New York Giants Defense Will Slow Down The Saints Offense
In week 1, the 200 million dollars the Giants spent on their defense paid immediate dividends. They held Dez Bryant to just one reception for eight yards, and they limited the Cowboys running game to just 3.4 yards per carry.
This week they have the daunting task of trying to stop the high powered Saints offense.
Despite losing last week at home to the Raiders, the Saints offense was in midseason form scoring 34 points and piling up 507 yards of offense.
Last season the Saints offense embarrassed the Giants. Drew Brees passed for 505 yards tied and NFL record by throwing for seven touchdowns in the Saints 52-49 victory. But the Giants feel confident they have what it takes to slow the Saints offense this time around.
For one, the Giants defense is better at all three levels than they were a year ago, especially the front four. Drew Brees will not have the time to stay in the pocket and pick the Giants apart like he did last year. Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul will provide consistent pressure coming off the edge on first and second downs. Then on 3rd downs, they’ll also bring in Owa Odighizuwa as part of the 2016 NASCAR package.
Brees likes to spread the ball around as he did last week completing passes to seven different receivers. But the Giants have four talented cornerbacks in Janoris Jenkins, DRC, Eli Apple, and Leon Hall that can lineup with any of the Saints receivers. Not to mention the Giants safeties have shown great coverage skills and discipline. In the Giants win over the Cowboys last week, the longest pass play the Giants gave up was 21 yards.
The Saints know they won’t have success running the ball against Damon Harrison and Johnathan Hankins in the middle of the Giants defense. So look for the Saints to try to involve their running backs in the pass game like they did last season.
In last year’s game, Saints running backs had eight receptions for 67 yards and one touchdown. The addition of linebackers Keenan Robinson, and Kelvin Sheppard should limit the Saints running backs productivity from last year.
Anytime you go up against an offense lead by Drew Brees, it’s a tough task trying to slow them down. But the Giants are much better equipped to deal with the Saints high powered offense this year than last year. Sunday’s game will be a good indicator on how much better the Giants defense really is.
Jason Leach is an analyst for Pro Football Spot for the New York Giants for @pfspot. Follow him on Twitter @JasonKLeach