Written by: Tony “The Prophet” Yantosca”
What a difference a week makes. The Giants saved their season with a gutty performance on the road. Who knew that exchanging Chad Wheeler at right tackle for Ereck, one of the greatest Jerry draft busts of all time picked at #9 overall, Flowers would make such a dramatic difference. The Giants were able to run the ball. They ran for 115 yards after averaging 74.5 yards in the first 2 games. They scored on their first 4 possessions of the first half. This allowed Shurmer to use Barkley the way everyone anticipated that he would be used when he was drafted #2 overall. He was not Captain Checkdown catching 15 passes like he did in week 1. Barkley didn’t score but he had over 100 yards receiving. Eli was the “Good Eli” completing 86% of his passes for 297 yards, 2 touchdowns and 0 picks. They won the time of possession battle at 35:30 minutes which is the most for the Gmen in a long time.
The Giants shut down the Texans rush game. Wynn and Olgetree spearheaded the defense but the Giants were gashed in the second half. The Giants gave up 386 passing yards with Vernon and Apple out. Hopkins and Fuller accounted for 187 of those passing yards. They gave up 427 total yards but won the turnover battle 2 to 0.
The Texans I think are a bad team so it does take a little luster of the Gmen victory. Watt and Mathieu seemed to be the only Texans on defense that came to play. Watt had 3 sacks but he was beat several times in the flat. Clowney and Mercilus were non factors.
This week’s game is a supreme challenge. The Giants have to face Drew Brees who is completing 81% of his passes, averaging 359 yards/game. He has 8 TD’s with 0 interceptions. He willed his team back last week to overcome a 4th quarter deficit and won vs the Falcons on the road in overtime. He threw for 396 yards.
For the Giants the game plan is easy. Try to run with Barkley to keep Brees and the high-powered offense off the field. It can set up the passing game where Eli has to have 300+ yards throwing to win this game. Fitzpatrick threw for 4 TD’s and Ryan for 5 TD’s this year. Lattimore will cover Barkley, but he can still get his 100+ yards as Evans from Tampa Bay had a big day against him. The key matchup is Sheppard in the slot because Saints slot CB Robinson is on IR. Sheppard will have a big day. He needs to with both Engram and Latimer out.
When the Saints have the ball, they will employ their 2 super weapons, Kamara and Thomas. Kamara has been PPR Gold in fantasy. He caught 15 of his 20 targets last week for 124 yards plus he adds his rushing yards. Thomas has been unconscious. He has caught 38 of his 40 targets. This is the best 3 game start for any receiver to start a season. He is also the first player to catch 10 plus catches to open a season. The ageless Ben Watson at TE has come back to life when these 2 are covered and he has become relevant again.
The Saints defense has been bad so there is ample opportunity for the Giants to score. On the other hand the Giants have Vernon out so the pass rush is hurting. Apple is out so they are hampered in coverage and Snacks Harrison is hobbled from last week.
This is a very close but high scoring game. Brees is better in a dome as witnessed last week so that is an advantage for the Giants. However, they have a stronger array of weapons. I did not even mention Ted Ginn, who can easily get behind the Giants secondary. Cam Meredith who scored his first TD last week is coming into his own. So when you look at it, I expect a high scoring game, maybe not like the 2015 match up when the Saints outlasted the Giants 52-49. I am calling this 34-31 for the Saints. Would I be surprised if the Giants win, hell no? They would have to win the turnover battle for that. This game could likely be an overtime game. I think in the end Brees has more weapons and is mentally tough enough to eke this game out on the road. No matter I am calling it a field goal game either way.