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Giants-Saints storylines: There is only one that matters

Can the Giants continue their ascent?

Green Bay Packers v New York Giants Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

Can undrafted rookie free agent quarterback Tommy DeVito and the New York Giants continue their unlikely rise? That is really the only storyline that matters this week for the Giants as they travel to face the favored New Orleans Saints on Sunday at Caesar’s Superdome.

Led by DeVito, the reigning NFC Offensive Player of the Week after leading the Giants to a last-second victory over the Green Bay Packers on Monday night, the resurgent Giants have won three straight games. At 5-8, they are one game back in a cluster of seven teams at 6-7 or 5-8 competing for the final NFC playoff berth.

DeVito downplayed the Player of the Week honor on Wednesday.

“It’s cool, I guess. I don’t know,” he said. “I didn’t really think anything of it. It’s kind of just outside stuff.”

After Monday’s victory over the Packers, head coach Brian Daboll did not want to talk playoffs.

“We’re going to focus on New Orleans,” he said. “We’ve got a short week, so the guys are going to get in early. We’re going to just focus on this week like we always do. It’ll be a tough environment down there.”

The Giants still have a miniscule playoff chance, just 1.5% per Team Rankings. The idea that they are even in the discussion in Week 15, though, would have been unfathomable a month ago.

Here are a few other noteworthy storylines.

Dealing with the attention

DeVito doesn’t seem to be fazed by the crush of attention his story has brought to himself, his family and his agent, Sean Stellato.

Maybe that’s because he grew up in Livingston, N.J. and understands the market he is performing in.

“I know how it is in the area, especially when things took off, especially with the whole Italian stuff. Social media is a crazy place. Things can catch fire real quick. So, that took off, and try to keep going,” DeVito said. “I wouldn’t say anything has really surprised me to this point. Just playing football, that’s it.”

DeVito believes his story is “only unique because I’m from the area.”

None of that means he doesn’t understand that life has changed for him, and his family.

“I appreciate the support from everybody. Obviously, being from a small town, it’s a lot going on in such a small area. But I appreciate everybody,” he said. “I’m just trying to continue to be me. I’m going to let my personality show. That’s it.”

Improving offensive line

The Giants have started the same offensive line — LT Andrew Thomas, LG Justin Pugh, C John Michael Schmitz, RG Ben Bredeson, RT Tyre Phillips — for four consecutive weeks. That is the most continuity they have had on the line all season. DeVito, perhaps not coincidentally, was not sacked Monday vs. Green Bay.

“They’ve improved a ton week in and week out for the past couple weeks,” DeVito said. “They’ve been meeting so much and all the walk throughs and everything. They’ve taken such attention to detail with everything, and I just appreciate everything they’re doing.

“Last week, not this past week, but the week before that, I made their jobs a little harder with some of the sacks, could have helped out with some of them. So, this week really honed in on it, just tried to get that number down as low as possible and I’m going to continue to try to do that moving forward.”

Daboll also pointed to the line’s improvement.

“I think the five of those guys that have been working together have continually improved,” he said. “They’re communicating well. There’re obviously certain things we can all do better, but it’s good to have those five guys out there for consecutive games. All five of them have done a good job.”