Three things to look out for if the Giants are going to beat the Cardinals this weekend.
1. Size matters
The Giants easily corralled the Eagles’ receiving corps featuring DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, but that was just an appetizer compared to who they face Sunday. The Cardinals boast arguably the best wideout in the game in Larry Fitzgerald. Coming off a subpar 2010 season for him, Fitzgerald is on a mission this season. Already off to a fast start (15 catches, 259 yards and two touchdowns), Fitzgerald has tortured opposing defenses this season. How well Big Blue’s injury-riddled secondary can neutralize the annual Pro Bowler will go a long way in deciding a victory or defeat.
2. Something new, something Blue
The Giants’ new-look offensive line has been spotty at times this season and will face a tough test Sunday. The Cardinals employ a 3-4 defense, which is something Big Blue rarely faces. That means there’s usually more speed in a 3-4 look with an extra linebacker to account for. But while linebacker speed could be a concern for the Giants’ line, the real force in Arizona’s defense is nose tackle Darnell Dockett. Should center David Baas handle the Pro Bowler, then that’ll pave the way for guards Chris Snee and David Diehl to get their mitts on the undersized linebackers, enabling the running game to flourish.
3. Eli’s rolling
Eli Manning has been on a roll as of late, even garnering NFC Player of the Week honors for his four-touchdown performance last week in Philly. Since starting 2-of-11 against the Rams two weeks ago, Manning has completed 80 percent of his passes. Manning is known to be streaky, so if Good Eli shows up, he can certainly match Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb yard-for-yard. But should Bad Eli rear his head, the Giants will not like their return visit to the site where they won the Super Bowl following the 2007 season.
Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.