Monday Night Football returns to the New Orleans Mercedes Benz Superdome for the first time in 2011 in a matchup of would be giants. Here we have two teams fighting for a playoff birth and a bid for division title. The winner of this game will begin to separate from the pack and the loser will draw closer on a 500 season and a great playoff view from the couch.
The Saints and the Giants have had their share of heartache this season. The Saints would like to put their beleaguering loss to the Rams far behind them. The Giants need to prevent a three game slide to even remain on the outskirts of a playoff birth. Both teams are well aware of the implications of this Monday night matchup.
Both teams have explosive offenses and many weapons. Both teams have great quarterbacks (but ours is better). Both teams have great receivers (ours are better). Both teams have struggled to run the ball consistently – here is where the Saints need to be better. Statistically, the Saints have more pass yards per game. The Saints have more rush yards per game. The Saints have more points per game. Subjectively, the Saints and the Giants have very good offenses, but it if you look at the numbers the Saints have the advantage.
Defense will win this game.
Looking at the statistics, the Saints and Giants are nearly identical on paper. Who will have the edge? Turnover differential and applying pressure to the quarterback will be big deciding factors. This is where home field advantage is huge. The 12th man really is an added defender. Can the 12th man force false starts putting the Giants in 2nd and long and 3rd and long situations. Seventy-five thousand drunk New Orleanians can create a lot of havoc.
Personally, I have a scar that might not ever heal. I am still not over the “home game” at the Meadowlands versus the Giants in the Katrina season. I am still amazed that the NFL and the competition committee allowed the Giants nine home games that year. All non-Giants fans should have been in an uproar – it wasn’t fair to the division, the conference, or the league….not to mention the homeless Saints.
But that was six seasons ago. The Saints are undefeated in the Dome this year and it’s time to put a Dome-field advantage butt-whooping on the boys in blue.