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Raiders just a speed bump as Giants roll to 5-0

Jaime C. Harris | 4/12/2011, 4:40 p.m.

The NFC East leading Giants continue to assert themselves as a principal Super Bowl favorite at this early juncture of the season after defeating the Oakland Raiders by 44-7 at the Meadowlands on Sunday. The victory elevated the Giants to 5-0 and pushed the 1-4 Raiders deeper into insignificance.

Whereas the Raiders served as tackling dummies for the Giants, the New Orleans Saints, whom the Giants will face on the road this Sunday (1:00 P.M.), are expected to be their most problematic opponent thus far."They're a complete team and we know it's going to be very tough for us down in that stadium," said Giants cornerback Corey Webster after dominating the Raiders. "It's going to be much different for us than what we faced today"What Webster and the Giants will confront is a potent Saints contingent that is also undefeated at 4-0 and in first place in the NFC South. They are coming off of their bye week after defeating the Jets by 24-10 on October 4. The 13-day break will have provided the Saints two critical advantages: Invaluable rest and extended preparation time. Although the Saints' defensive unit has been noteworthy, it is quarterback Drew Brees and the offense that remains the team's primary strength. "They have a lot of guys who can hurt you whether catching or running the ball," emphasized Giants defensive back Kevin Dockery. "We are going to have to be focused and ready to play."Which would be consistent with how the Giants' defensive backfield has performed all season. Despite losing starting safety Kenny Phillips on September 24 for the season due to a left knee ailment and going without starting corner back Aaron Ross, who has missed all five games with an injured hamstring, the Giants' pass defense has been commendable.Statistically, they are ranked first in the NFL in that category, allowing only 104.8 yards per game and a total of four touchdowns. Their depth has been essential, as veterans Dockery, Michael Johnson and C.C. Brown, along with youngsters Terrell Thomas and Bruce Johnson, have ably held the fort. "With all of the injuries guys have stepped in and accepted the challenge," said Webster, who has emerged as one of the league's preeminent corners. "We don't think of each other as starters or backups. It's all about doing what's needed at any given time."