The Giants are the defending champions, but they’re definitely runners-up in the notoriety department on the New York back pages.
But to a man, that’s fine with them. The main objective heading into Saturday night’s game with their co-tenants is to stay healthy and execute, as they’ll gladly leave the sideshow antics to their attention-starved brethren.
Three things to watch:
1. Will Big Blue get Tebowed?
The Jets acknowledged they’ve been working on the vaunted Wildcat package that will focus on backup quarterback Tim Tebow’s vast array of skills. But the Jets have also kept most of the details of the package under wraps -- specifically any wrinkles it has and if they’ll even unleash it in the preseason. Saturday could be the perfect time to test the waters, as the Giants are banged up along the defensive line and the Jets should ideally want to get a sample of what works and what needs tinkering before the regular season begins.
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2. Who suits up on the defensive line?
The Giants’ defensive line went from the team’s strength to arguably its biggest question mark. Among the notable defensive lineman that are either missing in action, fighting through injuries or out for the year are tackle Chris Canty (knee, PUP list), tackle Marvin Austin (back, working his way into the rotation), tackle Rocky Bernard (knee, missed Jacksonville game but should be available) and tackle Shaun Rogers (blood clot in left calf, out for the year). Two others, tackle Martin Parker (herniated disc) and end Justin Trattou (ankle/heel), were released in the last two days.
3. How much work will starters get?
Last week in Jacksonville, the Giants’ reserves blew leads of 17 and 10 points en route to a one-point loss. Even though preseason wins and losses don’t count in the grand scheme of things, it didn’t make head coach Tom Coughlin happy seeing those margins dissolve. Will Coughlin allow the first-teamers more time to jell and form continuity -- particularly along the re-worked lines on both sides of the ball?
Big Blue’s starting offense saw only 16 snaps last week. And while the third preseason game is usually the elongated “dress rehearsal” game, quarterback Eli Manning alluded that he’d like to see the offense on the field longer this week, saying the offense needs to “improve on [the Jacksonville game] and clean up some things.”
Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8 for news throughout the preseason.