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Giants Saints Preview. Giants Roundtable week 6

How bad was the Giants Raiders game last week?

We’ll in many markets the Giants-Raiders game was replaced at halftime by the Lions and Steelers.  The Giants-Raiders replaced by another game that a team had no chance to win…that’s how bad the Raiders were in the game.

That should not be the case this weekend when the New York Giants travel to New Orleans to take on the undefeated New Orleans Saints, who under Greg Williams guidance (same Greg Williams who made the Buffalo Bills a top five defense after the Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Bruce Smith era) has become one of the most capitalizing defenses in the league.

These new look  Saints like to pressure the QB, create turnovers and turn those turnovers into points with their potent offense.

They take on the Giants, one of the most winning franchises in the sport over the last four years, and a team that has gone 18-3 in it’s last 21 Road games.

 

This should be an exciting game. Let’s get started with Andrew, Jeremey, and Mark

Of course of most interest to me is this:

is it possible ot have a hotter girlfriend than Kim Kardashian?
 There are so many options but I could name a few, Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel…….tons of options, but Kim is no slouch either.

And the answer to that is no, no it’s not. See Picture above.

One of the biggest talk about towns right now is who should be the starter for the Giants moving forward. I asked the particpants.

Moving forward: Bradshaw or Jacobs in the starting lineup?
  I wrote about this earlier, but I believe Jacobs should be the starter. He’s the table setter. He wears down the defense, and that helps Bradshaw exploit a tired defense. Jacobs will get going. I think right now it’s not an issue because Bradshaw is playing great. When Jacobs gets going, Bradshaw will be even more dangerous

Jacobs for sure, he still pounds on the opposing offense and softens them up for Bradshaw

You know I’m at the point of frustration with this debate concerning the order of play… because WHO CARES who gets on the field for the first snap of the game? It really doesn’t matter in the end — it’s team football. Gestalt principle. People want to stir up drama, but in this case there really isn’t an issue due to the nature of the Giants offense.

Take a NY Yankee analogy, it wouldn’t be like benching Jorge Posada because Francisco Cervelli is on a hot streak.  With these two talented Giants RB’s – they each play their role and are doing well in that system.  The tandem running attack that the Giants are having success with the past few years works, so creating some kind of conflict is not in the teams best interests right now.  Jacobs is a team leader, and perhaps simply for that reason he should continue starting the game.

Now that said, I will tell you that Ahmad Bradshaw has been my favorite player since he came on, especially after the Buffalo game in 2007.  My family will gladly corroborate that fact. I have been clamoring for more involvement from #44 for years. So on Sunday I did like to see Bradshaw get some early action in the game even though it was at the expense of Jacobs who left with a slight injury in the first quarter…. and teams like the Cowboys who mix it up with their personnel in the backfield from snap to snap really gives the defense pause. It continues the element of surprise and showcases the depth of your team, YOU the defender have no clue what we’re about to do with the football. I like that kind of play calling rooted in subtle deception, it’s more fun to watch and I think it breathes life into the offense when you mix things up like that. These constraints of 1) Jacobs plays the first and third quarter, and 2) Bradshaw plays the second and fourth…. who is that really working for? Is it just that it looks neat and tidy on the game plan?  Please…. I’ll take the unpredictability and mixing it up while you score at will any day of the week over a completely static game plan.

So, Jacobs getting the start and setting the tone of the game in a huge, physical manner with some pounding away at the line of scrimmage, getting into the red zone — it works well for the Giants and it works for me too. Bradshaw then getting his opportunities earlier in the game is perhaps what needs to change, before the second quarter. But I don’t see it as a question of who’s on the field for the very first snap.

 

There is clearly a consesnus here that the New York Giants should have Brandon Jacobs as the starting running back moving froward. And I couldn’t agree more. You know, Bill Parcells has always believes it’s more about the Number of carries a team is able to run more so than it is the yards per carry. The more an offense runs the longer the team’s defense is off the field the more productive the defense can be when they get back on the field. Jacobs continues to chip away at a team and Bradshaw has done a fantastic job of exploiting weaknesses when he’s in, but Jacobs is still the starter in my mind.

With that issue out of the way I’m going to propose another question for the whole panel.

Who would you Rather have Drew Brees or Eli Manning?

I think Drew Brees is a great QB and is playing unbelievable football the last couple of years. But Eli Manning has weathered the storm in NY, went through his growing pains and has gotten much much better over the years – he has cemented himself as a team leader and is a fantastic face for the NY Giants franchise. A great role model for kids, works extremely hard, comes from good stock – see where I’m going with this? Eli Manning is our guy.

