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Interview with the Enemy: New York Giants

Edward Valentine joins us for this weeks interview with the enemy.

New York Giants v New Orleans Saints Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

This Sunday, the New Orleans Saints take on the New York Giants for a chance to win their second game in a row. With another game comes another interview with the enemy, and this week we are joined by Edward Valentine with Big Blue View.

LH: The Tommy DeVito experience seems to be going much better than expected. What have you seen from him that’s allowed him to lead this team to three straight wins and do you think the locker room is rallying behind him more than Daniel Jones?

EV: Really, it’s about “juice.” It’s about swagger. It’s about fun. The Giants didn’t have juice or swagger, and they weren’t having fun. The Devito story — local high school superstar, Italian kid who lives at home with his mom cooking him dinner and making his bed, undrafted free agent rookie who shouldn’t be playing — initially captured Giants fans. The fact that he is helping them win has them over the moon. Teammates love the kid. They love Jones, too, but it’s different. Jones is an incredibly hard worker, but he is a serious, no-nonsense, no outward personality guy. He also plays his butt off. DeVito exudes personality and swagger, and the Giants have benefitted from it.

LH: Statistically, Deonte Banks seems like he’s having a nice rookie season with 11 passes defended and two interceptions, but PFF has him charted as one of the Giants lowest graded coverage defenders. What have you made of his rookie season so far?

EV: I don’t care what Pro Football Focus says, Banks has been really good. He is coming off a great game against the Packers, in which PFF gave him a mediocre grade. Circumstances being what they were, the Giants put him in some situations earlier on that he wasn’t ready for — like trailing CeeDee Lamb all over the field. The kid is good. He’s smart. He’s physical. He’s athletic. He has a ‘nothing bothers me’ attitude that a good cornerback needs. He will be a really good player for a really long time if he stays healthy.

LH: The Saints offense has struggled to get going this season, are there any areas of this Giants defense that are susceptible? If so, where can the Saints try to attack?

EV: The Giants have been getting better and better on defense. They haven’t always defended the run well, and I would start there. Get to the edges when Dexter Lawrence is in the game and attack the middle when he’s not. The Giants blitz more than any team except the Vikings. That means there might be opportunities to take shots if the Saints can handle the rush. The Giants’ secondary was equal to that challenge Monday against Green Bay.

LH: The Giants have four players with 300+ receiving yards but nobody with 500+ receiving yards. It seems like it’s been a few years of mediocre WR play, but is there anyone on the roster right now who you think could become a future WR1 for this team?

EV: It’s interesting. They traded for TE Darren Waller hoping he would be their primary receiver. That was a gamble because of his injury history and, well, he’s been hurt. Darius Slayton led them in receiving yards in three of his four seasons but has never reached 800 yards. He leads them again this year with 449 yards, but he isn’t a true No. 1.

The guy the Giants really hope reaches that level is rookie Jalin Hyatt. They traded up to pick him in Round 3, and his speed and game-breaking ability are undeniable. He is averaging 18.1 yards per catch, and he justifiably draws DeSean Jackson comparisons as a take the top off guy. The Giants and Hyatt, though, are working diligently to see if he can be more than that. Can he develop into that guy who is open even when he’s not open in the short and intermediate areas? That guy who demands two defenders wherever he goes? Maybe.

The Giants, though, will still be in the market for a potential No. 1 in the offseason.

LH: DraftKings Sportsbook has the Giants as 6-point underdogs. The G Men are on a three-game win streak while the Saints have lost 3 of their last 4 games with their only win coming against the 1-12 Panthers. Would you take the Giants to cover in this game? Or do you think it’s time that DeVito comes back down to earth?

EV: I keep expecting this ride to end with DeVito. He just keeps adding new chapters. Going to a loud, hostile indoor environment like New Orleans will be a different challenge. I am curious how DeVito handles it. At this point, I’m riding this wave until it ends. Yes, I’d take the Giants to cover. I haven’t made my official pick yet, but I’m probably going to take the Giants to win.

Thank you again to Edward for joining us this week, you can check out the rest of his work here.

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