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Thursday, September 23, 2010
Giants-Titans: A key matchup

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. has watched film of both the New York Giants and Tennessee Titans this week and has some excellent observations for our Insider subscribers. Here's one of the matchups that Williamson suggested we watch Sunday:

"10. Matchup to watch: Giants WR Steve Smith vs. Titans CB Cortland Finnegan: Hakeem Nicks (ankle) caught a meaningless touchdown at the end of Sunday night's game, but he didn't appear 100 percent healthy. Despite Nicks' supreme talents, Smith remains Manning's No. 1 target. Expect Finnegan to try to eliminate that safety blanket wideout."

I started paying close attention to Finnegan in 2007 because Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz told me that he was the team's unsung hero. He's always played with a chip on his shoulder since coming out of Samford University in '06 as a seventh-round draft pick. Everyone focused on Adam "Pacman" Jones when he entered the league, but Finnegan was always the more consistent player. He'll try to intimidate the Giants' receivers with a punishing hit early in the game and look for him to try to strip the ball. I guarantee you that ball security is a huge priority in Giants practices this week.