The New York Giants have lost three of their past four games and appear to be losing their grip on the NFC East, but the G-men have been here before.
Tom Coughlin's team always seems to battle back. If that's going to happen this year, the late-season run will have to start against a New Orleans Saints team that crushed them almost exactly one year ago.
Here's our final preview and prediction for Sunday's matchup at MetLife Stadium...
What New York Must Do To Win, Offensive Edition: Feature Victor Cruz in the slot to avoid two solid cornerbacks and give the league's worst run defense a heavy dose of Ahmad Bradshaw. Also, of course, avoid turnovers.
What New York Must Do To Win, Defensive Edition: Keep forcing the mistake-prone Saints' offense to make said mistakes. Don't get beat deep by an offense that has hit a lot of home runs this year.
How New York Can Lose: Letting Drew Brees have time to pick apart a mediocre secondary and hit on some deep balls while continuing to show inconsistency on offense.
Five Most Important Non-Quarterbacks: Victor Cruz, Ahmad Bradshaw, Jason Pierre-Paul, Stevie Brown, Prince Amukamara
Cruz has to become the first option in the offense because Hakeem Nicks is dealing with knee problems again and will be faced with tough matchups on the outside.
Bradshaw has to keep providing balance but also make plays against a weak front seven.
Pierre-Paul has to get pressure on Brees without a lot of help.
Brown will have a chance to make big plays in the secondary and Amukamara is the top cover guy responsible for containing a superb receiving corps.
Injury Analysis, Giants Edition: Nicks is questionable and Bradshaw is still hobbled with an ankle injury. They need both of those guys on top of their respective games.
David Diehl will also be back in the starting lineup with Sean Locklear out, which hurts a line that has played well. Fortunately, the Saints don't have the personnel to take advantage of any of these injuries.
Injury Analysis, Saints Edition: Nickel cornerback Corey White might be out, which will reinforce the idea that Cruz should be the focus in the slot. The Saints don't move Patrick Robinson or Jabari Greer inside very often.
B/R NFC East Blog prediction: New Orleans is out of hope and the Giants have so much to play for at home. December is when this team shines. Tom Coughlin won't let the Giants slip up here.
Giants 30, Saints 20
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