NEW ORLEANS — Sunday didn’t mark New Orleans native and former Ole Miss standout quarterback Eli Manning’s first professional game back at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, but it did represent his best shot at a win there.New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) looks to pass against the New Orleans Saints during the second half.It was Manning’s third game at the stadium. And while Sunday’s game didn’t follow the same script as the other two, the ending was the same.Manning turned in an outstanding effort as he completed 30 of his 41 pass attempts for 350 passing yards and six touchdowns, but the New York Giants’ defense couldn’t generate enough stops in a 52-49 loss to the Saints.“It was a wild one,” Manning said after the game. “I definitely don’t know if I’ve played in one quite like that with that many touchdowns back and forth. Drew (Brees) was playing great, there were (13) touchdown passes. It was just a wild one with a lot of touchdowns, a lot of offense. I just wish we could have come out on top of it.”Manning is now 0-3 against the Saints in the Superdome. It was the second time he’s thrown for more than 350 yards in a losing effort in his hometown.He passed for 406 yards against the Saints in 2011.There seems to be one constant in those losses, and it’s been the poor play of the Giants’ defense. In 2009, they gave up 48 points in a 21-point loss in New Orleans. They surrendered 49 in 2011 and 52 on Sunday.Manning went toe-to-toe with Drew Brees, who had a career day of his own with 511 passing yards and seven touchdown passes. The two combined for 13 touchdown passes, which is now the record for most combined touchdown passes in a single game in NFL history.The Giants quarterback posted a passer rating of 138.2, his best of the season, and moved his season total to 17 touchdown passes, to just four interceptions.Manning’s play wasn’t lost on Brees during the game.“Obviously, it’s our offense against their defense and vice versa, but you know what he’s capable of,” Brees said of Manning. “You recognize who you’re playing against. At the end of the game there, as that clock is ticking down, four minutes to three minutes, I’m thinking wow I don’t want to give these guys too much time. You recognize the guy you’re playing against and what a great player he is and obviously, he had a phenomenal day.”Baton Rouge native Odell Beckham Jr. was Manning’s main target on Sunday. He caught eight passes for 130 yards and three scores.Manning heaved a 50-yard bomb to Beckham to tie the game at 28 with 12:58 left in the third quarter.He’s not exactly the most mobile quarterback, but Manning even scrambled to buy some time and threw a 9-yard scoring pass Dwayne Harris in the fourth.Despite season-high 49 points from the Giants and all the plays from Manning, Brees and the Saints made just enough plays to escape with the win.“We just ran out of time with 36 seconds left,” Manning said. “We had to convert on that third-and-5, if anything just not to give them an opportunity to score (before the fourth ended). They had a good punt return and penalty and then the field goal. It’s a tough one to bite down right now.”Contact Antonio Morales at [email protected] Follow @AntonioCMorales on Twitter.
John Obi Mikel Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel is in talks with Marseille, according to the midfielder’s national team coach.The 29-year-old has struggled to break into the Blues first team this season and he is ready to find a new club.Marseille have been heavily linked with the Nigerian as they are ready to splash the cash this January, thanks to money made available by new owner Frank McCourt.And, according to Nigeria boss Gernot Rohr, Mikel is seriously considering an offer from the French club.“I saw him in London. He is in advanced discussions with Marseille,” Rohr told Europe 1.“Chelsea will allow him to leave for free. It is a serious option for him.” 1