New York travels to the Big Easy getting ready to embark on a vital stretch to their season, as they also host the Packers and go to Dallas over the next three weeks. They must get a game back after the Eagles loss during this stretch, and this might be the opportunity to do it.
This game comes down to the passing offenses, where both teams rank near the top of the league this year. With Ahmad Bradshaw’s injury, the Giants running game lacks explosiveness. Both Brandon Jacobs and D.J. Ware are averaging 3.0 yards per carry, and the team average of 3.2 ranks dead last in the NFL.
The Saints, on the other hand, rank 31st in rushing yards per carry allowed. So it is a matter of the Giants being successful enough on the ground in this one, particularly in short yardage situation, where New Orleans has struggled (save for that key stop against Atlanta in overtime).
The Giants game plan should be to get to 3rd and shorts with controlled passing and running enough to keep the Saints off balance. Eli will need to take his shots as well, but the Giants cannot afford to go long stretches without the ball.
On the other side, the Saints are where they are, at 7-3, because of the passing game. Brees is one of the hardest quarterbacks to sack, and the Giants will need Jason Pierre-Paul and the rest of the line to generate pressure without excessive blitzing. The Giants defensive performance has been admirable given the amount of injuries early in the year. Rookie Prince Amukamara is back and will likely get tested. The Giants have relatively struggled in covering teams’ other receivers, the slot guys and third receivers. The Saints have a myriad of names that come up from time to time, so look for options like Devery Henderson or Robert Meachem, inconsistent as they may be from game to game, get targeted as Brees looks for the best matchups.
The Giants are a touchdown underdog, and will need to control the line of scrimmage to pull the road win, by getting pressure on Brees even if they don’t sack him, and by taking advantage of the Saints rush defense in the red zone and in short yardage to extend drives.
[photo via Getty]