By Larry Fine
EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Reuters) - The Super Bowl champion New York Giants, powered by dynamic rookie David Wilson, preserved their one-game lead in the tight NFC East race by routing the visiting New Orleans Saints 52-27 on Sunday.
Bolstered by a huge game by Wilson, who amassed 227 yards on four kickoff returns including a 97-yard touchdown dash, and rushed six yards for another score, the Giants improved to 8-5 while dropping the sloppy Saints to 5-8.
The victory allowed the Giants to maintain their one-game lead in the division, as the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins also posted wins to improve to 7-6.
It was a record-setting day for the Giants, who set a franchise record for kickoff return yardage and surpassed 50 points in a game for the first time in 26 seasons.
First-round draft pick Wilson scored New York's first touchdown of the game with his electrifying kickoff return up the middle and to the sideline, and contributed two other returns of more than 50 yards in the first half.
New York quarterback Eli Manning did his share after throwing a first-quarter interception that was run back 73 yards for a touchdown by defensive back Elbert Mack that put New Orleans ahead 7-0 for their only lead of the game.
Manning completed 22-of-35 passes for 259 yards and four touchdowns along with two interceptions.
New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees, who threw five interceptions in last week's loss to Atlanta, was 26-of-43 for 354 yards and two interceptions.
The Saints also fumbled the ball away twice and committed a rash of penalties that set back their attack.
Next week the Giants travel to Atlanta to play the NFC South champion Falcons (11-2).
(Editing by Ian Ransom)
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