- Ohm Youngmisuk, ESPN Staff Writer
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The second preseason game is upon us.
Here's what to watch for on Sunday:
Ground game: In the preseason opener, the Giants' tandem of David Wilson and Andre Brown gained 39 yards on nine carries. But Tom Coughlin wants to see the running game be more consistent and productive. While the offensive line has yet to play at full strength with Chris Snee making his way back from offseason hip surgery, the Giants need to show some improvement in the running game before the preseason is over. And Brown needs to hang on to the ball after fumbling a pitch toss right against Pittsburgh in the preseason opener.
Run defense: The Giants' defense will want to improve on stopping the run. The Steelers racked up 81 rushing yards on 17 carries against the Giants in the first half, including 36 yards on a 13-play drive in the first quarter. Perry Fewell has a lot of options to play with up front with defensive tackles like Cullen Jenkins, Linval Joseph, Shaun Rogers, Johnathan Hankins, Marvin Austin and Mike Patterson.
Welcome back, Hakeem: Hakeem Nicks will make his preseason debut Sunday after missing the opener in Pittsburgh. The team has been taking a cautious approach with the receiver, who battled knee and foot injuries last season. Eli Manning worked well with Victor Cruz, connecting on a 57-yard touchdown against the Steelers. It will be nice to see how he does with Nicks. Justin Tuck is also expected to play after sitting out last Saturday with a back issue. Coughlin plans to play his starters about 20 snaps and the second team about 25 snaps.
Who will sparkle: In the opener, Damontre Moore stole the spotlight with an impressive debut that included a blocked punt. Who will step up Sunday and make a statement for either more playing time or a spot on the roster? Moore was bothered by a shoulder contusion this week. So perhaps another defensive end like Adrian Tracy or Justin Trattou could make some noise. Or will it be one of the many defensive tackles fighting for a spot? Or how about the linebackers? Coughlin said the linebackers did a good job in the opener but nobody really stood out.
Mundy Mundy: Antrel Rolle won't play after spraining his ankle. That means former Steelers safety Ryan Mundy will start alongside Stevie Brown. The Giants have been showing more formations with two nickel linebackers and an extra defensive back in practice as opposed to three-safety looks. But if Fewell goes to three safeties in games, Mundy would likely be the third safety.