The New York Giants look to get on track this week in New Orleans.
The team is searching for its first victory of the season following last-second losses in back-to-back weeks. Meanwhile, the Saints have victories over the Packers and Patriots with a loss to the Panthers in between. The Giants and Saints have split the past four meetings, but location matters. Big Blue has lost its last five games at the Superdome.
Here are three keys to victory for the Giants:
Rally to Alvin Kamara
One person won't cut it against four-time Pro Bowl running back Alvin Kamara, who ranks second in the NFL with 60 scrimmage touchdowns (43 rush, 17 rec.) and 6,403 scrimmage yards since he entered the league in 2017. In a 2018 meeting, his only game against the Giants, Kamara racked up 181 yards from scrimmage and three rushing touchdowns. Giants defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence said the key is to stop his feet to give others time to pursue the dynamic playmaker. Assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Patrick Graham tabbed him as the No. 1 player they need to try to stop this week.
"If I were [Saints coach Sean Payton], I would funnel it through him, too," Graham said. "This guy is pretty good. I've been in the league for 13 years now, and he has a unique skill set. He's challenging to prepare for because of the pass game and the run game because even when you think you've got him bottled up, he gets the leaky yards. All of a sudden, you watch the New England game last week, the first two, three runs, negative run, gain of nothing, gain of nothing, and then all of a sudden you just figure he's getting hit at two yards, but he falls forward for five. It's a big challenge and then he catches the ball, and then the first touchdown he caught was out of the backfield, so I think he's just funneling through the top guy, in my opinion. That's how we're looking at it."
The Giants have allowed 27 points in the final two minutes of halves – 21 in the first half, six in the second – which is the most in the NFL through three games. Last week, the Falcons took the lead on a touchdown just before halftime, and the Giants lost on a last-second field goal for the second consecutive week. Red zone is also a focal point for the Giants, who rank 29th in touchdown efficiency (40.0 percent) on trips inside the 20. New Orleans is second, scoring touchdowns on 88.9 percent of their red-zone trips. It also helps when playing on a short field. The Saints and Cowboys are tied with a league-best plus-5 turnover differential.
Poise in the noise
Between coaches and players, the Giants have plenty of people familiar with the Superdome from past games there, either in college or the pros. And it will be especially raucous this week in the Saints' first game back home after Hurricane Ida. The Giants, who could be starting their fourth different left guard in four games, will need to be on top of their game in terms of communication at a location the team has not won in since 1993.
"Make no mistake about it, we understand what we're going into," special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey, who spent time coaching at LSU. "We know the situation. It's very similar to what it was the last time. We just got to go down there and play good football and understand that's what it is. It's New Orleans. It's after a hurricane, it's very similar to the Katrina situation. We embrace the opportunity. Like I said, I love going to the Superdome, I absolutely love it. Our guys, I think they'll embrace it too."
View rare photos from the all-time series between the New York Giants and New Orleans Saints.