The New Orleans Saints will play against the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants at MetLife stadium on Sunday. The game figures to be a tough one for both teams and it is essentially a must-win for each team. The Saints are 5-7 and hanging on by a thread for a chance to make the playoffs. The Giants are 7-5 and, while they lead the NFC East, now the other teams in their division are on their heels and they cannot afford to drop any games down the stretch.
Last season when the two teams met up, the Saints beat down the Giants with a final score of 49-24. The Saints would love to have a repeat of last season’s game, but something tells me things will be a little different this time around. The Giants do not want a repeat of last season and are trying to put last season’s game in the back of their minds. This time around, I think the game will be much closer.
I think these two teams match up very well and it could be a game that comes down to the wire. Each team will rely heavily on their star quarterback, but there are plenty of other factors that will determine the outcome of this game.
Saints X Factor: The Saints x factor this week will be their defense, specifically their fourth quarter defense. Depending on how the game pans out, the Saints’ defense will be huge in the fourth quarter and could determine the outcome of the game. The Saints do not want to keep the game close and especially do not want to give Eli Manning a chance if the game is close in the fourth quarter. Manning is the king of the two-minute drill and late-quarter comebacks. The defense needs to slow the Giants’ offense down and get the ball in the hands of Drew Brees as often as possible.
Giants X Factor: The Giants’ x factor this week will be running back Ahmad Bradshaw. With running back Andre Brown officially done for the season, it will be up to Bradshaw to carry the load in the ground game. Bradshaw is fully expected to play coming off of an ankle injury and he could be huge for the Giants. He could run all over the Saints’ 32nd ranked rush defense and could really take some pressure off of Manning. Furthermore, the Giants would like to establish the ground game as it will open up the passing game for Manning and his receivers. If Bradshaw comes back strong, he could have a huge game for the Giants.
How the Saints can win this game: The Saints will win this game if they stick to the formula that has won them all of their games this season. The Saints need to run a balanced offense and the improving defense will need to show up this week. I would look for Brees to throw it just as often as he usually does and I do not expect another turnover heavy performance from him either. However, the Saints will need to establish the run and open things up for Brees. The Saints have been successful when they have been able to run the ball, so they need to carry the ball just as often as they throw it. If the Saints play with the same balance that won them five games so far this season, they will definitely get win number six.
How the Giants can win this game: The Giants can win this game if they can get Bradshaw going. I don’t know why, but I feel like Bradshaw will be the key for the Giants in this game and the rushing attack will make the difference. Of course, wide receiver Victor Cruz is always a threat and should be able to attack the Saints’ secondary. However, if the Giants can run the ball it will make the Saints’ defense work harder and could tire them out as well. The Giants will win this game with their trio of stars, Manning, Cruz and Bradshaw.
Final Prediction: This game is a must-win for both teams, so there is no room for error. The Saints have proven that they can beat the Giants, but I think this time around the Giants might pull this one out. The Giants are the defending champs, they are playing at home and I just don’t see how they can drop a home game this late into the season. I still think the game will be very close, but ultimately the Giants will come away with a win. Giants win 29-21.