A massive NFC clash kicks off late Sunday afternoon featuring two of the NFL’s premier quarterbacks. Drew Brees and his struggling New Orleans Saints will travel to the Meadowlands to take on Eli Manning and his New York Giants.
The Giants are coming off a disappointing loss lost week at the Redskins, a game that was there for the taking. Now they’ll need to re-focus quickly in order to avoid a letdown against a Saints team that can create havoc. New York enters with a mediocre 7-5 record by their standards and need to win this game to solidify a playoff position. The Giants have been prone to poor performances on their home soil, but going against the NFL’s worst defense should cure some of the ails currently plaguing New York’s stagnant attack. Hakeem Nicks enters this game with a questionable status, and that’d be a big loss if he can’t suit up. Safety Kenny Phillips is doubtful as well.
For the Saints it’s really been a disappointing 2012 campaign. They’ve struggled dealing with the ramifications of “Bounty Gate” and their play has been wildly inconsistent at times. The Saints’ defense remains historically bad, and though it’s shown some signs of improvement in recent weeks, it should prove no match for an angry Giants side. New Orleans had built some momentum after their horrid start, but it’s quickly evapourated after a pair of tough back-to-back losses. The Saints enter this clash with a 5-7 record with virtually no shot left at playoff contention. All that is left is to play for pride, and whether that will be up motivation to derail the Giants, remains to be seen. On the injury front, there isn’t much to report. The Saints are pretty healthy, making their dismal season still a tad surprising.
Saints vs. Giants Betting Odds:
New Orleans Saints +4.5 (-110)
@ New York Giants -4.5 (-110)
Over 53 (-110)
Under 53 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
Saints vs. Giants Pick:
Though the Giants have historically been quite the poor home team, covering only 40% of their last contests at the Meadowlands in their past fourteen years, they need an immense performance in this game and they should get it. The Saints can score at will, but they’ll have no shot at limiting the effectiveness of an irritated Giants offense. New York hasn’t produced how they should lately, and a meeting against the league’s most pathetic defense should cure what ails them.
The Saints are completely inadequate at stopping the run, and that will continue on Sunday. They’re dead last in this category, allowing a mind-boggling 5.14 yards per carry. Ahmad Bradshaw will absolutely gash their porous front-seven with ease, as will David Wilson as a change-of-pace back. Add in the fact that the Saints have no pass rush to speak of, and Manning should be able to find his groove and dissect a vulnerable Saints’ secondary with relative ease.
Though the Giants defense hasn’t been all that stellar in recent weeks, their defensive line, and pass-rush in particular, can disturb Brees in the backfield. The Saints have had some blocking issues of late, and the likes of Jason Pierre-Paul and Osi Umenyiora can wreak havoc on the New Orleans’ offensive line.
Expect a high-scoring game with both defenses looking sub-par. Ultimately, the Giants effective run game will lead to an aerial assault from Manning en route to a decisive victory. If the game is close near the end, look for the Giants’ defense to get stops when needed. New York is a better team than they’ve shown thus far in 2012, and as they do every single season, it looks like they’re just rounding into form. It’s time for the annual playoff push in New York, and look for the Giants to realize that with a big performance on Sunday afternoon.
PICK = Giants -4.5 (-110)