It's important that the team irons out some kinks as they approach the regular season and this article will attempt to highlight just a small selection of the most interesting facets. What story lines are most intriguing? Read on to find out.
1. Dominance of Defense
That's right, I'm giving the G-Men's defense a lot of—albeit warranted—love on this list. I could be in the minority, but I'm not drinking the "Jay Cutler is God" Kool-Aid. I'm skeptical about how good a quarterback he really is, and Cutler's preseason debut with the Bears only cemented my beliefs.
I recognize he has no receivers and had to learn a new system, but I can't make excuses for a supposed elite quarterback.
Before I digress anymore, let's get back to the Giants defense. I think they could run rampant on this Bears offensive line and really cause some chaos up front. If the Bills defense managed to give Cutler fits, I have little doubt the Giants could do even better. Keep a close eye on the pressure the defensive line puts on the quarterbacks and look for Clint Sintim to have a monstrous encore performance.
2. Wide Receivers
Discussing the Giants young, unproven wide receiver corps ad nauseam has grown remarkably tiresome. Problem is, the receivers did nothing to alleviate the worries of Giants fans in their preseason debut against the Carolina Panthers last week. In fact, if anything, the concern has only worsened. Frankly, I'm sick of hearing about it.
It's time for Eli to rise to the occasion and prove to his pessimistic Giants fans that he can lead this team to the promised land even without Plax or Toom. If offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride lets Manning zip the ball around a bit more in this game, I expect big things from the receivers. I'm curious to see what Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden can do.
3. Backup Quarterbacks
It was quite evident last week in the Giants first preseason game that they clearly do not have a long-term answer at backup quarterback. David Carr is arguably one of the better second-string QBs in the league if he has time to make his reads, but the depth behind him in Andre Woodson and Rhett Bomar has the coaching staff disappointed.
Additionally, Carr will most likely be gone at the end of this season to pursue a starting gig.
To be blunt and put things simply, Andre Woodson has to have a great game tonight or he's a goner. Woodson is definitely aware of this, but I seriously question his abilities. I haven't seen much from him so far and I don't expect anything different tonight.
I still have faith in Rhett Bomar, however, if the offensive line can give him time in the pocket so he's not running for his life.
4. The Lawrence Tynes Saga
I'm sure most fans would agree with me: Lawrence Tynes needs to go. As a kicker, if you're inconsistent, you won't last long. Tynes is the absolute epitome of inconsistency, and I get heart palpitations just watching him prepare to kick a field goal from beyond 20 yards.
For some reason, the Giants haven't had a reliable kicker in a very long time (Don't even get me started on Jay Feely!). To be honest, I hope that the Giants will realize this inherent weakness and pursue a veteran free-agent kicker like Matt Stover who is currently available and happens to be a former Giant.
Fellow Giants writer Doug Rush, wrote a great article about this. Stover is old (41) and doesn't have the leg he used to, but I'll take a dependable kicker who lacks range any day over an inconsistent one like Tynes. Watch to see if Tynes can redeem himself. He needs more distance on kickoffs and better accuracy with field goals.
5. Tight Ends and Linebackers
We didn't get to see much out of the tight ends last Monday and they were overshadowed by the expectations fans had for the new wide receiver weapons. I'd like to see more of Travis Beckum. He gives the Giants offense a lot of options to be creative in the passing game and the coaches need to determine if the kid is for real.
Also, with the tremendous depth at the linebacker position for the Giants, some talented players will inevitably be cut. Look to see if Gerris Wilkinson can prove he's worthy of a roster spot. He's on the chopping block in the minds of the coaching staff.
Antonio Pierce will not be playing in the game, so Jonathon Goff and Chase Blackburn will probably get some time at MLB. Goff hasn't displayed much yet and needs to shine.
So there you go, five aspects of tonight's Giants game to pay attention to. Anything you disagree with? Share your thoughts below!