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New Orleans Saints vs. New York Giants,
9-30-2018 - Prediction & Preview

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Game Snapshot with Current Line

#273 New Orleans
Saints -3
#274 New York
Giants 49

Sunday, September 30, 2018 at 4:25pm

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

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When and where: September 30, 2018, MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ, 4:25 PM ET

The New Orleans Saints and their struggling secondary will travel to East Rutherford on Sunday for a meeting with All-Pro wideout Odell Beckham Jr. and the New York Giants. After being upstaged by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the season opener, the Saints have marched to back-to-back wins over the Cleveland Browns and Atlanta Falcons. It has been the reverse for the Giants, who are coming off their first win over the Houston Texans after losing two consecutive games.

Kamara breakout alert

Alvin Kamara, the Swiss-army knife running back coming out of the backfield for the Saints, could be in for a spectacular day as a traditional rusher going against a Giants defense that has struggled stopping the run. Despite multiple impactful performances as a receiver, Kamara has yet to rack up 100 rushing yards in a game this season.

The Saints pulled away from the run in the season opener against the Buccaneers at an attempt at survival in an offensive shootout with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, and the same was the case with the Atlanta Falcons and Matt Ryan. In Week 2, it was more of the Browns being surprisingly stout up front and limiting chunk plays on the ground.

The Giants are currently allowing an average of 111.3 rushing yards per game to opposing offenses, although they did manage to shut down the struggling Texans in Week 3. Kamara has an opportunity to be a breakout player this week pounding the ball on the ground, as well as continuing to make plays as a receiver.

This is a Saints team coming off a game where they put up 534 yards of total offense against the Falcons. They’ll be coming in hot with quarterback Drew Brees, Kamara, wideout Michael Thomas and the rest of the offensive cast against a Giant team that hasn’t looked like an NFC contender in the last two years.

Can Manning exploit a vulnerable Saints defense?

Giants quarterback Eli Manning is responding well after going down in meme history in the season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The shockingly bad offensive line play left the 37-year-old quarterback on an island at the mercy of one of the NFL’s most vicious defensive fronts. There was a clear look of surprise and terror in Manning’s eyes as he was being helped up from the ground by teammates.

Against another standout defense in Houston, he threw for 297 yards and two touchdowns, finishing with an overall quarterback rating of 132.3. It was a vintage performance for the two-time Super Bowl champion in an offense that has seen fewer over the years.

Manning will have a chance to pick up where he left off on Sunday against a Saints defense that seemingly hands out yardage for free. They are currently allowing 442 yards per game to opposing offenses, and the brunt of that has been through the air with teams averaging 359.3 passing yards against them.

It could be another monster day at the office for Manning and Beckham.

The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.

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Rating:

Despite the Saints’ struggles defending the pass, they have been stingy up front in allowing opponents to only 84.3 rushing yards per game. That could mean trouble for the Giants if they fail to get standout rookie running back Saquon Barkley going early. His re-emergence as a sledgehammer out of the backfield was a big reason why the Giants were able to go into Houston and beat the Texans

There are serious concerns as to whether the offense is built to contend in a shootout with one of the NFL’s best passing teams. The offensive line play remains too inconsistent and downright dangerous for Manning to be dropping back 40-plus times in a game, and the offense could be without tight end Evan Engram, who is reportedly week-to-week after suffering an MCL sprain in the game against the Texans. Beckham and Sterling Shepard won’t be enough.

The combination of Brees’ otherworldly play on the field and Kamara’s explosiveness will be too much to deal with for a Giant defense facing more questions than answers right now.

Prediction: New Orleans Saints (-3.5)

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Rating:

It’s tough to imagine anyone holding the Saints’ video game offense under any betting line total, let alone a defense as suspect as the Giants’. The over is 4-1 in the last five head-to-head meetings between the two teams. Brees’ MVP-bid will continue this week with another scintillating offensive performance. Take the over and grab some popcorn.

Prediction: Over (50)

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Rating:

Regardless of who gets the ball first, it won’t take long for one side to hang points on the scoreboard in this game. Manning doesn’t have much help from his offensive line, but he’ll be facing a Saints defense that struggles getting after the quarterback and leaves plenty of open space in the secondary. He’ll be in the perfect spot to lead a score-opening drive down the field at home.

As for the Saints, they have one of the best quarterbacks in the league in Brees. They’re expected to score on offense every time he touches the ball.

Prediction: Team will score in the first 6 minutes of the game

Jordy McElroy

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