The New York Giants play their third preseason game of 2012 at 8 p.m. on Friday night against the Chicago Bears in East Rutherford, N.J. With a scant 12 days before the regular-season opener against the Cowboys, here's what I'll be watching ...
Most closely: The offensive line in the run game. Everybody wants to see rookie running back David Wilson, and so do I, but I'm more interested to watch how the line blocks for him. I remain of the belief that last season's running-game woes for the Giants were a line problem and not a running backs problem, and the two preseason games so far have looked the same, with the line getting pushed back and unable to open holes for the backs. Wilson needs space in which to work if he's going to show off that explosiveness that made him a first-round pick. He could ascend to the backup role behind Ahmad Bradshaw, and he should get plenty of snaps tonight to show whether he's worthy of more carries. But he'll need at least some help from the big folks in front of him.
On the other side of the ball: I assume the Giants will put Corey Webster on Brandon Marshall, but who knows? Maybe the hazing of Prince Amukamara's not done yet and they'll leave him out there on Marshall in the hope that Jay Cutler can make him look bad. In all seriousness, Amukamara is going to get picked on by Cutler, even if he's covering Alshon Jeffrey or some other non-Marshall receiver. While Terrell Thomas is still recovering from his knee problems, Amukamara is a starting cornerback for the Giants, and I'm interested to see how he's handling that responsibility and all of the struggles he's had on and off the field this preseason.
If I think of it: Back to the line for a second, I'm interested to see how Sean Locklear does at left tackle filling in for Will Beatty, since it appears as though he's going to have to do that plenty. I'm interested to see whether Eli Manning mixes it up this time and throws to some No. 3 wide receiver candidates after throwing it to Victor Cruz all night last Saturday. With Michael Boley still out with a hamstring injury, we'll get to see more of Keith Rivers and the other linebackers. I'll miss watching Jayron Hosley, who's out with turf toe, but am interested to see how the return game looks in his absence.