carr's touchdown passes went to Jimmy Graham, who caught his third touchdown pass in three games, for one yard, Keith Kirkwood for seven, and Juwan Johnson for twenty-four.
Carr remarked, "It makes you happy because I told you I just want to win here." "To see how we prevailed today, with everyone contributing and stepping up to play when we needed it." That's what makes me feel good because today I was incredibly proud of all of the hard work and behind-the-scenes activities that went into it.
Before answering a single question regarding the quarterback, Saints coach Dennis Allen made a point of praising Carr's play and labeling recent criticism of the QB as "unfair."
"In my view, he performed exceptionally well in this game," Allen remarked. "When someone plays that position, they're going to receive criticism just like everyone else, so when someone plays really well, we should make sure to give them credit for it."
After guiding the Giants back to the outside of the NFC playoff picture, DeVito, an undrafted rookie who became a sensation in New York, ended a brilliant run for the Saints, who were tied with Tampa Bay atop the NFC South. Alvin Kamara added 110 yards from scrimmage for the Saints.
With only a slim opportunity to qualify for the postseason as the final NFC wild-card team, the Giants (5-9) will go into their final three games assured of a losing record.
DeVito has 177 yards on 20 of 34. He absorbed a big hit from defensive back Isaac Yiadom during a 6-yard scramble before heading out for New York's last four offensive plays of the second quarter.
Before punter Jamie Gillan, filling in for injured kicker Randy Bullock, nailed a 40-yard field goal to trim the Saints' advantage to 7-6 at halftime, Tyron Taylor completed two passes for 13 yards.
Blake Gruppe's 50-yard field goal and Carr's touchdown passes in the third and fourth quarters helped New Orleans pull away.
One of DeVito's main targets, Giants tight end Darren Waller, who was sidelined for five games due to a hamstring injury, was activated from injured reserve and caught four passes for 40 yards.
However, the Giants' offense was extremely ineffective; it only converted two of 16 third downs and finished with 193 total yards.
"As a whole, it was simply insufficient," Giants head coach Brian Daboll remarked. "Almost any region can be chosen. Nothing was in its proper place.