The Giants finally get to return to the field after an extended time off following their loss to Dallas in the season opener. They will host former Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano and the young Bucs on Sunday.
Three things to watch for
1. Establish line dominance
The Giants will need to figure out a way to jump start their offense this week, specifically the running game, and do what the Panthers couldn’t do -- establish dominance along the line of scrimmage. Despite rushing for 78 yards against the Cowboys -- 33 coming on one run -- Ahmad Bradshaw wasn’t much of a factor as Dallas bottled him up for most of the game. That forced the offense to be one-dimensional behind Eli Manning (21-of-32 for 213 yards and a touchdown). And the passing game just couldn’t carry the load alone.
2. Rookie running backs
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Outside of Browns’ rookie Trent Richardson, who was the third-overall pick, Buccaneers’ running back Doug Martin and the Giants’ David Wilson were considered the best all-round players at their position. Giants’ general manager Jerry Reese insisted that Wilson, picked No. 32, was his choice all along, but had Martin been available, would Reese have rather had the former Boise St. product?
Martin, who was drafted just one pick ahead of Wilson, acquitted himself nicely in his debut (95 yards rushing and four catches for 23 yards), while Wilson (four yards on two carries and a fumble) is just now getting out of Tom Coughlin’s doghouse after a woeful debut against the Cowboys. These two may be linked as long they’re in the league, so Sunday can be their day to show who the more worthy draft pick was.
3. New look passing attack against injury-ravaged Giants’ secondary
Tampa’s passing game looks eerily similar to what the Giants run, thanks to the hiring of Mike Sullivan as their new offensive coordinator. Sullivan was an offensive assistant coach last year for the Giants. The Buccaneers present the same type of problems that Dallas had for the Giants in the opener. They have an athletic quarterback (Josh Freeman) and a duo of receivers (Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams) who can make game-breaking plays in the secondary. The Giants will be tested, as Prince Amukamara and Michael Coe will replace Terrell Thomas (IR/ACL) in the starting lineup. Yet both are recovering from injuries of their own. Look for Sullivan to test Amukamara and Coe early and often.
Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.