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Are Saints, Giants as good as they've looked on defense?

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; The subplots are endless for this Sunday’s mega-matchup between the 4-0 Saints and 5-0 New York Giants. You’ve read all about tight end Jeremy Shockey’s feelings about facing his former team for the first time. You’re certainly aware that Eli ...

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Old 10-16-2009, 12:08 PM   #1
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The subplots are endless for this Sunday’s mega-matchup between the 4-0 Saints and 5-0 New York Giants.


You’ve read all about tight end Jeremy Shockey’s feelings about facing his former team for the first time. You’re certainly aware that Eli Manning will be playing in the Superdome for the first time in his return to New Orleans.
It’s a battle between two of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and, statistically, two of the best defenses in the league. It’s almost certainly the last meeting of unbeaten teams this season.


But here’s something you haven’t read. The outcome could be determined by which defense’s flaw in week two was more of a fluke.
Say what?


On Sept. 20, the Giants, who lead the NFL in total defense, surrendered 251 rushing yards in a 33-31 prime time nail-biter against the Dallas Cowboys.


Earlier that day, the Saints, who lead the NFL in interceptions, surrendered 384 passing yards in a 48-22 rout of the Philadelphia Eagles.


Dallas’ rushing total against the Giants was the second most for any team in any game this year, trailing only the 256 San Francisco had against Seattle.


Philadelphia’s passing total against the Saints was the second most for any team in any game this year, trailing only San Diego’s 421 against Baltimore.
Go figure.


The Giants’ inability to stop the run in Dallas almost cost them. The Cowboys averaged 8.7 yards on 29 carries, with Marion Barber gaining 124 on 18 attempts, Felix Jones picking up 96 on seven rushes and wide receiver Patrick Crayton gaining 20 on an end around.


Eight times, Dallas ripped off runs of 10 yards or more, including a 56-yard jaunt from Jones and a 35-yard burst from Barber. The Cowboys scored three rushing touchdowns. The last one put them ahead 31-30 with 3:40 left, forcing the Giants to respond with a drive for a game-winning field goal on the final play.


The Giants played the second half without Pro Bowl defensive end Justin Tuck, who left with a shoulder injury in the second quarter, but his absence did not explain their disintegration. The Cowboys overpowered the Giants from start to finish and should have run more often to reduce the pressure on struggling quarterback Tony Romo.


New York held its other four opponents – Washington, Tampa Bay, Kansas City and Oakland – to 278 yards rushing combined, but the Redskins and Chiefs averaged more than 4.0 yards per attempt. The Giants forced them to abandon their running games by taking big early leads.


New Orleans never was in danger against Philadelphia, but Kevin Kolb put up huge numbers in his first career start. His connected with a wide-open DeSean Jackson for a 71-yard touchdown on his second throw as the Saints busted a coverage. Kolb beat blitzes by finding his hot receivers for first downs repeatedly.


New Orleans won comfortably because it picked off three of Kolb’s passes. Although he threw for 159 of his 391 yards in garbage time during the fourth quarter, he found some holes that a more experienced quarterback (read: Manning) might exploit.


Thanks to free agents free safety Darren Sharper (five interceptions) and cornerback Jabari Greer, the Saints are vastly improved in the secondary, but they have not faced an upper-echelon quarterback yet. Their list of victims includes rookies Matthew Stafford and Mark Sanchez and Buffalo’s struggling Trent Edwards, who all threw for less than 200 yards.


New York has won with dominating defense this year. New Orleans has won with ball-hawking brilliance.


Still, nagging questions persist.


Are the Giants, who also allowed 100 or more rushing yards in their last four regular-season games a year ago, vulnerable against the run?


Are the Saints, whose pass defense has made big play after play through four games, still suspect against a top-notch quarterback?


The answers could go a long way in determining home-field advantage for the playoffs.

Linkback: The Examiner

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Old 10-16-2009, 01:09 PM   #2
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Re: Are Saints, Giants as good as they've looked on defense?

Our running game is up to par with NY. Our Qb is better and our defense is better. The world looks good through rose colored glasses. Earlier in preseason I figured this as a loss...I don't see this as more than just a tough game now. (fingers crossed)
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Old 10-16-2009, 02:39 PM   #3
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Re: Are Saints, Giants as good as they've looked on defense?

Originally Posted by Rugby Saint II View Post
Our running game is up to par with NY. Our Qb is better and our defense is better. The world looks good through rose colored glasses. Earlier in preseason I figured this as a loss...I don't see this as more than just a tough game now. (fingers crossed)
I think it's going to be a better game than the Jets game. The Giants are going to be a HUGE test for the Saints. This game could set the pace, one way or another, for this next part of the season.
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Old 10-16-2009, 03:56 PM   #4
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Re: Are Saints, Giants as good as they've looked on defense?

Everyone is nitpicking these two teams to death.

Bottom line is these two are currently the best two teams in the NFC. Neither team has a huge advantage on either side of the ball. The game is basically a pick 'em and will likely come down to the final seconds.

Again, turnovers will decide this game IMO.
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Old 10-17-2009, 10:00 AM   #5
 
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Re: Are Saints, Giants as good as they've looked on defense?



They are who we think they are, aren't they?
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Old 10-17-2009, 10:48 AM   #6
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Re: Are Saints, Giants as good as they've looked on defense?

Yea... The Giants are who we thought they were.
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Old 10-17-2009, 01:35 PM   #7
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Re: Are Saints, Giants as good as they've looked on defense?

Really is going to be rough going I still say we win this one and we are going to give to Eli as much as Brees has to take. Hey Foreverfan hope this avatar matches from a Halloween sight. Hope it is not over the top as I do not wish to be restricted or banned.
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Old 10-17-2009, 02:43 PM   #8
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Re: Are Saints, Giants as good as they've looked on defense?

Each team has played the weaker teams in the league with the exception maybe of Dallas vs Giants, PHILI vs Saints, They have essentially been practicing for each other for 5 weeks. I hope this game lives up to it's billing will be the best of the year buy a mile. Halo's questions will be answered for sure Sunday afternoon.

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darren sharper, eli manning, guerry smith, jabari greer, jeremy shockey, new orleans saints, new york giants, the examiner

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