EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- To the New Orleans Saints, last night's bizarre ''home" opener was unfair from the outset. And they played like they didn't even want to be in Giants Stadium, losing, 27-10, to the New York Giants.
''They made this seem like the Super Bowl," quarterback Aaron Brooks said of the NFL and the hoopla after New Orleans had six turnovers and 13 penalties. ''We played a team that outplayed us today, but it was way overdone. Setting up a stage, traveling out here, was uncalled for.
''Try not to patronize us next time, traveling us to New York, saying we're playing a home game."
Added coach Jim Haslett: ''We were in the visiting locker room, on the visiting field. It seemed like an away game."
The Giants, visitors in name and jersey color only, had no complaints. Playing before 68,031 of their fans, they took advantage of New Orleans' sloppiness from the first play, a fumbled kickoff. Tiki Barber scored two touchdowns and the defense had four sacks.
NFL nomads after the damage to the Superdome and New Orleans caused by Hurricane Katrina, the Saints couldn't overcome critical mistakes in falling to 1-1.
Efforts to make Giants Stadium resemble something akin to home were minimal. One end zone had SAINTS painted in white and a few Saints banners were scattered about, but everything else about the night said New Jersey, not New Orleans.
''It could go on and on like this, we have to take this one week at a time," Brooks said. ''At some point, it is going to wear down on us."
In the first half alone, the Saints committed 11 penalties for 72 yards, including an illegal contact by Sedrick Hodge that negated a third-down sack and set up the Giants' third touchdown.
Some Saints trickery backfired on the opening kickoff. Michael Lewis handed off the return to Fred McAfee, who fumbled at the 10, with Chase Blackburn recovering. Three plays later, rookie Brandon Jacobs squeezed into the end zone for a 7-0 lead.
The Giants took a 14-0 lead on Barber's 6-yard reception.