Manning, he has the pedigree and the hardware.  He is really becoming an outstanding NFL quarterback

Tough one. Brees is going to put up bigger numbers. But Eli has a ring on his finger. I think if you’re going from a pure skill standpoint, it’s Brees. Brees is an unbelievably talented quarterback. Eli is talented, but he’s more of a game manager. Brees wins games. But again, he doesn’t have the ring. A really tough one. 

Right now the panel is 2-0 to Manning and 1 for waffling. I’ll chalk up three on Eli.

For the Giants, Eli is the perfect Quarterback.

New York is perhaps the biggest Media Market in the World.  And it takes a certain kind of man to be able to play in New York. Could Big Ben? Maybe. The Steelers are a loyal fan base win or lose. Could Phillip Rivers? Maybe. If you’re a Chargers fan and they struggle it sucks, but you know what you just go to the beach and enjoy the weather. New York is different.

And I KNOW Eli can handle the NY town with his high expectations and tremendous pressure. Drew Brees is a very good QB and maybe on a different team I’d choose Brees, but as far as the Giants, I’d rather have Eli.

So let’s move on from there.

There are plenty of story lines in this game. Eli’s return to New Orleans and his first time in the Superdome. Two undefeated teams battling out. Could this be for home field advantage. Jeremey Shockey vs the team that “spited him” yadda yadda.  Saints offense vs Giants defense, but to me the key to the game comes down to this can the Giants offense score enough points on the Saints defense and hold the ball long enough to neutralize the Saints offense.

With that in mind I asked, Andrew:

The Saints are #7 in the league in rush yards allowed per game from the defene can the Giants run on the Saints?”
 
Assuming things don’t get overly conservative I don’t see how the Giants running game can be stopped quite honestly. If Kevin Gilbride continues to mix it up like he has been doing and Bradshaw gets in the game early like last week – and he and Jacobs split the snaps up by play call and not by the clock… they will do well. If they stay creative and aggressive, they will run all over the Saints. And by extension, if they utilize short passes to the RB’s like they have been hinting at it will be an exhausting day for the Saints defense.

Let’s hope so. And let’s hope that Brandon Jacobs has a big game so people can stop worrying about what’s going on. Jacobs should be fine. I think if the Giants can hold the ball for a long time this game, keep the Saints defense on the field and tire them out the Giants can win this game, and perhaps by 10-14 points. I don’t think the Saints defense has anywhere NEAR the depth that the Giants defense has, especially in the front seven.

Something that I have been very interested in is that the New Orleans Saints get to come into this came after having  a bye week off (although there are people who would argue that the Giants had a bye-week last week as well) and get two weeks with Sean Payton’s creativity to prepare for the Giants. I asked Fuchs:

What kind of affect will the bye week have for the Saints, who get a whole extra week to prepare for the Giants?
  I think it has both negative and positive effects. I think sometimes you can over analyze your opponent. But, they get a chance to rest, get healthy, and focus on the Giants. I don’t see it having a huge effect on the game.

I saw a statistic that the Saints were actually pretty bad off a bye week (with Sean Payton at the helm), so I’m not sure. I don’t know if they played tough teams or whatever the circumstances were, I think there will be one big play though that the Saints pull out of their hat becuase of the extra week of preperation.

Even though the Giants have been injury riddled in the secondary they still hold the number one ranking in the league. The Saints have a great pass offense. Who wins this battle? I turned to Mark:

The Giants have the #1 secondary in the league (statistically) do they have enough to slow down the high powered Saints offense?
 I think so, the stats can be misleading but with the front seven of the Giants it makes life alot easier back there.  I feel the Giants will generate enough pressure to hassle Brees into some mistakes.

 I think Corey Webster is great, I think Terrell Thomas is emerging Kevin Dockery is solid. I’m worried about C.C. Brown. Brown has played well so far this season, but pass coverage is not considered his strength and vs a good defense I don’t know if he’ll get sucked in by the play action. That worries me a bit.

We’ll have to wait and see.

Furthering my point is Andrew:

Corey Webster has absolutely Manhandled opposing #1 WR’s this year…can he manhandle Marques Colston who is a WR in a TE’s body?
 
We’ll see. But the Giants secondary has been successful this year because they play heads up coverage and swarm to tackle the threatening guys, tight ends and so forth. All Webster really has to do is make it hard for Brees to connect, help will be there on the tackle.

I think the Giants do fly to the ball and he’s onto something there. I wanted to know what Jeremey’s idea was for overall effective defensive game plan.

