Giants Must Put Clamps On Saints' Graham
Excerpt: "The last time the Giants saw the Saints, the number 80 left an indelible mark on the Big Blue defense — as in the jersey number worn by New Orleans tight end Jimmy Graham.
More specifically, the number on Graham’s back, which the Giants were forced to view on each of his two touchdown catches in the Saints’ 49-24 rout a little more than a year ago, on Nov. 28, 2011.
The 26-year-old Graham is perhaps the NFL’s best tight end, probably the Saints’ best offensive threat and almost certainly the most athletic tight end in the NFL.
“He’s probably your new-age Tony Gonzalez, new-age Antonio Gates,” Giants safety Stevie Brown said.
Graham also may be the biggest weapon the Giants need to contain in tomorrow’s pivotal game against the Saints at MetLife Stadium. Drew Brees has thrown for 77 touchdown passes over the last two seasons — 19 of them to Graham, including eight this year.So how do the Giants contain the 6-foot-7, 265-pound Graham, who had terrific success against them last season and who often lines up in the slot?“It’s just more so you’ve got to play games with him, just like you’ve got to play games with the quarterback and everything like that,” Brown said. “You’ve got to show him a different coverage.“You’ve got to play him like you’re going to put your hands on him. You actually do have to sometimes get up there and put your hands on him. You’ve just got to keep it switched up so you can keep him guessing.”
The Giants will almost certainly attempt to do so without safety Kenny Phillips, listed as doubtful with a knee injury (he was doubtful last week but played in the loss to the Redskins). But they should be getting some help with athletic linebacker Jacquian Williams back in the fold.Williams has missed the last six games with a knee injury but is listed as probable.“That’s a huge boost for this team,” linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka said. “He’s a special talent.” Read more...