Excerpt: "THE GAME: The New Orleans Saints (5-7) vs. the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants (7-5), 4:25 p.m. ET at the Meadowlands, East Rutherford, N.J.
THE WEATHER: The Giants wanted some uncomfortable weather to help slow down the Saints on Sunday, and it looks like they might get it. The conditions should be raw. Temperatures in the low 40s, light winds and there’s a 30 percent chance of the kind of crappy, annoying rain that was outside on Friday as I tried to put my Christmas lights up. Bah humbug!
WHAT IT MEANS: The Saints are truly in win-‘em-all mode if they have any hopes of making the playoffs. Time is running out on them and they have a lot of teams to jump over. Meanwhile, the Giants aren’t that desperate, unless you consider they’re upcoming schedule which includes trips to Atlanta and Baltimore after this game. If they lose this game, they could fall to second in the NFC East staring at two very difficult road games. And all of a sudden a playoff berth won’t look like such a sure thing.
MATCHUP TO WATCH: Saints LT Jermon Bushrod vs. Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul. If you want one big key to this game for the Giants, it’ll be the ability of their once-dominant pass rush to put some pressure on Drew Brees. The Saints quarterback is good at avoiding sacks because he gets the ball out of his hands so quickly, but if the Giants don’t pressure him at all he’ll have all day to sit their and pick their suspect secondary apart. Obviously, JPP – balky back and all – is the key to the Giants’ pass rush. Osi Umenyiora is a hot-and-cold player and Justin Tuck has only showed flashes of his old self. Pierre-Paul is their most consistent threat and if Bushrod (presumably with help) can keep him off Brees all game, the Giants better be prepared to score 50 to win." Read more...