Keys to the Game: Giants vs. Saints

The Giants Beat breaks down the keys for Big Blue to escape the Mercedes-Benz Superdome with a win.

This Sunday the Giants will be heading down to New Orleans to face one of their most pivotal road tests of the season. New Orleans is known for being a hostile road environment with a vocal fan base that is relentless on opposing offenses. The Saints have also been on a hot streak, winning three of their last four games after and 0-3 start to the season.

The Giants offense will have to produce more than the touchdown they’ve averaged over the last two games to quiet down the crowd and Steve Spagnuolo and the defense will be matching up against one of the league’s best profiled QBs in Drew Brees. Both Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo and defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo sat down with the Giants Beat to discuss the Giant’s keys to the games.

“We need to be ready to go and handle the chaos,” McAdoo emphasized. “That type of environment is a tough environment to be able to execute there, so we have our work cut out for us.”

The Giants will have to be efficient and string together some long and crowd killing drives, especially utilizing the run the game. The Saints have allowed 4.9 yards per carry to opposing offenses, demonstrating one of the weakest rush defenses in the league. McAdoo doesn’t plan on any one Giants back usurping the majority of the carries during the game.

“I like getting everybody involved and getting their hands on the ball. Different games call for different plans and we’ll have to see how things go this week.”

Usually McAdoo will ride the hot hand, but getting the run game will generate open looks for the Giants dynamic duo of Odell Beckham Jr and Rueben Randle, who both fully practiced together this week for the first time since early in the season. McAdoo commented that OBJ looked extra-explosive in practice this week.

“Today he [Odell] was sticking his foot in the ground, he was coming out of his breaks with some speed and energy and made some nice plays.”

As for the defensive side of things, the Giants are embracing Justin Pierre-Paul back to their organization after a turbulent offseason involving several sustained hand injuries. Spagnuolo doesn’t intend to alter his scheme for the former pro-bowler and expects his action to be limited against the Saints.

It’s hard to throw a guy out there and play 65 plays when you haven’t done anything for a long period of time. We’ll see.”

JPP is just one of the many missing/injured players who have rotated their way in and out of the Giants lineup. The Giants are also welcoming back Robert Ayers from injury this week and the two defensive ends will certainly have to knock off some rust before they play at their full potential again. While Spagnuolo is thankful to have both players back, he knows that the injuries the Giants have endured have been similar to those of the rest of the league.

“Every team around the league has to fight it [injuries] and that’s where you hope you have guys in the room that have taken over for somebody that got hurt. They’ve been in tune to it and they’re ready to step in and take advantage of their opportunity.”

The positive “next-man-up” attitude has created and adamant and hungry defensive depth chart. They may need every man on the roster to keep Brees at bay. While Brees is having a down statistical season, Spagnuolo knows that he still has one of the most dangerous arms in the league.

“I’ve got a great deal of respect for him [Brees]. Great competitor, great competitor. And I don’t really see a tremendous drop off. With the system that they run and how quick he gets it out, he’s so effective that way. It’s going to make it a challenge.”

The defense did an exceptional job last week creating plays and distorting Sam Bradford’s rhythm. While Brees and the Saints offense operate a completely different system, it will be essential for the Giants to orchestrate some pressure and battle through their current injuries. As for the offense, they need to show they can gel as a unit after their two consecutive poor outings.

Both the offense and defense will strive for their goals this Sunday at 1PM at the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans.


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