The Giants are coming off a tough loss against the Redskins and things don’t get easier this week with against the Saints. New Orleans has struggled this season without head coach Sean Payton, but they still have Drew Brees and an explosive offense.
The Giants really need to get a win and assert themselves atop the NFC East again.
3 things to watch for …
1. Which skid ends first?
Big Blue has been left black and blue in this series recently — losing the last three contests — with the last meeting being a 49-24 beating during the 2011-12 season. But that game was played in the cozy, climate-controlled environment of the Saints’ Superdome, so the Giants must be itching to finally get Drew Brees and Co. inside the open-roofed MetLife Stadium where the swirling winds have played games with the best of quarterbacks. The Saints have been awful in New Jersey, owning a 4-12 record in the series. But this is their maiden venture into the new stadium, so they certainly hope to turn around their fortunes as well.
2. Which desperate team rallies?
Both teams’ playoff hopes are basically on the brink for different reasons — with the Saints’ situation being critical. New Orleans (5-7) can’t afford to lose any more games this season, after turning around their season following a dreadful 0-4 start. But if they lose another game, that basically ends their postseason aspirations. The Giants’ (7-5) situation isn’t as dire, but with the Redskins (6-6) on their heels and New York’s brutal remaining schedule (Falcons, Ravens and Eagles), Big Blue needs to win this game to stay in full control of the NFC East. The most desperate team usually wins, but if both are on the edge, it makes for a fascinating matchup.
3. Elite offenses on display
There certainly shouldn’t be any more dispute about Eli Manning’s elite status, as he’s played his way into the rarefied air Brees has been in for years. Despite the Giants’ recent plights against the Saints, the blame can’t be placed at Manning’s feet. Even when the Saints were blowing out the Giants in that 49-24 win on Nov. 28, 2011, Manning was brilliant in going 33-of-47 for 406 yards and two touchdowns. Brees has equally destroyed the Giants’ secondary and will look to continue that trend as well. Brees looks to start a new consecutive touchdown passing streak since his old mark ended last week at 54 games.
Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.