The New York Giants control their playoff destiny. The New Orleans will need to get some help from other NFC teams.
However, both teams need a win on Sunday afternoon.
New York has seen its lead in the NFC East cut to one game. Their loss to the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football dropped them to 7-5. Both the Redskins and Dallas Cowboys have a better division record than the Giants, and own the tiebreaker.
New Orleans will probably have to win the rest of their games just to have a chance of making the postseason. At 5-7, they sit one game behind the sixth and final wild card spot in the conference. The Seattle Seahawks currently hold the spot at 6-6, but five other teams are ahead of the Saints.
The Giants and Saints will square off at 4:25 p.m. at MetLife Stadium. The contest will air on FOX, but you can watch a live stream online by purchasing NFL Sunday Ticket Max.
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The consensus betting line at most Las Vegas sportsbooks has the Giants favored by five points. The Saints are 2-4 away from home.
Despite the point spread and the team’s records, New Orleans has proven they can handle New York. The Saints have gotten the better of the Giants in their most recent meetings, and won last year’s matchup 49-24.
Drew Brees has a history of success against the defending champs. He threw for 363 yards and four touchdowns against the Giants last year. In the Saints Super Bowl season of 2009, he also threw four touchdowns and no interceptions in a win against New York.
Brees is hoping that facing the Giants will help him get back on track. He’s been a big reason why New Orleans lost their last two games. Against the San Francisco 49ers he threw two picks that were turned into touchdowns. In the Saints last contest with the Atlanta Falcons, Brees had his worst performance of the year, throwing five interceptions and no touchdowns.
Eli Manning might have to put up some big numbers to compete with Brees and the Saints. That might not be too difficult, with New Orleans ranked 30th against the pass. He’s struggled of late, throwing for just six touchdowns in his last seven games.
Ahmad Bradshaw and the Giants running game should be able to have success. The Saints have the worst rush defense in the NFL, allowing 153.8 yards per game on the ground.
New York has a few key injuries heading into the Week 14 matchup. Hakeem Nicks is listed as questionable and safety Kenny Phillips is doubtful.
The loss of Phillips could come back to hurt the Giants, since they could use all the help they can get to stop Jimmy Graham. New York has had trouble stopping good tight ends. They let Jason Witten set a record earlier this season, catching 18 passes.
Prediction: The Giants have been inconsistent in 2012. In their wins against the Green Bay Packers and 49ers, they’ve looked like the best team in football. In recent games against the Redskins and Bengals, they haven’t even looked like a playoff team. New York always seems to play their best with their backs against the wall. With the Giants in danger of falling out of first place, look for them to have a big effort against the Saints.
Prediction: New York 37, New Orleans 24