At 5-7, the Saints chances of the playoffs look pretty grim. If they can find a way to win today, they could help themselves out by facing two other teams in playoff contention. After today’s game against the Giants they face Tampa Bay and Dallas who are both currently ahead of the Saints in the playoff race. The end the season at home against Carolina which should be an easy victory. They would still need a lot more help, but there is still a slight bit of hope still in New Orleans.
Today though, they have to focus on the opponent at hand. They have had plenty of time to dwell on their loss last Thursday to the Falcons. Drew Brees has likely been practicing harder than he has all year after his worst performance of his career. He will be looking to start a new TD streak after ending his all time long streak last week.
New York has a 7-5 record and barely holding onto the top spot of the NFC East. With Dallas and Washington trailing them by just one game, they desperately need this win almost as much as New Orleans does. If the Giants win this game, their playoff chances take a major hit, especially with Atlanta and Baltimore still on the schedule. They have lost 3 of their last 4, including last Monday Night’s loss to the Redskins. The one team they did beat though was Green Bay, who they absolutely demolished. New York is not a bad team, but they do have their flaws.
Eli Manning isn’t playing nearly as well as expected this year. He has struggled with turnovers and has only thrown 16 touchdowns at this point. Manning has been put into the elite category at QB because of his two Super Bowl rings, but his stats have never really backed him up. While he has performed extremely well in the playoffs, his regular season starts often leave a lot to be desired. The Saints don’t have much of a defense to speak of though, so Manning could be in line for a huge game.
The rushing attack for the Giants is lead by Ahmad Bradshaw. Backup Andre Brown recently broke his leg, so that leaves David Wilson behind him. The talented rookie has been held off the field most of the year. He fumbled in his first career game, and it seems as if Coughlin has never forgave him since.
The defense in New York has been pretty mediocre. They fare about equally well against the pass and the run, but they rank in the bottom half in both categories. The pass rush is always a concern when you play the Giants, so Brees has to be able to get the ball out quick. I think this game could be a close one, and I really believe the Saints could come out with a victory. The key is not falling into an early hole. If the Giants take an early lead, they could end up blowing out the Saints, but if New Orleans can hang tight, they could walk out of Met Life with a victory.