Tonight’s action at the New Meadowlands Stadium will be the last tune-up game before it’s door’s open for the regular season. Yes, football fans, the NFL Regular Season is just one week away. The backups and players fighting for a chance to stick on the 53-man roster will get the bulk of the action tonight, as the starters for the Giants’ only fair to play about a quarter. The starters did not look good last week against the Ravens. The Giants’ need to get in sync and get ready for the opener against Carolina.
5 Things to Watch Tonight:
Rhett it is?: As of now, Rhett Bomar is the Giants’ #2 QuarterBack. Does any of this matter if Eli Manning doesn’t get hurt? Probably not. But what if he does? I don’t feel confident that Bomar can come in and win games right now, and I don’t think the Giants do, either. The Giants’ will be hitting wavier wire hard come cut day, but until then, Bomar gets his chance. If Bomar has a stellar game tonight, the Giants’ might feel a little more confident in Bomar.
Dodge Duck Dip Dive and Dodge: That was for all you Dodgeball fans. Giants’ rookie Punter Matt Dodge will get his final tune-up game to get ready for the regular season. Dodge has a boot, as evident by the 74 yard punt he had. But he’s also very inconsistent, something Head Coach Tom Coughlin will not have. Coughlin won’t be willing to loose a game on the ineffectiveness of Dodge. If Dodge is shaky tonight, look for the Giants’ to search for another Punter come opening day. Remember Stoney Woodson? I bet you don’t. He was a former 7th round pick who didn’t do much and was cut. He hurt his ankle his rookie year, received an injury settlement and wasn’t even good enough to be put on IR. A draft pick not even hitting IR? Resse knows when it’s time to cut a guy loose. Although CB and P are different positions and Dodge hasn’t been hurt, you get my point.
The Offensive Line: The Giants’ offensive line has been shaky this pre-season. When the Giants’ are at their best, they pound the football down your throat. However, you can’t do that unless your line is winning the battle in the trenches. As you all know, the Giants’ struggled in that department last year. With McKenzie, O’Hara, Snee and Schubert banged up, nobody really knows what to expect come opening day. Tonight will be Will Beatty’s last chance to crack the starting rotation Week 1, but with his bad performance last week, it doesn’t appear he’s ready, either. Shawn Andrews played great in his limited action, but he’s not ready to start yet, or play a good amount of time, either. Also, his health is always an issue. This will be their question mark on the offensive side of the ball.
What can Cruz do for you?: The UPS guy just drove past my house when I was writing this, so I thought I’d find a way to throw their slogan in this. Not bad, right? With Sinorice Moss being pushed to IR, Victor Cruz is looking more and more like a lock everyday. However, he isn’t much of an asset on Special Teams, something your 6th WR needs to be, so could he be cut? Duke Calhoun (2 catches, 29 yards this preseason), is much better on Special Teams. Could Cruz get cut in favor of Calhoun? Probably not but it wouldn’t surprise me, either.
Returning Woes: As of now, the Giants’ have yet to have somebody on their roster step-up and claim the Kick and Punt Returning duties. Aaron Ross did for a moment on Punt Return, but with troubling feet issues, it’s unlikely he’d take the Punt’s back, now. Andre Brown has been given the most reps, and it appears if no-one else steps up, Brown will win the job by default. His 17.1 yards per return on seven returns (with a long of 22) is awful. However, who else is their? D.J. Ware should get a chance tonight now that he’s back from another concussion. However, it doesn’t appear he will be the guy, either. It’s very possible that the Kick and Punt Returner isn’t on the Giants’ roster right now. Time will tell.
Brandon Jacobs: Ah yes, a bonus! With Ahmad Bradshaw seemingly being the Giants’ starting Running Back, Brandon Jacobs will be the backup. How will he feel about this? We assume not happy. He may end up getting carries with the second unit more than the first tonight, something he won’t be pleased with. I think he may end up being more of an issue off the field than Osi Umenyiora, something nobody thought would happen. Jacobs has tremendous value when healthy, but is he ever? Bradshaw has looked great, his feet don’t appear to be an issue at all. One thing that’s telling is one first, second, third and fourth and short, Bradshaw got the carries, not Jacobs. If that isn’t telling, then what is? But remember, Bradshaw has never carried the ball more than 200 times in a season, nor has he remained healthy for an entire season. Don’t be surprised if Jacobs ends the season getting the bulk of the load.
Like I’ve said all along, the score in pre-season means nothing. However, I am 2-0 predicting the score this pre-season! If that matters, then be happy!
Giants 20 Patriots 17
The Giants’ get back on track tonight, end the pre-season on a good note! Jacobs looks stellar tonight, making the battle even more interesting, same with Umenyoria. Dodge looks good, I still think it’s the wind! But we shall see. I won’t be Twitter tonight like last game, and you won’t see my halftime thoughts! Sorry, but I have a high-school football game to attend at 6. I’ll try and make it back, but it doesn’t look good