New Orleans Saints at New York Giants (-4.5, 53)
Eli Manning and Drew Brees are supposed to be two of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. The results have not matched the narrative of late. The defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants have dropped three of their last four games and have squandered a healthy lead in the NFC East. Just one game up in the division, the Giants will be looking to pad their lead when they host Brees and the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.
The Saints had won five of six games following an 0-4 start, giving their fans some hope of a late move into playoff contention. But the last two weeks have been a disaster, with Brees throwing a total of seven interceptions in losses to the San Francisco 49ers and Atlanta Falcons. Manning’s touchdown-to-interception ratio has been a big concern to the Giants as well, with the Super Bowl MVP going three straight games without a TD pass before engineering a win over Green Bay in Week 12. He found the end zone again on Monday but led only one field goal drive in the second half of a loss to Washington.
TV: 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX.
LINE: Giants -4.5, O/U 53
WEATHER: Forecasts are projecting temperatures in the mid-40s with a 50 percent chance of showers. Winds will be light out of the NE at 3 mph.
ABOUT THE SAINTS (5-7): Brees was picked off five times and did not have a touchdown pass in a 23-13 loss at Atlanta on Nov. 29, breaking his NFL-record string of 54 straight games with at least one TD pass. The week before, Brees had two interceptions returned for touchdowns in a 31-21 loss to San Francisco. Brees has been forced to take chances this season because of New Orleans’ league-worst defense, which has surrendered an average of 440.5 yards and 27.3 points. The rushing defense has been particularly poor, allowing opposing backs to shred through for 153.8 yards. Brees’ own rushing attack has not been much help, either. The Saints need to win all four of their remaining games to have a shot at a postseason berth and still have games against playoff hopefuls Tampa Bay and the Dallas Cowboys.
ABOUT THE GIANTS (7-5): New York started off strong and is lucky to be in a division with no other dominant teams, keeping them a game up in the East. The Giants have split the season series with Washington and Dallas but still have tough road games at Atlanta and Baltimore coming up over the next two weeks. Manning seems to be pulling out of his funk and has a chance to put up big numbers against the New Orleans’ secondary. Manning threw for 406 yards and a pair of TDs in a loss at the Saints last season. New York could also lean on running backs Ahmad Bradshaw and David Wilson against the New Orleans run defense.
* Saints are 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings.
* Under is 4-0 in Giants’ last four games overall.
* Giants are 1-6 ATS in their last seven vs. a team with a losing record.
* Saints are 5-0 ATS in their last five December games.
1. Brees threw for 363 yards, four TDs and 0 INT, and also ran for a score in the 49-24 win over the Giants last season.
2. New York T Sean Locklear is out for the season after suffering a knee injury on Monday. He will be replaced by veteran David Diehl.
3. New Orleans TE Jimmy Graham has a TD reception in 12 of his last 16 games.