Despite scoring 21 points (7 came from a blocked punt), the Saints offense still did not look great. Derek Carr completed 18 of his 26 pass attempts, but only gained 119 yards through the air, 44 of which came on one completion. There was a point in this game where Derek Carr had completed 13 passes for just 37 yards...That’s not very good.
It was a very similar game to the Saints week three matchup with the Bucs, except the Saints won. Carr rushed back from an injury just to look like a complete shell of himself, and if the Saints played any other team than the Panthers, they probably would’ve lost.
This week, the Saints get a matchup with a Giants team that started the season 2-8, but finds themselves in the midst of a three game win streak after defeating the Packers 24-22 on Monday night.
The Giants have one of the worst defenses in the NFL, allowing 24 points per game which is ranked 26th in the league. On the flip side, the Saints average 21.9 points per game, which somehow ranks 15th in the league.
On defense, the Giants are led by Bobby Okereke who’s totaled 113 tackles, nine tackles for loss, eight passes defended and two interceptions this season. He’s been one of the few bright spots on the Giants defense and he’s the one guys Carr will have to keep an eye on before every play.
On the outside, the Giants are led by veteran corner Adoree Jackson and rookie Deonte Banks. Banks has a team-high 10 passes defended and two interceptions while Jackson has just four passes defended and no interceptions this season.
While Banks and Jackson have earned the most snaps at corner for the Giants, they ironically have the two lowest coverage grades on the team with 46.0 and 41.9 respectively. In coverage, Banks has given up 43 catches for 557 yards and three touchdowns while Jackson has allowed 31 catches for 408 yards and one touchdown.
Basically, what I’m trying to say is, if you have Chris Olave on your fantasy team, start him. Even if Carr doesn’t play well, Olave should still get plenty of targets going up against these corners. I would say start Rashid Shaheed, but his quad injury is worse than they thought (how does this keep happening?) and he’ll likely be out this game.
The Giants also struggle defending the run, allowing the 29th most rushing yards per game to their opponents (136). Outside of Dexter Lawrence and Okereke, the Giants don’t have a single player who has over a 71.3 run defense grade. They miss a tackle on about one of every six rush attempts and have been called for 40 penalties on 297 runs defended this season.
The Saints haven’t run the ball well outside of Taysom Hill and a few nice runs from Alvin Kamara, so this is going to be a battle of bad vs worse. If Taysom Hill plays, it would be a big boost for this rushing offense because he can give any defense fits, but if he’s out, expect another poor rushing attack despite the fact that they’re playing a poor run defense.
With a couple of good games in the red zone recently, the Saints have managed to get themselves to a 50% TD percentage in the red zone this season. They face a Giants defense that allows their opponents to score touchdowns in the red zone over 61% of the time. If the Saints want to win this game and get back to .500, they’re going to need to find success in the red area.
Overall, the Saints offense should be able to find success against the Giants defense, but I say that very cautiously. They struggle every single week, so it’s not a matter of if they’ll be good or not, it’s a matter of how bad will they be.
If the Saints escape with a win, Dennis Allen and Pete Carmichael might’ve just bought themselves another couple of weeks as we get closer to the end of the season. They desperately need to win this game to stay in playoff contention, and luckily enough for them, they SHOULD win this game, but we’ll see what happens.