The New York Giants are preparing to take on the New Orleans Saints on the road and secure their fourth straight win of the season. As both teams are in contention for the final NFC Wild Card playoff spot, the Giants must limit Saints running back Alvin Kamara to secure a win and maintain their playoff hopes.
The Saints are likely to rely on the ground game with QB Derek Carr injured
New Orleans’ starting quarterback Derek Carr has dealt with many injuries so far this season. He was off the injury report this week after being limited the week before due to a concussion, sore throwing shoulder, and rib injury.
Carr has been forced out of three games due to injury this season. Given the potential absence of star wide receiver Chris Olave, who is considered a game-time decision with an ankle injury, Carr and the New Orleans coaching staff may rely heavily on Kamara to limit Carr’s chances of reinjury and to provide a spark to their offense.
The Saints run their offense through Alvin Kamara
Kamara has been a key player for the Saints this season. He currently has five rushing touchdowns and leads the team in rushing yards with 564 yards on 145 carries, averaging 56.4 yards per game.
His impact extends beyond the ground game, as he has been heavily utilized as a receiver. Despite missing the first three games of the season, he leads all running backs in receptions with 63 catches for 402 yards and one touchdown. He is currently averaging 40.2 receiving yards per game.
This season, Kamara has amassed 966 scrimmage yards, leaving him just 34 yards shy from achieving his seventh consecutive 1,000-yard season.
In his last meeting with the G-Men, Kamara accumulated 120 rushing yards on 26 carries. In two games played against the Giants in his career, he has amassed 254 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
[su_posts template=”templates/list-loop.php” posts_per_page=”3″ tax_term=”151323″ offset=”1″ order=”desc”]
The Giants have struggled against the run this season
Big Blue’s defense has struggled against opposing rushers this season. Allowing an average of 135.1 rushing yards per game, they possess the fourth-worst run defense in the NFL, and running backs have found success against them, averaging 4.8 yards per carry.
The Giants have conceded 19 rushing touchdowns this season, giving up an average of 1.5 per game. 17 opposing rushers have recorded one or more touchdowns on the ground against them this year.
Saints may have two big playmakers returning from injury
Despite the potential loss of Olave, two key playmakers could be returning to the Saints’ offense on Sunday. Do-it-all tight end/quarterback Taysom Hill (foot/hand) and wide receiver Rashid Shaheed (thigh) both missed the Saints’ Week 14 matchup against the Panthers, but both were full participants in Friday’s practice.
Hill isn’t the average quarterback and can play multiple positions on the field. He has been performing exceptionally well, with 346 rushing yards, seven touchdowns, and a career-high 26 receptions for 229 yards. He has also completed five out of eight pass attempts for 72 yards and one touchdown.
Shaheed expressed that he expects to make his return against the Giants. He had an impressive stretch before his injury, accumulating 367 total yards and five touchdowns in his last five games. He ranks second in receiving yards for the team, with 533 yards, and has made six receptions of 40 or more yards.