What would you do to keep the Saints out of the Endzone with your defense?
  Blitz, blitz and blitz some more. The key is making Brees uncomfortable. And that doesn’t mean sacks. It means pressure. It means getting in Brees’ face, and making him make bad decisions. I think the Webster can contain Marques Colston. If the Giants can then stop the secondary receivers, they can keep them out of the end zone. Don’t let Brees beat you. 

When the Eagles played the Saints they blitzed 14 times. Drew Brees hit 13 of those passes. Bill Sheridan has said (and shown so far this season) that he likes to rely a little more on the front four getting pressure than Spags did and I think the Giants will blitz less than the Eagles did and be effective in coverage.

A player I’m worried about missing for this game is Michael Boley who has looked great so far this season. I’m afraid of Reggie Bush for this game so I asked Mark about what he thinks Reggie Bush’s impact will be in this game.

Do the Giants have the team speed to Handle Reggie Bush?
  I hope so, Reggie Bush is overrated. 

Reggie Bush is not a great Running back, but he IS a GREAT receiving Running back, the Giants haven’t fared well with players like that (Westrbook, Felix Jones) at times. Hopefully the Giants find a way to contain Reggie Bush this weekend.

I asked Andrew

What’s your game plan on offense to face the Siants defense….

Never do the same thing twice. Keep everything spread out, create confusion with fakes, motion, lots of assortment. The worst thing that can happen is the Giants getting too conservative with this New Orleans team… even if the Giants get out to a lead. The Saints are going to mix it up all day on the Giants so I think the best strategy is to match the level of intensity and creativity you are going to be faced with, and rely on a very physical defense to contain the score the other way. Eli always plays well in Domes, so I think this game is the Giants to lose — they are the more complete team with the most options with the better defense and they are incredibly disciplined and focused and know how to win on the road.

I for one thing That is the key matchup of the week. Giants offense vs Saints defense. I think the Giants defense and Saints offense are great, so this is the other side of the coin. Not strength vs strength but “weakness vs weakness” (although both units have been impressive early this season).

Part of that Saints defensive unit is Will Smith and Charles Grant who have combined for 7 of the team’s 10 sacks in their four games this season.

Through 4 games the Saints have 10 sacks on defense…can the Giants handle the Saints very speedy outside pass rushers Will smith and Charles Grant?
 
Yes, they can. They’ve done a great job against speed rushers all year long, and I see no reason for that to stop.

I agree. I also think that if the Giants can run on the Saints, or not get far behind like other teams have than the Giants will be in a position where the Saints won’t get to pin their ears back and rush these guys all game.

There are two players this week on the Saints who were on the Giants recently playing this weekend. Jeremey Shockey is well documented the other…is John Carney!

I asked Fuchs and Andrew about these players respectively.

Shockey vs the Giants….does he have a big game?
I think he will, actually. Michael Boley is out, and you know Shockey wants to enact revenge. I don’t think he will affect the outcome, but he could have a big game. Definite fantasy starter.  

excited to see John Carney this weekend?

Not really. You know I don’t forget his missed field goals against the Eagles last year — chances are that if those counted the Giants contain that game for a win.  It’s one of the facets that everyone glosses over from that loss, everyone blames Plax and Eli, then the running, then the defense wearing down…. while all those certainly contributed the most immediate opportunities to win that game were literally missed by Carney. At least Tynes made the kicks in 2007 that counted.

The Giants two biggest defensive weaknesses the past couple of years have been plays by Tight Ends and speedy running backs out of the backfield. The Saints have both of those elements. We’ll see what happens.

I sure wish Michael Boley was playing in this game.

Something analysts have been harping on all week is the loudness of the Saints building.

The Saints Superdome might be the loudest stadium in the league…will the Giants be able to overcome that?
The Giants are road warriors, I don’t think anything bothers them anymore.  I am a believer after the string of road victories the Giants went on

 I asked the panel for any more additional information before I got to the predictions for the game.

anything else to add…..This is the first real  test for the Giants, outside of the Cowboys. If the Giants win, it’s huge. If they lose, it’s not the end of the world. 5-1 is still pretty nice. It should be a great game

Yeah…. All week I’ve been listening to the radio down here in Virginia and nobody thinks the Giants are going to win. It’s Brees Brees Brees as usual. I think people all over the country and the sports media are going to realize how good this Giants team is on Sunday regardless of who they played the last 5 weeks.

Phil Simms of all people picked the Cowboys and now the Saints to beat the Gmen — shame on him.

How familiar does this sound to you? The Giants pull out another impressive win on the road to everyone’s surprise, again… everyone but Giants fans that is.
It’s going to be the game of the week and for one I am excited to see the Giants play a good team.

