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Giants vs. Saints 2016, Week 2: First look at Sunday’s matchup

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Here are 10 things to know heading into Sunday’s home opener

NFL: Oakland Raiders at New Orleans Saints
Willie Snead of the Saints makes a catch vs. Oakland.
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The last four times the New York Giants and New Orleans Saints played each other the winning team scored 48, 49, 52 and 52 points, respectively. That’s the first time in NFL history teams have played four consecutive times with the winner scoring 48 or more points. New Orleans, incidentally, won three of those games.

So, can we expect more offensive fireworks when the two team meet this Sunday at MetLife Stadium in the Giants’ home opener (1 p.m. ET/FOX)?

Let’s take a look at some things to know heading into the game.

  • The Giants are favored — New York opened as 4-point favorites in the betting line. Depending upon what betting service you use, the line has now moved to as much as 5 points.
  • The Saints can still roll up the points — New Orleans still has Drew Brees at quarterback. They scored 34 points in a loss to the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, collecting 507 yards of total offense (419 passing) along the way.
  • The Saints still look bad on defense — Last season the only defense in the NFL worse than New Orleans was the one belonging to the Giants. While the Giants spent more than $200 million in free agency and lots of draft capital to get better, and appear to have done so, the Saints still appear deficient. They surrendered 486 yards and 35 points to the Raiders. The Saints took a 24-13 lead into the fourth quarter, but gave up 22 points.
  • CB Delvin Breaux is out — New Orleans will be without its best cornerback, Delvin Breaux, who fractured a fibula against the Raiders and will be out until around midseason.
  • C.J. Spiller is an ex-Saint — The Saints surprisingly cut running back C.J. Spiller on Tuesday even though it cost them $4.5 million in dead cap money. Spiller gained only 112 yards rushing on 36 carries for New Orleans last year and didn’t play Week 1. He was in the second year of a four-year, $16 million contract.
  • Ereck Flowers will have his hands full — The one impact player the Saints do have on defense is defensive end Cameron Jordan, who had 10 sacks a season ago. Jordan will line up over second-year left tackle Ereck Flowers, providing a stern test for whether or not Flowers has improved in pass protection. If Flowers can control Jordan, Eli Manning should have time to throw. New Orleans got zero sacks and just three hits last week on David Carr.
  • Trying to go 2-0 — The Giants’ victory over the Dallas Cowboys was their first season-opening win since 2010. The Giants have not started a season 2-0 since 2009. Recall that they began that year 5-0 before stumbling to an 8-8 finish and missing the playoffs.
  • Saints’ receivers vs. Giants’ secondary — With Brees at quarterback and a high-scoring offense, it figures that the Saints have some dangerous wide receivers. Brandin Cooks had 84 catches for 1,138 yards a season ago, and six catches against the Raiders. Willie Snead had nine catches in nine targets for 172 yards (19.1 per catch) vs. Oakland. He had 69 receptions for 984 yards a year ago. Rookie Michael Thomas, a second-round pick, had six catches in six targets for 58 yards. The Giants largely used Janoris Jenkins to shadow Dez Bryant on Sunday, but coach Ben McAdoo would not commit to having Jenkins shadow anyone this week. This will be a good challenge for the Giants re-worked secondary.
  • Remember Andrus Peat? When the Giants drafted Flowers ninth overall in 2015, there was some pre-and post-draft debate over whether Andrus Peat, selected 13th overall by the Saints, would have been a better pick as a left tackle prospect. Well, maybe not. Peat started just eight games for the Saints last season, getting shuffled from left tackle to left guard. He is starting at guard for New Orleans this season.
  • Sheldon Rankins is hurt — There were many beating the drum for the Giants to select Louisville defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins with the 10th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. The Giants took Eli Apple and the defensively-needy Saints selected Rankins 12th overall. He is on IR with a broken fibula, though he is expected back at some point during the season.