Some individual match ups are intriguing. On one side of the ball you have Eli Manning, Brandon Jacobs and co. going up against a rejuvinated Saints defence. The Saints D play better against the run than the pass so it will be key to keep the middle of the field plugged up early forcing the Giants to throw. If they can do this they will be pitting Eli Manning against an improved Saints secondary who will be covering a glut of impressive rookies. The winner of this dual may well decide the game. If they can stop enough 3rd and long passes and turn the ball over to the Saints O then the Saints have a good chance as time of possession will be key. The longer the Giants have it the better their chances.
On the other side of the ball Drew Brees, Reggie Bush, Robert Meachem and co. will be up against a tough Ginats D. It is vital that Peirre Thomas and Mike Bell are able to establish the running game early. If they are able to punch a enough holes then it will open up the long play game and in Devery Henderson the Saints have a dangerous deep threat. Break a long one early on and Brees will be able to keep the Giants second guessing which then leaves room for his slot recievers and balls out of the back field. The Giants will have their work cut out if that happens because Brees is one of the best in the business when it comes to reading defences and changing plays at the line.
Last, and by no means least, there is the question of special teams where the Saints returners should have the edge. Reggie Bush may have his detractors but he is still one of the best in the business in the open field and the Giants would do well to get some good air time on any punts. Luckily for them they have the best punter in the league in Jeff Feagles so it will be intriguing to see who comes out the winner here. If Reggie is able to break one or two for reasonable yardage then it will give the Saints O great field position by which to take advantage, which will help if the Giants are consuming the clock.
My pick for this is a narrow Saints victory but only on the basis of home field advantage. If it were in Giants Stadium it would go the other way, it's going to be that tight. I just think the Saints will be able to edge it late and I'm going for a 27 to 23 Saints win but for things to come down to the wire.