The Saints owned this game from the very beginning. They jumped all over the Giants from the first couple of drives. The Saints finished the Giants off with a score of 49-24. The Saints were pretty balanced in this game, played good defense, and showed the whole world that they are legitimate Super Bowl contenders.
The Saints Can Run the Ball
The Saints run game has been fairly inconsistent this year, and we all know that they strive to be more balanced and less pass heavy. I thought that coming into this game the Saints would want to establish the rushing attack, and that's exactly what they did. They had 80 rushing yards in the first half and gave Ingram, Thomas and Sproles a lot of carries early in the game.
Thomas and the entire running back corps was very impressive in the win. The Saints finished with 205 rushing yards and proved that they can run the football when they want to, and I expect to see many more games like this throughout the rest of the season.
The Saints Can Play Defense
I am very proud of the way that the Saints came out and played defense in this game, especially in the first half. In the first half, the Saints forced an interception, two punts and only allowed one field goal. For most of the night, the Saints defense was able to contain a Giants passing attack that came in ranked fifth in the league.
The secondary gave up some big plays and had one blown coverage that gave Cruz and Eli a long touchdown, but other than that they played well. The front seven also showed that they can shut down the running game and get some pressure. If the defense plays like this for the rest of the season, then the Saints will be very tough to beat.
The Saints Can Throw the Ball at Will
Well this is something that the Saints did not have to prove to us at all. We knew that they could throw the ball, but this was quite a showcase. The fact the Drew Brees' numbers at the end of the first half were greater than most quarterbacks are at the end of games proves that the Saints simply cannot be stopped on offense.
Brees and the Saints offense finished with 372 yards passing, granted against a poor Giants secondary. But that many passing yards is impressive no matter who the opposing defense is.
The Saints are a Physical Football Team
Many people like to say that the Saints are a finesse team, or that they are just a passing team and play bend but don't break defense. All of that can be said, but one thing that cannot be ignored after the game against the Giants is that the Saints are a very physical football team. They took a Giants defensive line that had 31 sacks coming in and made them a nonfactor.
The Saints also ran the ball up and down the field on the Giants. The Saints defense made big hit after big hit, and tight end Jimmy Graham took one of the most vicious hits all year, but preceded to pop up and continue playing. This team can play smashmouth football and will probably beat any team doing so.
The Saints Need to Stay Focused
Early in this game the Saints were flagged way too many times. In the first half, they were penalized six times. That is uncharacteristic of the Saints, and I expect that to be fixed immediately.
The Saints defense also seemed to become less effective later in the game. They started to miss tackles, blow assignment, and give up more big plays. The Saints offense is good enough to carry the team, but the defense has to play as well for the rest of the season as they did in the first half of the game against the Giants.
I expect the Saints to play similar football for the rest of the year. They have found their running game and know that they can play good defense. Brees is playing lights-out and the number of weapons he has on offense is just not fair.
The one thing the Saints need to fix is their overall focus late in the game. I have no doubt that Sean Payton and the team will have those issues fixed.
The Saints proved in this game that they are a top contender in the NFL and are well on their way to a deep playoff run.