Week 2 Tale Of The Tape: New Orleans Saints At New York Giants

Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints throws the ball during the first half against the Oakland Raiders at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sept. 11, 2016 in New Orleans. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
The Giants' Eli Manning drops back to pass during against the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 11, 2016, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
  • Quarterback
    Drew Brees may be 38 years old, but he did not look like an old quarterback in the Saints Week One effort against the Raiders. While the Saints lost the game by a point on a gutsy call by Oakland head coach Jack Del Rio, Brees threw for 423 yards and four touchdowns, and he did not throw an interception. If he has time, he can pick apart any defense.
    The Giants got off to a sharp start with a win in their opener over the Cowboys, and it was no surprise that the winning points came on an Eli Manning TD pass in the fourth quarter. Manning is capable of lighting up the scoreboard if his offensive line protects him. He should have a very productive season because of his accuracy and ability to fit the ball into tight openings.
  • Offense
    The Saints would like to establish a decent ground game, if only to take a little bit of heat off of Brees and make his life easier. Mark Ingram is certainly capable of running well on the interior and making tacklers miss. Brandin Cooks is an incredible weapon on the outside. He caught a 98-yard TD pass vs. the Raiders in Week One. Willie Snead caught nine passes vs. the Raiders and is quite dangerous.
    The Giants may have the most dangerous crew of receivers in the league, and they are led by the remarkable Odell Beckham Jr. The Giants were thrilled to see Victor Cruz catch the game-winning TD pass against the Cowboys, and rookie Sterling Shepard also caught a TD pass in his first game. Running back Rashad Jennings is not a star, but he is competent.
  • Defense
    The Saints and the Giants were the two worst defensive teams in the league last season, and that was hammered home last year when the two teams met in New Orleans and the Saints emerged with a 52-49 victory. The Saints are hoping that the addition of Nick Fairley and James Laurinaitis will help them improve, but the Week One returns against the Raiders were not good.
    The Giants are also hoping to make some major improvements on defense this year, and their performance in Week One against the Cowboys showed some improvement. The Giants added defensive end Olivier Vernon in the offseason, and if he can hit his stride at defensive end, the New York pass rush should be much better.
  • Special Teams
    The Saints have had some struggles on special teams over the years, and they had a big problem last year in their kickoff and punt coverage. Rookie PK Will Lutz was just 2-of-4 on his FG attempts in Week One, but punter Thomas Morstead has a big leg.
    The Giants were very aggressive on special teams a year ago and that area was one of their strong points. Brad Wing is a fine directional punter and he got off to a sharp start by averaging 51.4 yards per punt in Week One. Dwayne Harris is a dangerous return man.
RESULTS
The Giants showed an improved defense in Week One against the Cowboys. If they can come through at the end of games – something they failed to do last year – they could have a very solid year. They appear to have enough to beat the Saints at home.