• Wed. Apr 24th, 2024

Photo Credit:  Bill Haber/Associated Press

 

Following a come from behind 20-19 victory over the Cowboys in week 1, the Giants look to exact revenge on the New Orleans Saints in their home opener.  In week 8 of last season the Giants lost 52-49 as Saints kicker Kai Forbath kicked a 50 yard field goal as the clock ran out.  Eli Manning passed for a career high 6 touchdowns in the loss.  The Giants defense failed them throughout, giving up 600 total yards of offense, including 7 passing touchdowns by Drew Brees.

Here are four things that should lead to a different outcome for the Giants.

The Defensive Line winning at the line of scrimmage

The Giants defensive line may not have recorded any sacks against Dak Prescott and the Cowboys in week 1 but they did more than hold their own against the superb Cowboys offensive line.  Ezekiel Elliott and Alfred Morris combined for a total of 86 yards rushing and the longest play that occurred was a 21 yard pass completion.  They were not dominant but it was strong start and they’ll need to find a way to disrupt Drew Brees’ rhythm early and throw him off his game.  Even if they’re not able to record a sack in the first half, it’s important that he’s hurried and that guys like Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre Paul get up close and personal with the future hall of famer.  The Giants should be able to generate pressure against the Saints’ offensive line.  Pierre Paul sat out Thursday’s practice with a sore shoulder but his presence will be needed as the Giants look to contain a dynamic offense spearheaded by Drew Brees.

 

Offensive line prowess

The Giants offensive line allowed for a balanced attack in the opener, including 113 rushing yards (Rashad Jennings 75 yds, Shane Vereen 38 yds ).  Establishing the running game will put even more pressure on the Saints defense as they’re young secondary try and keep the reins on the Giants receiving corps.  The one Saints defense lineman that they need to keep their eye on is defensive end Cameron Jordan.  Jordan had 10 sacks in his 2015 campaign and he’ll be matched up with left tackle Ereck Flowers.  Flowers will have his work cut out for him.  This is definitely a good test to see where Flowers is in terms of his development as a pass protector.  The Giants need another good effort from the offensive line to allow Eli to have time in the pocket and create space for Jennings and Vereen.

 

A strong running game  

In the season opener the Giants split the workload between Rashad Jennings and Shane Vereen ( 18 and 6 Carries respectively ).  The team may have finally abandoned their running back by committee strategy from last season which is a good sign.  Jennings is more than capable of being the workhorse and getting the lion’s share of the carries with Vereen as the third down option.  Vereen was an effective runner and pass catcher against the Cowboys and his versatility should be utilized again versus the Saints.  Look for Jennings to have another strong game, rush for more than 100 yards, and score his first touchdown against a weak Saints defense.

 

Odell Beckham Jr. has a big game 

The Saints will be without their best cornerback, Delvin Breaux who broke his fibula against the Raiders.  Without Breaux, the Saints will be relying on an unknown bunch of cornerbacks including De’Vante Harris, Ken Crawley and P.J. Williams to contain Beckham and the Giants receiving corps.  Beckham had a seemingly quiet day against the Cowboys, catching 4 passes for 73 yards, including a 45 yard reception down the left sideline.  The explosive playmaker should be targeted frequently on Sunday afternoon and exploit the inexperienced Saints secondary.  Beckham should top 100 yards receiving and catch a pair of touchdowns against a secondary that will have their hands full with Beckham, Sterling Shepard, and Victor Cruz.

 

Prediction :   New York Giants 35 – New Orleans Saints 28

 

 

Dan Evans is a Contributing Writer for PureSportsNY    You can follow him on Twitter @DanEvansPSNY

By Vernon McKenzie

Graduate of New Institute Of Technology with a BA in Communications with a focus on Television Radio. Owner and Executive Producer of PureSportsNY

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