TV Schedule: Sunday November 1, 1:00 p.m. ET, FOX
Stadium: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, La.
Line: NO (-3)
The New Orleans Saints (3-4) are looking to extend their winning streak to three to get back to .500 and keep hopes alive for a Wild Card berth, while the New York Giants (4-3) would like to keep themselves in first place of the NFC East. There is plenty to play for on both sides. It’ll certainly be a challenge for the Giants, as the Saints are historically much better and harder to beat at home in the Superdome.
It’s a homecoming game for Eli Manning and multiple other Giants from New Orleans, including Odell Beckham Jr. You have to think those guys will want to come out and show off for their family and friends. The Saints do give the Giants a little bit of a break of playing tough defenses, as New Orleans has given up at least 20 points in every game this season. It could be the medicine the Giants need after a couple of rough games offensively. They have to make a concerted effort to target Beckham more often. Obviously, they can’t force it to him and have turnovers, but it needs to be game planned more to find ways to get him open. Rueben Randle must become more consistent and show what he can do (like that one-handed catch last week) to take some coverage off of OBJ.
As said every week like a broken record, the Giants need to establish and commit to the run as well. It’ll take some heat off the pass rush and also create passing opportunities for OBJ and others. Last week was the Giants’ first game of over 100 rushing yards as a team all season. It’ll be interesting to see if the Giants reward Orleans Darkwa for his fine performance last week. He showed the most explosiveness any Giants running back has hitting the hole all season. We’ve seen enough of Andre Williams for now and Rashad Jennings has had some fumbling issues this season, although he has had some positive looking runs of late too. The Giants should give Darkwa and Shane Vereen a chance to run the committee this week.
The New Orleans pass attack, although down from previous seasons, still is led by Drew Brees so it is always super dangerous. Brees has been bothered by a shoulder injury all season, but he could be in for a monster game against the Giants’ suspect pass defense. Willie Snead and Brandin Cooks will look to take advantage of fill-in starter Jayron Hosley at corner for the Giants. Although the Giants do give up a lot of pass yards, they have grabbed their fair share of interceptions (they are second in the league with 11), so Brees, who already has four this year, will still have to wary out there.
What makes this Saints team much different from the explosive ones of the past is their running game. Mark Ingram has developed into a complete back. The Saints have shown more commitment to the run this season which has take the heat off of Brees. After struggling big time against the run last week, the Giants will look to get back to dominant run defense they showed earlier this year. If they don’t, they could be in for a long day against the Saints.
The deciding factor in this game could simply be the venue. The Saints are just too good at home. It figures to be a close game, however, as neither team is truly dominant. I think the Giants will regain their offensive prowess for this game as the Saints will also find success against the Giants. It will come down to what defensive unit steps up the most. I think the Saints will feed off of their crowd for one big play.
Prediction: Saints 31, Giants 27