As good as the Giants looked on offense at times on Sunday in their 27-22 win over the Texans, they’ll have to perform even better if they want to keep winning. Especially against their next opponent.
The Giants host the Saints at MetLife Stadium this weekend. You know, the team with the quarterback Drew Brees, who leads the NFL in passing yards and just became the league’s all-time leader in completions. The one that is ranked fourth in total yardage and is third in points per game. The one that is coming off a 43-37 shootout win over the Falcons.
The Giants haven’t scored 30 or more points in a game since the 2015 regular-season finale. The Saints sit down on the couch and 30 points fall out of their pockets between the cushions.
The Giants’ defense may be able to slow them down a bit, especially if Olivier Vernon and Eli Apple return. But to keep winning, the Giants will have to play like they did in the first half against the Texans. And not just for a half.
“I envision that to be the first half, second half, overtime, the next game after that,” Odell Beckham Jr. said after the win. “That’s what it’s supposed to be. No letting up.”
For a while on Sunday it looked as if the Giants might reach 30-something. They had 20 at the half.
“That’s how I see playing offense,” Pat Shurmur said of the best 30 minutes of Giants football in a long time. “You dial up a progression and then the ball goes where it’s supposed to go.”
To Beckham. To Sterling Shepard. To Saquon Barkley.
In the first half, those three players accounted for 194 of the team’s 263 yards. Unlike past games when the Giants were waiting for those stars to break off a big play and hit a home run, on Sunday they were incorporated into the flow of the offense.
“I loved being able to move that ball around, getting it in the hands of your playmakers, and let them make plays and do what they do,” Beckham said. “That’s what this offense is built for.”
Said Eli Manning: “The ball was coming out fast … They were playing fast. We have good players, just let them go play. Let’s not try to be perfect and trick or do too much. Let our guys go win, because we’ve got good athletes.”
The second half saw a reduction of that production. The Giants punted on each of their first four second-half possessions before scoring a touchdown that sealed the win in the fourth quarter.
That was enough to beat the Texans. It likely won’t be against the Saints. To win that game, the Giants will have to start fast and keep going.
“We gotta get some more wins, start putting them together,” Beckham said. “Build off of this and keep it moving.”
The wide receiver, who has yet to score a touchdown this season, said the mentality of the team should be to score and score and score again. He even threw out the ridiculous idea of reaching 100 points, not necessarily as a realistic goal but as a tip of the hat to their potential and an illustration of why the Giants should not be satisfied with their most recent performance.
Then again, against the Saints, triple digits might come in handy.