The Giants (6-4) play tonight in New Orleans (7-3) against the Saints and their high flying offense. Coming off a bye week the Saints will look to run through and throw over and around the Giants defense. The Giants on the other hand see a team that allows 5.2 yards per rush attempt, a stat that in the last two years would have sealed the Saints fate this evening. The Giants running game MUST find a way to be effective this evening. Long drives using different backs in different sets, coupled with play action passes down the field to the talented Giants receiver corps would ordinarily be the recipe here. The offensive line must go back to basics, must play as a unit, must get help from the tight ends and receivers, and must in general pick up their lunch pails and go back to work tonight and make this running game a threat of some kind. Without it it will be another installment of the ELi Manning show trying to beat a team single-handedly. If the run game shows up, and the Giants can get some pressure on Brees, the Giants will at least have a fighters chance.
I ask the question if the Giants are desperate enough to go to New Orleans and win a tough NFC game on the road. The Eagles played with passion and focus last week. The Bills, Chiefs, Broncos, and even the Dolphins played games this week to save their season, and played with passion, focus, and desperation. Now, with three division games remaining, this is in no way a game that makes or breaks the Giants season, but it sure would be nice to see the execution, the pride, and the effort that was lacking last week.
This brings back memories for me to the year of 1986. The Bill Parcells led Giants always needed a little prodding, and their very talented offensive line had struggled in a meeting with the San Francisco 49ers on December 1st. A Monday Night game in which they rushed for a total of 13 yards….YES…13 yards. Parcells, as was his way, dubbed the group “Club 13″. Before the Giants faced the Niners again in the playoffs, Parcells stuck his head in the meeting room for the Offensive Linemen and called them by their new name for the week. Club 13 “The last time we played the 49ers we got 13 yards rushing” he stated,”We could have run 13 QB sneaks and done better!” The Giants offensive line tonight is in the same position…Club 29….Hopefully these Giants rebound like the ’86 team did which ran for 216 yards after the week long humiliation of being called “Club 13″