It is a primetime Monday night game as the Saints welcome in the New York Giants. The Saints are coming off of their bye and it was much needed as it came in at a perfect time. New York on the other hand is coming in with two straight losses after having a lead in the NFC East but now are tied with Dallas. Looking forward to this matchup as it could be a playoff matchup down the road. It is also good to get the Saints back for the fans as it has been a pretty boring week of watching other teams play. I look for the Saints to come out in this game and cement their spot as a contender to make a long playoff run.
The Special Teams for the Giants are not newsworthy but they get the job done. They have a solid kicker in Lawrence Tynes as well as a former Saint in punter Steve Weatherford. The return team is filled with a bunch of guys who are there just to catch the ball and not do anything to lose the game, I mean would you want to return and do something stupid with Tom Coughlin as your coach? It’s staple on defense is the defensive line as they will make things difficult for any quarterback in the league. They are quick at the defensive ends and stout in the middle as they rotate throughout the game remaining fresh as the game wears on. The linebacker core will be without one starter in Michael Boley but without him this unit is still a good one. They have put Mathias Kiwanuka at outside linebacker giving them another weapon coming off the end to attack the passing game. The one group that looked promising in the offseason was the secondary as they had some much need depth but at the end of the preseason the Giants had three guys on injury reserve taking a hit in the depth department. It has been a uphill battle but as the season has worn on the Giants’ secondary has played better than expected but it still faces a tough test in stopping the Saints passing attack.
How to take advantage?
The Giants will gear up to stop the passing game as they will deploy pressure on Drew and the offensive line. So it seems to me the way to offset the pressure will be to get rid of the ball quickly and to run at the pressure with the Saints stable of backs as healthy as they have been all season. Looking up and down the roster I don’t really see anybody that can cover Jeremy Graham, maybe Antrel Rolle could do it but that would open up the passing game for other Saints receivers. I just don’t see how the Giants will stop the Saints as the Saints will have an answer for what ever the Giants present especially as the Saints have had a extra week to gameplan for the Giants.
It is a offense that has a quarterback that can win games but they want to wear teams down with their running game. Eli Manning might not be everybody pick as the quarterback to build a franchise around but he does have a Super Bowl ring on his resume. Eli is a solid quarterback but has often not had the playmakers to be considered an elite quarterback. The running game will be a man short as Ahmad Bradshaw will be out for this game, so they will use a two man team of Brandon Jacobs and D. J. Ware to get the running game on track. It has a good receiving core as they may have found a star in the making in Victor Cruz as he started the year fourth on the depth chart. As injures have mounted up this year he has gotten a lot of looks from Eli making him the top wideout in the Giants offense. The offensive line has been adequate so far as they have not really allowed that many sacks to Eli but heading into this game they will have their fourth different line rotation as injures continue to mount. This is a good unit one that will try get the running game going to help set up the passing game.
How to take advantage?
The last ten passes the Saints faced against the Falcons it seemed like they hit the slot receiver for big gains. It might not have been that extreme but it felt like it as Harry Douglas got big gains against the secondary. Let’s hope the Saints cleaned that up over the break as it could be a problem facing the Giants. I think the way to stop the Giants offense is two ways: first stop the ground game and second put pressure on Eli making it hard for the offense to get going. It will be hard sledding for the Giants offense as the Superdome will be rocking as the fans have waited two weeks for this game.