Giants vs. Patriots: 3 things to watch

Tyler Sash is one player who may be called upon Thursday to fill the void left by Stevie Brown. Credit: Getty Images
Tyler Sash is one player who may be called upon Thursday to fill the void left by Stevie Brown.
Credit: Getty Images

The Giants wrap up their preseason schedule today (7:30 p.m., NBC/NFL Network) with a trip to New England to face the Patriots.

And while head coach Tom Coughlin ultimately wants his banged-up team to simply end the exhibition season as healthy as possible, he knows there’s still work to do.

The Patriots may not play any of their regulars, but for a Giants team that has looked bad for most of its three prior games, they need as many reps as possible to find a groove and jell. With that in mind, here are three things to watch for:

1. Offensively inept

The starters will play as many as 12-15 snaps against the Patriots, which is especially important for the offense considering how bad it has looked so far. Big Blue has only scored two touchdowns with its first unit and is 0-of-7 in the red zone, meaning the No. 1s aren’t getting it done. The first-team defense isn’t without culpability either, as the pass rush has been nonexistent and opposing quarterbacks have had far too much time to punish an already suspect secondary that is now without its best playmaker.

2. Safety dance

Safety Stevie Brown was easily the Giants’ savior last season during his breakout Pro Bowl campaign. With him going down to an ACL tear, his instincts and ball-hawking skills will be sorely missed.

But as life in the NFL dictates, the league waits for no man. That means the Giants will need to find out quickly which player, or players, can fill Brown’s void. Ryan Mundy will get the first crack at it, as the first-year Giant has made it a niche in replacing valuable players in the secondary. Mundy recently came over from Pittsburgh, where he was often called into duty as the backup to the injury-prone Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark.

If Mundy can’t pick up the slack, defensive coordinator Perry Fewell will have to mix and match from a variety of options, including moving cornerbacks Aaron Ross or Terrell Thomas, who is coming off his own ACL maladies, or young players like Tyler Sash and rookie Cooper Taylor. Will Hill would’ve been a great fill-in for Brown but he’ll begin his four-game suspension for a banned substance once the preseason ends.

3. On the line

So much has been written about the trials and tribulations of the reshuffled offensive line, but when quarterbacks are getting battered, rushing lanes aren’t staying open very long and drives aren’t being sustained — particularly in the red zone or in short yardage — eyes will be cast on the fateful five.

James Brewer is the next to help patch up the line, as Jim Cordle failed his audition at starting center last week. Brewer will take Kevin Boothe’s spot at right guard, while Boothe slides into the spot now vacated by Cordle. Rookie first-round pick Justin Pugh will remain at the right tackle spot while usual starter David Diehl (out up to six weeks) recovers from right thumb surgery. Customary starting center David Baas (sprained knee) would definitely shore up the offensive line, but he’s week-to-week. So, for the time being, the lightly used guys will just have to step up to the challenge.

Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Man survives shooting in Bronx apartment building lobby

A man survived a shot to his abdomen on Sunday after authorities say an unknown suspect fired off inside the Bronx apartment building lobby.

News

Easter Egg hunt horror as skydiver plummets to…

A FAMILY Easter egg hunt ended in horror when a skydiver plummeted to his death in a New York garden after his parachute failed to…

News

Boston Marathon 2014 on high alert, Red Sox…

One year on from the horrific Boston Marathon bombings a ring of steel has been thrown around today's race, and a city stands defiant against…

Local

Best nature spots for kids in New York…

When it comes to kids and nature, most U.S. parents agree: children should be spending more time outdoors. According to a recent survey by The…

The Word

Terry Richardson tried to trade Vogue spread for…

Last night, model Emma Appleton tweeted a screenshot of a text that appeared to be a proposition from Terry Richardson.

Television

‘Mad Men’ recap: Season 7, Episode 2, ‘A…

Peggy and Lou are horrible, Bert's racist, Don is honest(ish) and Roger and Pete are frustrated. "A Day's Work" not quite worthy of "This Will Be Our Year."

Television

'Game of Thrones' recap: Season 4, Episode 3,…

The problem with the devil you know is that ignoring them doesn’t mean they simply lie in wait. It allows them time to do things…

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

NHL

Rangers let chance at victory slip away in…

All the Rangers had to do was hold serve in a raucous Madison Square Garden — roaring in anticipation of putting a hated rival in a 2-0 series hole.

MLB

Yankees place Ivan Nova on DL with partially…

Yankees starter Ivan Nova was diagnosed with a partially torn UCL in his throwing elbow Sunday.

NHL

Rangers never thought opening round would be 'an…

You might have thought the Metropolitan Division semifinal series was going to be a rout after watching Game 1 Thursday night. The Rangers did not.

NHL

Rangers blow two-goal lead in Game 2 loss…

The Rangers got out to an early 2-0 lead in Game 2 and the Garden was rocking. But it went downhill quickly from there.

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.