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3 Giants storylines to watch

Giants’ offense has to run clock against high-powered Houston.

1 Which Matt Dodge shows up?

Dodge has is averaging just 34-net yards per punt; however, he’s plenty capable of booming punts as demonstrated by a 64-yarder earlier this season.

“Let’s face it, he’s inconsistent, no doubt, [but] he’s just a young guy,” coach Tom Coughlin said.

2 Can Ahmad Bradshaw match Arian Foster?

Bradshaw has posted respectable numbers (382 yards, 5.1 yards per carry and three touchdowns) but nothing like Foster’s (537, 6.3 and four). New York must keep Foster, Matt Schaub Andre Johnson off the field, and in order to do that, they must control the clock with lengthy possessions.

Bradshaw is known to put the ball on the carpet, losing all three of his fumbles this season. If the Giants can’t keep the high-powered Texans off the field and shorten Houston’s opportunities, Big Blue’s injury-depleted defense will be left to pick up the slack.

3 Will?Brian Cushing blow up the Giants?

The New Jersey native makes his 2010 debut after serving a suspension for PEDs.
The hulking 6-foot-3-inch linebacker was voted the defensive Rookie of the Year in 2009 after posting 133 tackles, four interceptions, four sacks and two forced fumbles.

“It adds one more good football player to a team that already has more than we wish they had,” offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said.

Key matchups


Giants’ secondary vs. Andre Johnson


» The veteran secondary rotation of Corey Webster, Kenny Phillips and Antrel Rolle will have their hands full with talented receivers. Kevin Walter actually leads the team with 20 receptions and three touchdowns.


» As good as Walter is, however, the focal point of Houston’s passing game is still Johnson, who has 19 receptions, 255 yards and a score in only three games. Johnson (ankle) is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game.
Advantage: Texans

Giants’ front vs. Arian Foster


» The?Giants completely silenced Matt Forte last week, but Foster could be the most dynamic back in the league. Just ask fantasy football owners.


» Foster only has one fumble and is a threat out of the backfield with 11 catches for 152 yards and a score. If he gets to the second level, watch out.
Advantage: Texans

Giants’ secondary vs. Matt Schaub


» Don’t expect another 10-sack performance — but the Giants could still put pressure on Schaub, as the Texans have given up 11 sacks this season. If the front can fluster Schaub, it’ll make things a little easier on the cover men.


» Don’t get into a shootout with Schaub, who has a 95.6 passer rating. He and Johnson are capable of dominating games by themselves, just like they did against Washington when the quarterback threw for 497 yards.
Advantage: Texans

 
 
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