Sunday’s only game will be a marquee matchup between the Indianapolis Colts and New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. While it isn’t nationally televised, true football fans will find a way to catch this preseason battle.
The meeting features two of the most talented quarterbacks in the NFL: Eli Manning for the Giants and Andrew Luck for the Colts. The focus will be on the chemistry each QB has with his team and how well each offense is playing.
Add in the changes on both defenses—each team lost key players like Osi Umenyiora for New York and Dwight Freeney for Indianapolis this offseason—and the battle on Sunday will be one of the best in Week 2.
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
When: Sunday, August 18 at 7 p.m. ET
Watch: Not nationally televised
Live Stream: Preseason Live
Listen: Online at NFL Audio Pass
Betting Line (via Covers)
Spread: Giants (-1.5)
New York and Indianapolis boast two of the more impressive offensive units in the NFL. With both first-team units getting to stretch their legs in the first half of Week 2, the score is bound to reflect that.
I’d advise strongly against making a wager on a preseason game because of the unpredictability. Nevertheless, if you have to do so, take the over and the Giants giving 1.5 points.
Injury Report (via ESPN)
Pat Angerer, LB, Out (foot)
Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, Out (foot)
Dwayne Allen, TE, Questionable (foot)
Joe Lefeged, S, Questionable (calf)
Griff Whalen, WR, Questionable (groin)
Coby Fleener, TE, Probable (concussion)
Terrell Thomas, CB, Out (knee)
Hakeem Nicks, WR, Probable (groin)
Antrel Rolle, S, Questionable (ankle)
Colts Player to Watch: Andrew Luck, QB
Indianapolis' second-year QB Andrew Luck is already one of the most talented players in the league, but the franchise is expecting even more this season as he continues to acclimate with the NFL environment.
Luck had a stellar rookie campaign (4,374 passing yards and 23 touchdowns), and the franchise will look to follow that up with an even better 2013. Not only is Luck continuing to build a rapport with receivers Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton, but the evolution of tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen also has helped the second-year player continue to develop.
Add in the improved running game in Indianapolis—veteran Ahmad Bradshaw was signed this offseason but will miss Sunday’s matchup, per ESPN—and Luck’s chances of avoiding a sophomore slump and continuing his ascension to the league’s upper echelon are very high.
Giants Player to Watch: Eli Manning, QB
The most explosive player on the New York Giants is Eli Manning. With his weapons back this season healthy and happy with their contracts (receivers Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz will play in Week 2 of the preseason), the veteran is looking to match last season’s success.
Despite having injuries all over the offensive depth chart in 2012, Manning still managed an impressive 3,948 passing yards and 26 touchdowns. The healthy start to the preseason should be a great sign for the regular season.
While losing Colts’ new running back Ahmad Bradshaw to free agency this offseason (that should make for a few awkward handshakes) will hurt the team’s rushing attack, the combination of Andre Brown and David Wilson will be enough to make the offense a dual threat.
Sunday’s game should be a good indication of where both New York and Indianapolis are as contenders in their respective conferences.
Prediction: New York 27, Indianapolis 17