While neither club will be playing many of their starters for more than a series or two at most, it should still be a great game that will be decided by second and third-stringers.
Let’s take a look at where you can watch the Super Bowl XLVI “rematch," who to keep an eye on during the game and make a prediction on which side will win.
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
When: Wednesday, August 29 at 7:00 p.m. ET
Watch: NFL Network
Listen: NFL Audio Pass
Betting Line: Not Yet Set
What’s At Stake?
Coaches Tom Coughlin and Bill Belichick have a history of sitting their starters during the fourth week of the preseason for numerous reasons—mainly to get healthy and rested going into the regular season.
Regardless, the rosters are starting to shake out and both teams will be cut down to 75 players by Wednesday night’s kickoff. Each coaching staff will have to evaluate the remaining fringe players and bring their personnel number down to 53 before Sept. 5.
You’ll want to keep an eye on the players that are on the cusp of making the roster, as their play in this game will impact whether they make the cut or not.
Patriots Key Injuries (via CBSSports.com)
DB Patrick Chung—Shoulder—QST
WR Jabar Gaffney—Thigh—QST
RB Shane Vereen—Foot—QST
Giants Key Injuries (via CBSSports.com)
DB Prince Amukamara—Leg—DBT
DL Shaun Rogers—Leg—DBT
RB Ahmad Bradshaw—Hand—QST
LB Mathias Kiwanuka—Groin—QST
WR Hakeem Nicks—Foot—QST
DL Jason Pierre-Paul—Back—QST
DB Terrell Thomas—Knee—DBT
What They’re Saying
The Associated Press (via The Washington Post) caught up with some of the New England players to discuss their offensive woes in the preseason.
Brandon Lloyd, the Pats' new No. 1 receiver, didn’t seem too concerned when he shed some light upon the team’s problems.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do in being consistent and putting drives together to get the ball into the end zone,” said Lloyd. “We are developing as an offense and we’re trying to integrate as much of the running game and pass catchers as possible, but I think what it is coming down to is that we all need to make plays and be more consistent out there on the football field.”
Patriots Player to Watch: Nate Solder
Solder’s poor play this preseason has a lot of observers concerned. The second-year man out of Colorado is expected to start at LT to replace the now-retired Matt Light.
The 6’8” lineman has been getting bullied around, and that sort of play has to stop if Tom Brady is going to stay healthy during the regular season. Solder must fix his technique tonight or risk losing his job in the near future.
Giants Player to Watch: Michael Coe
Due to injury in the Giants secondary, the 28-year-old is now one of the starting corners in N.Y.
Terrell Thomas, Prince Amukamara and Jayron Hosley were all ahead of the six-year veteran on the depth chart before getting injured.
The former Alabama State player has a chance to hold the position for the season opener against the Cowboys—but that depends on how he plays against the Pats and the health of his teammates.
Prediction: Patriots 28 – Giants 21
This game is tough to predict due to the fact that unknown backups will be playing a major role in the outcome.
However, many of the Patriots' second-stringers still remember the pain from last season’s Super Bowl loss and will play with a mental and physical edge that the Giants simply won’t be able to match in this preseason contest.
Expect the Pats to win by at least a TD based on that factor alone.