CBS2-Header-Logo WFAN 1010WINS WCBS tiny WLNYLogo

TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 14: New Orleans Saints At New York Giants

Saints
Giants
Wild Card Playoffs - Detroit Lions v New Orleans Saints
Super Bowl XLVI
Quarterback
Winner Drew Brees wants to bounce back from his five-interception performance against the Falcons and he may find the Giants secondary to his liking since the Giants rank 22nd against the pass. While the Saints are not going to become a playoff team, there’s no reason to think recent difficult is anything other than a brief slump. He still has a 31-16 TD-interception ratio.
Eli Manning was sharp against the Redskins in Week 13, completing 20-of-33 passes and he appears to have gotten back on track. Manning is not the kind of quarterback who concerns himself with statistical performances; he merely wants to win games. He has two Super Bowl titles to his credit and if he wants to help the Giants get another, this would be the time to push hard on the pedal.
Offense
The Saints are now playing out the string and you wonder if they are going to get a top effort the rest of the way. The Saints spread their running game out among four running backs. Pierre Thomas is capable of overpowering tacklers and is averaging 4.8 yards per carry. Marques Colston, Lance Moore and tight end Jimmy Graham give Brees a cadre of superb receivers.
Winner Despite the Giants’ recent difficulties, they are still the lead dog in the NFC East. Ahmad Bradshaw is having a much better season than he did a year ago and is averaging 4.5 yards per carry. That takes pressure of Manning, who likes to throw the ball downfield to Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks. The Giants offensive line has some injury issues.
Defense
The Saints have been in disarray on defense throughout most of the season. They rank dead last in overall defense and rushing defense. That could be an issue if they get behind against the Giants and New York is able to unleash its rushing attack. Defensive end Cameron Jordan leads the Saints with 7.0 sacks.
Winner The Giants have some injury problems and that’s why they are not playing the way they did a year ago. Start with explosive defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (back), who has 6.5 sacks this season, a far cry from the 16.5 sacks he had a year ago. The Giants’ best defensive player may be linebacker Chase Blackburn who has 69 tackles and 3.0 sacks.
Special Teams
Winner Despite their difficulties this year, the Saints have played fairly well on special teams. They have averaged 5.4 yards more per kickoff return than their opponents. Thomas Morstead is averaging an explosive 50.0 yards per punt, but Garrett Hartley has been ordinary (11-of-14) as a placekicker.
The Giants have one of the best kickers in Lawrence Tynes, who has made 32-of-36 FG attempts this year and he has scored 127 points this season. Tom Coughlin knows that when Tynes trots out on the field, he is going to deliver consistently. Steve Weatherford’s net punting average of 37.7 yards is troubling. Opponents return his punts 11.1 yards per attempt.

We'll Just Call it a Tie

Wild Card Playoffs - Detroit Lions v New Orleans Saints Super Bowl XLVI

The Saints are certainly capable of giving the Giants a scare and throwing the ball all over MetLife Stadium. However, they have a hard time playing consistent football for 60 minutes and it seems likely the Giants are hungrier and will play tougher football in this game.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images) (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: Chicago Bears At New York Jets

    While Jay Cutler lacks consistency, he is capable of taking over any game and carrying the Bears with his strong arm when he gets on a roll.

  2. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: Pittsburgh Steelers At Carolina Panthers

    The Steelers are a veteran team that should understand how to play in a big game, but they appeared unprepared for their Week Two game with the Baltimore Ravens.

  3. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: Kansas City Chiefs At Miami Dolphins

    The Chiefs picked it up quite a bit in losing a 24-17 decision at Denver, and that should be encouraging to Andy Reid and quarterback Alex Smith.

See All Tales of the Tape