GAMEDAY !!! It is finally here after watching subpar football the last two Sundays, the Saints return to action on the national stage against the New York Giants. Should be a great game as you will probably hear how this is a homecoming for Eli Manning a hundred times in this broadcast, hopefully the Saints are bad host tonight and give the Giants their third straight loss. Looking forward to the game as the Saints look to keep the ball rolling towards another playoff run and here are five things I will be watching for in tonight's game....
1. What is wrong with the New York Giants?
The Giants a couple of weeks ago had a two game lead in the NFC East but after a couple of losses they have moved in a tie with the Cowboys. In the two losses they have been in both games, but one thing or another have derailed them from being one of the NFC's best teams. I think just from watching the Eagles game last week they missed Ahmad Bradshaw on offense as they have to rely on other guys to step up. The other thing is the Giants defense will keep them in games as they can pressure the quarterback and get some turnovers.
2. Continue the Monday Night Success?
In the 2009 season the Saints seemed like every big game they had that season was on Monday night and in those games the Saints seemed to rise to the occasion. The Saints are 4-0 on Monday night since 200 . I look for the Saints to keep streak going and remember the last time the Saints played the Giants in the dome in 2009 the Saints came off a bye and we know what happened in that one.
3. Will the Saints' defense continue to improve?
The last time the Saints were on the field they were stopping a fourth and short to give the Saints offense some great field position to win it in overtime. I never thought I would ever say or write that the Saints defense stopped a fourth and inches to give the ball back to the offense but it happened and it could be a turning point for this year's defense. This year defense is not going to win the Super Bowl on defense alone but it has gotten better each week allowing the team in general to go far in the playoffs.
4. What did the Saints work on during the bye week?
With the new rules in place for teams coming off bye weeks, the Saints were not able to practice that much. I really don't think they need to work on anything major, maybe just tweaking a couple of things such as finding playmakers other than Graham and Sproles, getting the running game up to par or working some young guys into the rotation on the defensive side.
5. Looking at the NFC where do these two teams stack up?
One team is on the way up and the other is on the way down. After this game the Saints play the Lions and after that the schedule gets a little easier but the Giants on the other hand go to Green Bay next week to try to stay with Dallas in the NFC East race. I look at the Saints as a number two or three seed in the NFC as the Giants would be lucky to make the playoffs with the way they are playing now but it could change week to week.