Saturday, August 16, 2014
W2W4: New York Giants
By Dan Graziano
The New York Giants (2-0) and the Indianapolis Colts (0-1) face off in an NFL preseason game at 7 p.m. ET Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
1. Can the Giants get the offense going? The first-team offense has scored a touchdown in each of the first two games, but both have come from the running game. Eli Manning and the passing game could use a strong showing to prove to themselves and the outside world that the new offense is working. Starting left tackle Will Beatty, who missed the first two games as part of his rehab from a broken leg, is scheduled to start, which could help. But Manning could use a couple of quick ones to Victor Cruz to help pick up first downs and sustain a drive.
2. The defense up front: Giants coach Tom Coughlin made a point this week of saying he'd be watching the first-team run defense after the Pittsburgh Steelers ran the ball well against them last Saturday. There are questions about the defensive tackle rotation, as Johnathan Hankins and Markus Kuhn are inexperienced, Cullen Jenkins has struggled and Mike Patterson has been out with a shoulder injury. The defensive line composition as a whole will be interesting to watch, as the Giants would like to change up looks involving ends Robert Ayers, Damontre Moore and even newcomer Israel Idonije, who's also a helper on special teams.
3. The backup quarterback competition: Curtis Painter takes over for Ryan Nassib as the No. 2 quarterback this week. Nassib has been a disappointment this preseason in spite of being handed every opportunity to seize the backup job for himself. Could they be demoting him to send a message? Or are they starting to feel they'll have to cut bait on their 2013 fourth-rounder and get Painter ready for the season? Nassib has a major problem with accuracy, and he'll have to show a lot in this game to get back into good graces and see his practice reps increase again next week.