How will today's game against the New Orleans Saints turn out for the New York Giants? Well, we will know in a few hours. In the meantime, here are today's predictions from your Big Blue View staff. The Giants, incidentally, are 3-point underdogs.
Alex Sinclair (7-0)
I put the Saints in the same category as the Eagles; a mediocre team that matches up in all the wrong ways for the Giants. I think the main problem is Drew Brees. Even in his down years and even when there isn't much talent around him, he still can get things done. He's a little like Eli Manning in that sometimes he tries to do too much and the game collapses around him, but for the most part, Brees is just downright dangerous.
I think both defenses have their issues and the Giants will do enough to hang around in a shootout, but ultimately, I think New Orleans have a slight edge. I hope I'm wrong -- I really do -- but I think the Saints in the Superdome might be a little too much too handle right now.
Final score: Saints 31, Giants 20
Chris Pflum (2-5)
It took me forever to make this pick. On paper the Saints are a bad match-up for the Giants defense, who struggle mightily with quick passes and receiving backs. What's worse, the Giants' pass rush is virtually nonexistent, putting little pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
But I think we should see a better offensive performance with Beckham and Randle healthy again, and against a porous defense. Also, Ayers and Kennard were off the injury report, and Damontre Moore had two sacks in each of the two games before his benching (though the safety against Philly was wiped out by the officials).
What Giants squad will we see down in New Orleans? Ask me again on Monday. But since I have to make a pick, I'm going to say we have a Damonster sighting for Halloween.
Final score: Giants 28, Saints 24
Jesse Bartolis (4-3)
(From Jesse's weekly picks against the spread)
The Giants are gritty, but gritty doesn't hit the passer. The Saints offense should have all day to throw and that could mean big problems for the Giants -- Drew Brees is not Matt Cassel. Also the Giants defense suddenly, can't stop the run and the Saints have a good running attack led by Mark Ingram, but also with the speed and pass catching ability of C.J. Spiller -- the type of player who always gives the Giants problems. The Giants could be in for a long day on defense. I think the Giants are still a little too beat up and the Saints after a poor start are actually playing well. On offense the Giants haven't generated a lot of points on their own all season really as they can't find ways to get Odell Beckham in space, they struggle to run the football consistently, they are poor in the "green-zone" and at times they can't block anyone. Really, it's amazing the Giants continue to be in some of these games. They just don't turn the ball over a whole lot and their special teams are good, but I think Brees is going to pick them apart.
Pick: I hope I'm wrong, but I think this is a bad matchup for the Giants and they lost by more than 3
Mike Gallop (5-2)
The last time the Giants won a game in NOLA, some of the people on this chain weren't born yet. December 20th, 1993 to be exact. The combined score of our last three games in the Superdome is 142-54. I'm thinking Archie's stature as a Saints hero has been doing a number on Eli's confidence. Nevertheless, I think the Giants are a better team than the Saints right now, and I think the Giants can steal a victory in the bayou.
Final score: Giants 28, Saints 24
Keane Macadaeg (4-3)
Odell Beckham believes the offense is about to break out and against this porous defense of the New Orleans Saints, it may just come this week. The offense showed little the past two weeks but they were against taker defensive fronts. If the Giants offense is as playoff caliber as projected, scoring points won't be a problem.
Scoring enough points is a different story as playing the Saints offense in their some will be a tough task for the defense. Though to be fair, the Saints offense doesn't nearly have enough weapons on offense as they had during their peak a few years back. The Giants defense definitely has their weak points but they've yet to allow a complete stinker this season. If they keep up this pace and if the offense performs like they are supposed to, then the Giants should come out on top.
Final score: Giants 27, Saints 24
Stephen Milewski (5-2)
The Giants have had some hard luck the last two times they traveled to New Orleans, losing by an average of 23 points to Drew Brees and the Saints. And the main reason why in those two games was because of the work of Brees, one of the premiere passers in NFL history. While Brees isn't the same player he was several years ago the last few times the Giants played in the Mercedes Benz Superdome, he's still effective and makes the most of the weapons around him, allowing players such as Willie Snead, Brandon Coleman and Michael Hoomanawanui to come out of nowhere and become impact players this season. The Saints have strung together a few weeks of solid play to bring them to 3-4 on the season, when they were struggling just to get their first win against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 4.
As for the Giants, they're coming off a key but unspectacular win against those Cowboys. Orleans Darkwa emerged at running back last week, but it still seems as though New York will play by a committee. In the passing game, Eli Manning hasn't been as much of a gunslinger, but his weapons haven't been consistent either lately.
So that's why I think the passing defense will be the key. Both the Saints and Giants have bottom-five passing defenses in the NFL, and although the Giants had three interceptions last week, the Drew Brees of today is still much better than Matt Cassel. My X-Factor of this game is Landon Collins, the Giants' prized rookie safety. Against the Cowboys, Collins was second on the team with nine total tackles, amassing six solo in arguably his best game as a member of Big Blue. In each win this season, Collins has had six or more tackles and four combined passes defended. However, in New York's three losses, he's defended only one pass. The Giants will need Collins to be active on the field, making key tackles and defending passes, to help slow down the Saints' high-octane passing game on the road, but unfortunately for Big Blue, that's a lot easier said than done. The Saints aren't a great team, but their strengths play into the Giants' weaknesses and their home crowds are always a factor for any opposing team.
Final Score: Saints 24, Giants 20
Valentine's View (4-3)
There is no doubt in my mind that the Giants CAN win this game. The Saints are not the New England Patriots or Green Bay Packers. I have my doubts, though, that the Giants WILL win this game. The Superdome is a difficult place to play and the Giants have not even been competitive in their last two visits there. Sure, the last time they played there was four years ago, but that is the history. Has this Giants team matured enough to win a game in that environment against a hot Saints team? I'm not sure. The recent blowout loss in Philly does not give me confidence that they have.
The other factor, as I wrote earlier this week, is that the Giants are facing Drew Brees. This isn't Tyrod Taylor, Kirk Cousins, Matt Cassel or Colin Kaepernick. This is a bonafide star quarterback. When is the last time the Giants beat one of those?
The Giants should be able to score points against a porous New Orleans defense -- if they can keep the penalties to a minimum and avoid turnovers. Can they stop Brees and the Saints? I just don't know.
Final score: Saints 34, Giants 20
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