Let’s get to the predictions.

Final prediction for the Giants-Saints game?
It’s going to be a close one, I believe the Saints are 0-3 with Payton after a bye.  Giants 24 Saints 20

27 – 20 Giants

This is the first big test for the Giants. New Orleans is a tremendous offensive team, and their defense is better than people thought it would be. The Giants have to get Jacobs going for this game, and they can’t make a mistake. This could be a preview of the NFC Championship game. I hate to do this, but I think the Saints are a little better, their offense a little more explosive. Final score: Saints 28, Giants 24

You know I intially liked the Saints in this game…until I saw that the Giants were three point underdogs in Vegas in the game and that nearly everyone else around had picked the Saints to win this game. Phil Simms, Mark Schlereth, Mike Greenberg, at least half the panel on “Thsi week in football” a Jets and Giants show and on and on and on.

The Giants thrive in these kind of conditions, again they are 18-3 in their last 21 road games.

That includes a long list of games agianst great teams: like the Steelers last year the three playoff games before the Superbowl (not sure that counts into the record.  and on and on and on.  People are doubting the Giants, people are doubting Brandon Jacobs, people are questioning the Giants defense and I just see the Giants playing well this game.

Last year the Saints were prone to turnovers the Giants weren’t. I could see the Giants forcing some turnovers and protecting the ball well.

And even though this game scares me, I think the Giants win on the road 24-21


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7 Responses to “Giants Saints Preview. Giants Roundtable week 6”

  1. […] Read more:  Giants Saints Preview. Giants Roundtable week 6 […]

  2. Jason C. says:

    Brees isn’t even in the same class as Eli Manning, and I’m tired of people putting him up in the top 3 QB debate with Peyton and Brady. He can roll outside and throw a decent ball, and he can spot an open receiver, outside of that, he does nothing that well, most people hype him because you see his numbers, but watching the Jets game, his numbers are based on the fact that he clearly will never throw a ball unless his receiver is wide open, and against the Giants, I hope this trend continues, as #91, 72, 94, etc. will be all over him before his vertically challenged ass could do anything about it.
    If you’re going to compare Brees to any Manning, it should be Archie, a good QB but he never really made his mark, until he planted the seed, maybe Brees has good loins on him, but his talents are meek compared to Peyton or Eli.

  3. William says:

    Brees will make believers out of the Giants this weekend. But so will the Saints running game and defense. Eli Manning is not in the same class as Brees. Do you think the injury depleted Giants secondary will be able to contain the Saints passing attack? NO WAY! The Saints will win this game.

  4. Mike says:

    Everyone was talking about how great the Jets Defense was before the Saints played them. Its going to be a close game, but I think the G-Men will be surprised by the level of play of the Saints D and their running game. Everyone keeps talking about Brees vs. Manning but there really is no comparison. It goes beyond the numbers to experience and good decision making under pressure. For Brees to put up the numbers he has at both San Diego and then New Orleans, two previously unimpressive teams speaks volumes. No player has single handedly changed the fate of a franchise as much as Brees has. Does anyone think that the Saints would have made the NFC championship game in 2006 without Brees? I rest my case.

    • Mike-

      Im’ not sure I follow.

      Everone talked about the Jets defense and the Jets held the Saints to 10 offensvie points with Brees throwing for Zero touchdowns. The Saitns won because they forced 4 Turnovers, not because they beat the Jets defense.

      Second.

      When Eli Manning took over for the Giants they were a 4-12 team.

      Since 2005, his first year as a full time starter the Giants have not had One losing season.

      Have been to the playoffs four straight years, won a superbowl.

      have gone 18-3 on the raod in their last 21 games.

      And have had a defense in the top ten in the league one year (last year).

      Drew Brees gets to play in San Diego, a system and weather conditions very conducive to throwing, and then plays in New Orleans where he can also accumulate stats becaue of the system and the dome (Eli is 8-1 all time in domes by the way). Eli plays in meadowlands (hard to throw a ball most days, impossible late in the season) in a tougher division, in a system that runs more.

      I rest my case.

  5. andrew ilnicki says:

    Even thought the Saints need no introduction…. Eli Manning and the Giants have as much going for them as the Saints do.

    Face facts — the Saints are a good team but this is the Giants game to lose. It’s close until you take into consideration the Defensive aspects — the Giants have the #1 defense in the NFL for a reason, theyre damn good.

  6. […] of course feel free to check out our Giants-Saints game preview here Pick any NFL roster and look closely at it. Chances are that you will find teammates who were on […]

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