- The New Orleans Saints offense will be on high alert this week against the Giants defense. Yes, New York allows 22.3 points and 401.7 yards per game, fourth-most in the league (one ranking ahead of the Saints, we should note). But the Giants also have forced 14 fumbles, tied for most in the league, and recovered five. That's an average of two forced fumbles per game and it's an indication that New York, absolutely, is after the ball and has been effective in getting it out. Saints receivers and backs better keep the ball secure and their heads on a swivel. And Drew Breesalso will have to be careful; New York has 11 interceptions, leading to a sparkling takeaway margin of plus-10 this season.
- Giants quarterback Eli Manningonly has been sacked nine times this season. Getting to him will be a challenge for a Saints defense that has nine sacks in its last two games (five by defensive end Cam Jordan), because Manning gets rid of the ball so quickly. That'll put pressure on the back end but if it the secondary holds up, Jordan and Co. have found a groove in their communication and play, which has helped them play off one another better.
- Figure that when the Saints shadow Giants receiver Odell Beckham,cornerback Delvin Breauxwill draw the assignment. In consecutive weeks, Breaux has covered Atlanta's Julio Jonesand Indianapolis' T.Y. Hilton, and has been more than solid. A couple of fall-downs while in coverage of Hilton notwithstanding – leading to touchdown receptions of 87 and 46 yards, and accounting for all but 17 of Hilton's 150 receiving yards – Breaux has been up to the challenge. Beckham likely will be the next one for Breaux, who possesses the talent and temperament for the job. He continues to shine and show that the Saints are fortunate to have him.
- It was great to see the Saints have a breakout rushing game against the Colts. Mark Ingramran for 143 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries, Khiry Robinsonadded a pair of rushing touchdowns and New Orleans ran for 183 yards and averaged 5.1 yards per carry. Can they back it up with another strong performance? The Giants appear to be an inviting target for the run game; New York allows 113 rushing yards per game and 4.1 yards per attempt.
- Did you know that New York's opponents convert 46 percent of the time on third down? It's a number that bears keeping in mind, because it means New York's defense could be on the field for a long time against the Saints, and possibly could get worn down. New Orleans had possession of the ball for more than 38 minutes against the Colts in its last game, and for more than 32 in the game before that against Atlanta, both wins. The Saints, by the way, convert 46 percent of the time on third down.
- Possibly, this could be the loudest game of this season in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints are on a two-game home winning streak, and their current two-game winning streak has them to within a win of reaching .500. That would be a steep and impressive climb from 0-3 and 1-4. A crowd that let loose pretty impressively in a Thursday night victory over Atlanta likely will be even more vocal for a team that appears to be turning around its season.
Photos of fans at New Orleans Saints vs Atlanta Falcons game on Sunday, September 8, 2013. Photos taken by Michael C. Hebert and Anne Talhelm.