Preview, prediction, what to watch for

by NEW YORK DIGITAL NEWS


An inside look at Sunday’s Giants-Saints NFL Week 15 matchup in New Orleans.

Marquee matchup

Saints RB Alvin Kamara vs. Giants LB Bobby Okereke, et al. 

Of course this is not a one-on-one battle. Kamara is not what he once was, but he commands loads of defensive attention as a runner and pass-catcher.

He leads the Saints with 564 rushing yards (averaging just 3.9 yards per attempt), is second on the team with 63 receptions and leads the team with six total touchdowns. 

Okereke has a team-high 119 tackles and is on pace for 156, which would surpass his career-best 151 last season with the Colts.

He also has his first two NFL interceptions and career highs in forced fumbles (four), tackles for loss (nine) and passes defensed (eight).


Alvin Kamara #41 of the New Orleans Saints reacts after a touchdown during the second quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Caesars Superdome on December 10, 2023 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Alvin Kamara #41 of the New Orleans Saints reacts after a touchdown during the second quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Caesars Superdome on Dec. 10, 2023 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Getty Images

Okereke has been everything the Giants hoped he would be when they gave him a four-year deal worth $40 million in free agency. 

Paul’s pick

How long does the ride last for Tommy DeVito?

He has not thrown an interception in 87 consecutive passes and will be tested by a larcenous New Orleans defense. Derek Carr’s first season with the Saints has not exactly been a joyride.

This is a tough place to play amid the noise.

DeVito’s first NFL start was in a dome and that did not go well in Dallas.

He has come a long way since then but will need plenty of help to keep the winning streak alive. 

Saints 24, Giants 17

4 downs

Young gun: Sometimes it is easy to forget just how new and fresh this all is with Tommy DeVito.


Tommy DeVito
Tommy DeVito has helped lead the Giants to three straight wins. 2023 Mike Stobe

Sure, he is 25 years old, but he is a rookie and there is a measure of wide-eyed amazement to his emergence as the starting quarterback.

He was asked 33 questions during his mid-week media session, and only one of them was specifically about the Saints.

DeVito almost sounded like a kid talking about the defense he was preparing to face. 

“Obviously have a lot of guys on that defense I’ve kind of looked up to in the past,’’DeVito said. “The Honey Badger [safety Tyrann Mathieu], he’s on that defense. That’ll be my first time playing against him. That’s kind of a cool deal when I went through the scouting report and saw his name on there. That’s someone I’ve always watched when I was younger, so that’ll be just a cool person to play against out there.’’ 

Happy return: When tight end Darren Waller went down with a significant hamstring strain in the Week 9 loss to the Jets, he insisted he would not rush back, as doing that the past two seasons led to recurring injury issues with the Raiders.

The Giants lost three consecutive games, and there was speculation Waller might not come back at all this season.

He was not thinking that way and is excited to return, albeit on a snap count. 

“I don’t try to approach it with that mindset, because it’s like a little bit of entitlement because you don’t know what could be your last game, how many opportunities you’re going to get,’’ Waller said. “I’ve been in a position where I didn’t think I’d get any more opportunities so every game that’s available I plan on attacking if I’m available.’’ 

Loud and proud: The ability for an offensive line to communicate on the road is always a challenge, some venues more than others.

Consider the cavernous indoor home of the Saints to be particularly difficult in the hearing department.

This will be the fifth consecutive game with the same offensive line configuration for the Giants (Andrew Thomas, Justin Pugh, John Michael Schmitz, Ben Bredeson and Tyre Phillips), and for the first time all season, there were no sacks allowed last week.

And now, bring on the noise. 

“I played there two years ago, it’s very similar to that college atmosphere, how passionate the fans are, being in a dome and it’s a great city,’’ Thomas told The Post. “It’s going to be fun.’’ 

Swipers: The defenses of the Giants and Saints are tied for fifth in the NFL in creating turnovers with 22 — the Giants have 13 interceptions and nine fumble recoveries and the Saints have 14 interceptions and eight fumble recoveries.

This has been a binge by the Giants, with 14 takeaways in their past four games. 

“I think it’s guys taking advantage of the situations,’’ defensive coordinator Wink Martindale said. “They’re becoming better finishers at the football. It’s been fun to watch.’’ 



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