EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Speedy New Orleans Saints wide receiver Joe Morgan, a second-year pro, was one of his team’s bright spots on a dreary Sunday.
Morgan, an undrafted free agent who missed the entire 2011 season with a knee injury, caught passes of 62 and 44 yards in the Saints’ 52-27 loss to the New York Giants in MetLife Stadium.
With his two receptions for 106 yards, Morgan topped the 100-yard mark for the first time in his career and this season has 310 yards and a 44.3-yard average on just seven catches.
His receptions have gone for 80, 62, 48, 44, 38, 33 and 5 yards with touchdowns of 80 and 48.
Taking it away
The Saints knew they would have to take care of the ball going into the game with the Giants, who had 30 takeaways in their first 12 games.
But that went out the window early when the Saints lost fumbles on their first two possessions.
Wide receiver Marques Colston lost the ball after a 30-yard catch and fullback Jed Collins had the ball ripped from his grasp by safety Antrel Rolle after a short catch on the next series.
They eventually gave it away four times after Drew Brees tossed a pair of interceptions in the second half.
Brees threw for 354 yards in a losing effort Sunday, giving him 4,028 yards for the season.
It marked the seventh straight season that Brees has topped the 4,000-yard mark, setting an NFL record. He and Peyton Manning (1999-2004) shared the mark with six consecutive seasons.
Before Brees arrived in 2006, the Saints never had a quarterback throw for 4,000 yards in the first 39 years of the franchise’s existence.
Brees would be the first to tell you that it didn’t matter because they lost, but he passed Hall of Famer Dan Marino for second place on the all-time list for career 300-yard games.
Brees now has topped the 300-yard mark 64 times in his 12-year career — just five behind Manning’s 69.
Also, with 26 completions, Brees pushed his NFL-record streak with at least 20 to 49 games.
The Saints inactives were RB Chris Ivory (hamstring), T Charles Brown (knee), CB Corey White (knee), LB Scott Shanle, DE Turk McBride, TE Michael Higgins and DT Tyrunn Walker.
Ivory was added to the injury list Saturday with a hamstring problem.
Saints FS Malcolm Jenkins left in the second quarter with an undisclosed injury and did not return. … RT Zach Strief hurt his right ankle in the second quarter and didn’t return after having it re-taped.
Saints defensive end Martez Wilson was having to deal with the death of former Illinois teammate Jerry Brown of the Dallas Cowboys, who was killed early Saturday in an auto accident.
Brown was a passenger in a car driven by Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent, another former college teammate. Brent has been charged with intoxication manslaughter.
“My prayers are with Jerry’s family and I wish J.B. (Brent) the best in a bad situation,” Wilson said. “He’s a good guy who made a bad decision.”
Saints safety Isa Abdul-Quddus, a native of nearby Union, N.J., got the first interception of his two-year NFL career in the third quarter off Eli Manning. ... The Saints are 19-30 when Brees, who threw 43 passes Sunday, attempts 40 or more in a game. They’re 48-12 when he throws fewer than 40. … Giants guard Selvish Capers, who was added to the active roster this week, is a St. Augustine High School graduate. … The Saints played the Giants in a fourth different New York-area venue as they previously met in Yankee Stadium, Shea Stadium and Giants Stadium.