The winner between the New York Giants and New Orleans Saints could come down to who has the ball last, Eli Manning or Drew Brees.
The New York Giants take on the (2-1) New Orleans Saints Sunday at MetLife Stadium. It’s a huge game for Big Blue as they look to climb to .500 and secure their first home win of the season.
Of course, winning will be a tall task as the Saints high-powered offense, led by Drew Brees, is averaging 34.7 points per game. Brees is playing arguably the best football of his career, completing 80.6 percent of his passes and with eight touchdowns to zero interceptions.
The Giants defense is vastly better than it was a season ago. They’re giving up just 343 yards per game, but with Eli Apple and Olivier Vernon out, it will be tough for them to slow down the Saints offense.
So the Giants best path to victory is if their future Hall of Fame quarterback Eli Manning can outduel Brees.
It may seem unfathomable to think the Giants can win a high scoring contest since they haven’t scored 30 points in 36 consecutive games. But the offense showed signs of life last week in the Giants 27-22 win over the Texans scoring on their first four possessions of the game.
Manning had his best game of the young season completing 25 out of 29 passes for 297 yards and two touchdowns.
Now he’ll face one of the worst defenses in the league. If there was a week for the Giants to break this dubious streak, it’s this week.
As prolific as the Saints offense has been this season, their defense has been equally abysmal.
The Saints defense is giving up 421 yards per game which is 30th in the NFL, and giving up 34.3 yards per game which is dead last. They’ve also given up 10 touchdown passes and are giving up 336.7 yards per game.
If the Giants don’t reach the 30-point plateau against the Saints, you have to wonder when or if it will happen this season as this game seems destined to be a shootout.
When these two teams met in Week 8 of the 2015 season in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, Manning and Brees had one of the best quarterback duels of all-time as the two combined for 855 yards passing and 13 touchdown passes in the Saints 52-49 victory.
Throwback to the Saints vs Giants matchup when Drew Brees and Eli Manning combined for 13 passing TDs. pic.twitter.com/iYyMdyELKk
— SportsTalkFeed (@SportsTalkFeed) September 4, 2018
The last time the Giants and Saints played one another was in Week 2 of the 2016 season in which the Giants won 16-13. Manning and Brees had solid performances, but they put up pedestrian numbers compared to their 2015 encounter. In that game, the two combined for 631 passing yards but just one touchdown between them.
Expect for Sunday’s game to resemble more of the 2015 matchup as opposed to 2016.
Earlier this week, Manning was asked if it’s special going up against Brees.
“Yeah, known Drew a long time and watched his career and obviously what he’s been able to do in New Orleans is impressive, so great person, great quarterback and always fun to compete against him.”
Sunday will be the eighth time Manning and Brees’ teams have played against one another with Brees having a 5-2 advantage. Brees is 39 and Manning is 37 so this could be the last time the two share the field together. The game could also see one of the NFL’s most prestigious records fall.
With 418 passing yards, Brees would surpass Manning’s brother Peyton as the NFL All-Time Passing Yardage leader.
Whether it happens on Sunday or not, it’s inevitable that Brees will pass Peyton, but what matters to the two quarterbacks on Sunday is getting the win. Based on how these teams are built, the winner on Sunday could come down to who has the ball last, Brees or Manning.