Giants vs. Steelers: 3 things to watch

Peyton Hillis
Peyton Hillis will not play on Saturday against Pittsburgh.
Credit: Getty Images

The Giants and Bills were the first teams to get on the field this season last Sunday, but Big Blue will be right back at it on Saturday night (7:30 p.m., NBC).

Again, the starters will probably only see a couple series on Saturday, but after last week’s questionable offensive performance they’ll need to show something.

Metro takes a look at three storylines to watch as the Steelers come to town.

Three things to watch for …

1. Runners in abundance

David Wilson’s career came to an abrupt and unfortunate end since the Hall of Fame Game, but suddenly that loss doesn’t seem quite so costly. Andre Williams was a revelation against the Bills (seven carries, 48 yards, one touchdown), while free agent signee Rashad Jennings looked solid. But maybe the biggest surprise this week in Giants camp was the ascendence of Peyton Hillis two No. 2 on the running back depth chart.

The move comes with a caveat though. Head coach Tom Coughlin delivered the news Wednesday that Hillis would be out “a little while” with an “ankle/foot kind of thing.” That means more of Williams and Jennings against the vaunted Steelers defense.

2. Cruz control

The Giants’ top receivers — along with much of the offense — put up zeroes in the Bills game. Rueben Randle and Victor Cruz both had zero catches on zero targets. When asked Wednesday about “not doing much” in the game, Cruz deadpanned “that’s one way of putting it.” Corey Washington and Marcus Harris, who are deep down the depth chart, were the only two receivers who stepped up against the Bills. Rookie first-round pick Odell Beckham’s hamstring injury is improving, but he is still expected to be out Saturday, so the veterans need to step up.

3. Manning up

The Giants were quick to praise Eli Manning’s accuracy in the opener (6-of-7, 43 yards), but he frankly wasn’t very good. He was sacked and lost a fumble too. One game isn’t enough to make any real proclamations about anything, let alone the preseason opener. But we’ll have to see how much better he looks in offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new scheme on Saturday. Maybe the passing game will take the baton from the running game in this one.

Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.


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