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Fact or Fiction: NFL's toughest road venues

FACT-OR-FICTION

The Giants.com crew is presented with four statements and must decide whether they are Fact or Fiction.

The Superdome is the toughest opposing stadium in the NFL.

John Schmeelk: Fiction – It is the loudest but not the toughest because there is no factor of the elements. The conditions for the passing and kicking game are always perfect in a dome, which is favorable to any team with a good offense. A place like Seattle can have the noise factor but also the impact of rain or some other kind of weather to make it difficult on visiting teams.

Dan Salomone: Fact – It is for the Giants. They haven't won there since 1993, losing their past five trips by allowing 52, 49, 48, 45, and 27 points. Of course, when you talk about home-field advantage, the players and coaches have something to do about that. The Saints have been one of the most talented teams of the era, but make no mistake about it, Sunday will be an electric atmosphere in the first game back at the Superdome. "It's not just playing in a dome," coach Joe Judge said in his weekly interview with Giants.com. "It's playing in The Dome."

Lance Medow: Fiction – The Giants can certainly make an argument in favor of this statement given they've lost their last five contests there, but it's hard to put an opposing indoor stadium atop the list because you don't have to worry about the weather. Climate is not the case for Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City or Lumen Field in Seattle. Between the noise and mother nature, you can place both of those venues ahead of New Orleans.

Matt Citak: Fiction – The Superdome is definitely one of the toughest stadiums to play in as an opposing team. Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City also gets consideration, and the Giants will have the pleasure of playing there on Monday Night Football in Week 8. But let's give the edge to Lumen Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks. The home crowd at Seahawks games is known as the 12th Man, and for good reason. Back in 2005, the Giants traveled to Seattle and committed a whopping 11 false start penalties due to the crowd noise. There is a reason the Seahawks retired the number 12 in honor of their fans. Sunday's game in New Orleans might just be the most raucous crowd the Giants will face this season. It will be the first one with a full crowd at the Superdome since the 2019 NFC Wild Card game, and the Saints faithful are going to loud and ready to go.

Azeez Ojulari will extend his franchise-record streak of three sacks in his first three games.

John Schmeelk: Fiction – Azeez Ojulari will be facing his biggest challenge of the year against All-Pro Ryan Ramczyk. He is one of the top right tackles in the league. If Ojulari is moved over the left tackle where he will have a chance to rush against James Hurst, who is stepping in for the injured Terron Armstead, he may have a better chance. Jameis Winston has the second-longest average time to throw in the league, so there should be enough time for Giants pass rushers to get home. Winston, however, is only averaging 21 passes per game, which might limit the opportunities.

Dan Salomone: Fact – Why say "fiction" now? Ojulari is the fifth rookie since 2000 with at least 1.0 sack in each of his first three career games. It doesn't happen by accident. Let's see if he can extend it one more week.

Lance Medow: Fiction – Jameis Winston has been sacked seven times in three games so there have been opportunities to bring him down. Last Sunday, the Patriots collected three sacks against New Orleans and the Saints are dealing with some injuries on the offensive line. Perhaps Azeez Ojulari continues his streak but you figure after three games, teams are going to start taking notice of his presence and adjust.

Matt Citak: Fiction – Ojulari won't has as much success. The 21-year-old will line up on both sides of the line on Sunday, meaning he will get some opportunities go up against Calvin Throckmorton, who is filling in for the injured Terron Armstead at left tackle. His matchups against Throckmorton will be his best chance to pick up sack No. 4, because on the other side of New Orleans' O-line is three-time All-Pro tackle Ryan Ramczyk. Ramczyk enters this game with the 14th-highest overall grade among tackles from Pro Football Focus, having allowed just one sack so far this season.

If the Giants win the turnover battle, they will win on Sunday.

John Schmeelk: Fact – Only one team is averaging fewer than the Saints (234 yards per game) this year, yet they are still averaging more than 24 points per game. How? Takeaways. The Saints are tied for the league lead with six interceptions, and second in the NFL with seven total takeaways. They are scoring because the defense is giving the offense short fields or scoring themselves. If the Giants can protect the ball and force the Saints to drive the length of the field to score, they can keep this a low scoring game and force Jameis Winston into giveaways.

Dan Salomone: Fact – Nothing will energize the Superdome like a takeaway, and the Giants need to prevent that at all costs. Things can snowball quickly in that stadium as the Saints enter tied for the league-best turnover differential (plus-five).

Lance Medow: Fiction – The Giants won the turnover battle in Week 2 at Washington and still lost that game so this stat doesn't equate that with an automatic victory. Also, what will the turnover differential be? If it's plus-3, there may be something to talk about but if it's plus-1, there's going to be several more important factors - including what do they do with the takeaway(s)? Translating chances to points is more crucial than forcing turnovers. It's very similar to time of possession - what if you settle for field goals on multiple possessions and your opponent scores touchdowns off explosive plays? Under those circumstances, the advantage doesn't hold much weight.

Matt Citak: Fact – The Giants have finished two of their three games this season even in the turnover battle, while they were plus-1 in that area against Washington. But Sunday's game presents a challenge on a whole other level. The Saints enter this game tied for second in the NFL with seven turnovers, including an impressive six interceptions by the defense. Daniel Jones has been significantly better with his ball protection so far this season with his zero interceptions and just one fumble lost through three games. Going up against the Saints D in New Orleans will be Jones' biggest test yet. If Jones protects the ball, and the defense forces a turnover or two from Jameis Winston, the Giants will leave Nola with their first win of the season.

Rookie wide receiver Kadarius Toney will score his first NFL touchdown this week.

John Schmeelk: Fact – With Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton unlikely to play because of hamstring injuries, Kadarius Toney is going to get a lot of snaps. The Saints play a lot of man-to-man defense, so he will find a way to get lined up against a defender in space, where his athleticism will take over and he'll make someone miss to score a touchdown. This might also be a game where a trick play is unveiled to take advantage of Toney's experience playing quarterback in high school. This is a potential breakout game for the Giants' first-round pick.

Dan Salomone: Fact – Kadarius Toney's role has grown each game even without injuries to Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton, and Joe Judge said this week won't be any different. Let's see what Toney, who grew up two hours away from New Orleans in Mobile, Ala., can do on a fast track in the Superdome.

Lance Medow: Fiction – The Saints have allowed three passing touchdowns in the first three games, with two coming in Week 2 courtesy of the Panthers. In fairness, Kadarius Toney is also a threat to score on the ground, but New Orleans has a very strong secondary full of versatility. Many of the players are interchangeable and the unit is aggressive – this could allow for an explosive play or two, but we also don't know how the opportunities will play out in the likely absence of Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton. While Toney's snap count continues to increase, he still only has four touches on the season. Until the latter takes a significant jump, it's hard to predict him finding the end zone.

Matt Citak: Fact – Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton will likely miss this contest due to their hamstring injuries, so this will be Toney's first big outing as a Giant. The rookie receiver has shown flashes of his playmaking ability, and looked impressive on his two catches against the Falcons last week. Toney should have plenty more opportunities in Week 4, especially considering Kenny Golladay will will be seeing a lot of Marshon Lattimore in coverage. Don't be surprised if Toney finds the end zone on a jet sweep or some other type of trick play.

View rare photos from the all-time series between the New York Giants and New Orleans Saints.

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