After churning out their first win of the season last weekend against the Houston Texans, the task for the New York Giants doesn’t get any easier on Sunday.
Led by Drew Brees, the New Orleans Saints and their explosive offense will come flying into MetLife Stadium fresh off a 43-point effort in Week 3 against the Falcons. This will be a tall order for a Giants defense that looks improved from a year ago, but still is working out the kinks under new defensive coordinator James Bettcher.
Talk about a measuring stick game for the defense. Fourth in total offense (428 yards per game), the Saints are second in the league through three games, averaging 34.7 points per game.
Head coach Pat Shurmur doesn’t expect a shootout and isn’t planning for one. But he knows his defense is going up against a Saints unit that is clicking on all cylinders right now. And that means his offense will need to step up in a major way as well.
“We’ve got to play the game like we play it, and it’s important that we get big plays, but it’s also important that we move the ball and score,” Shurmur said. “I think that’s the most important piece, is to score and continue to score however you do it.
“Sometimes it takes you a lot, sometimes you get a big play and you do it quickly. We’ll just have to see how that plays out. On defense, when you watched the way they played, they’re schemed up, they’re a five-on-the-line defense just like we are in base, and they like to play man coverage although they have played a healthy amount of zone in stretches this year. We’ve got to be ready to attack everything, and then just change gears if they’re giving us a little more of one thing than we expected.”
Their catalyst, as has been the case for years, is unsurprisingly Brees. He is playing at a high level once again and had a hand in all five touchdowns the Saints scored last week with three passing scores and surprisingly two rushing touchdowns.
As he seems to do every season, the 39-year old Brees is putting up some staggering numbers. He has completed over 80 percent of his passes, throwing for 345.3 yards per game. He has eight touchdown passes and no interceptions.
By comparison, the entire Giants offense has just five touchdowns this season.
And judging off last week, the Giants defense will need to do a better job or risk seeing the scoreboard light up at MetLife Stadium. The pass defense allowed Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson to throw for 385 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.
“I see a really stout front,” Brees said on Wednesday in a conference call with the New York media. “I think that the addition of [Alec] Ogletree – I played against him a few times over the years when he was with the Rams. He’s a real smart football player.”
“I think he brings an element to that defense. Obviously, you’re talking about one of the elite corners in the league, and really a solid secondary all the way around. As a group, as a unit, they play really, really well. We got to be ready for whatever they’re going to throw at us.”
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