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New York Giants Vs. New England Patriots: What to Watch For

August 29th, 2013 at 2:30 PM
By Dan Benton

In the blink of an eye, the preseason is over. After Thursday night's match-up between the New York Giants and New England Patriots, the next time either take the field, it will count. As such, each team goes into this game with one thing in mind: remain healthy. But for 44 players (22 on each team), it will mean the difference between a career in the NFL and having their name listed on the waiver wire.

'Super Bowl-23' photo (c) 2012, Stephen Luke - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Head coach Tom Coughlin said he expects his projected starters to play between 12-15 snaps, while Bill Belichick may not play his at all. As a result, fans will enjoy a college-like atmosphere where players are fighting for their very survival. So, while the game itself may be considered the least important from a preparation standpoint, it couldn't be more important for those hoping to land a spot on the 53-man roster.

Shuffled, then Reshuffled Offensive Line: With David Baas and David Diehl out with injury, the Giants attempted an offensive line re-shuffling last week that had Jim Cordle at center and Justin Pugh at right tackle. It didn't work as well as offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride and coach Coughlin wanted, so they plan to introduce reshuffled line version 2.0 on Thursday night. This time, Kevin Boothe will shift from left guard to center, with James Brewer taking his first career snaps in Boothe's former position. Meanwhile, on the outside, Pugh will remain. Hopefully this unit has better luck than the previous one.

Back-Up Quarterback Competition: Given the amount of injuries the Giants have sustained over the last 2-3 weeks, it's becoming less logical for them to carry three quarterbacks into the regular season. As such, the importance of this game for David Carr, Ryan Nassib and Curtis Painter becomes paramount. It was already obvious that one would be jobless by this time next week, but there is now a possibility that a pair could be unemployed. Nassib will follow Eli Manning in the first quarter, with both Carr and Painter receiving second half snaps. Each throw will be of the utmost importance for the trio.

Tim Tebow: Don't pretend you don't get sucked in. Whether you love the guy, hate the guy or are indifferent towards him as a person/player, there's literally no chance you're immune to the non-stop Tim Tebow coverage. As such, Tebow will be a focal point of the game and broadcast on Thursday night as he battles for a spot on the Patriots' 53-man roster. And while head coach Bill Belichick has praised Tebow, he still has to earn his way onto the team. A week ago, the Giants likely cost Geno Smith a starting job and, pending his heath, may have saved the career of Mark Sanchez … for now. So what do they have in store for Tebow?

Health: It's not so much that fans will be watching for health so much as they'll be praying (religious or otherwise) that no remaining projected starters get injured. That is the sole key to all preseason games, but especially the finale.

Tick. Tock. It's only a matter of hours now.

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Tags: Curtis Painter, David Baas, David Carr, David Diehl, Eli Manning, Football, James Brewer, Justin Pugh, Kevin Boothe, New England, New England Patriots, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Ryan Nassib

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10 Responses to “New York Giants Vs. New England Patriots: What to Watch For”

  1.  Krow says:

    I know what to watch out for … lightening. Don’t stand too close to Tom Brady when Jesus realizes he’s in Tim Tebows way.

  2.  JimStoll says:

    I’ve seen enough of Painter to know he’s not a solution
    we know what Carr will give us
    if I were TC, I’d play Nassib the entire way
    see how he does with more reps
    see if he can at least dominate soon to be unemployed football players
    if he can’t then rap him on the knee and send him to IR

  3.  JimStoll says:

    Guys I’d like to see on the final 53 who probably won’t be there:

    Torraine
    Broha
    Trattau
    Talley
    McBride
    James

    Guys who I don’t want who will probably be there

    Jernigan
    Barden
    Pascoe
    Diehl
    Carr

  4.  GOAT56 says:

    Dan – honestly I don’t care anything about Tebow but I guess many do. Maybe others are different. I’m glad that he’s finally being talked about on a level more matching his play.

    In addition to what’s listed I’m watching:

    Taylor – the coaches were very high on him, maybe more so than Cox so it will be exciting to see if he can back it up. He’s on the roster so how but it will interesting to see if he’s just a redshirt or can possibly help at some point this year.

    James – can he earn the PR job with a quality performance? TC gave him compliments on catching punts. Also, he needs to continue his quality play at CB. I would also like to see him make plays on coverage units. I look for him to look down a roster spot.

    Donnell – is a player we want to keep but right now it doesn’t look like we have space. Tonight is his chance to make coaches keep him. A quality performance and he’s on someones 53 man roster no matter what we decide.

    DE – is the most interesting competition. Tracy is the boring favorite. Ojomo is the intriguing sort of long shot. Trattou is trying to be a blend of Tracy and Ojom. While all the way on the outside Broha might sneak his way into winning this competition. With the quality of the players I don wonder if it’s possible we keep 6 DEs.

    DT – can Austin just seal the deal? Really all he needs is a decent performance at this point. Then comes the difficult choice between Rodgers and Patterson. While Patterson deserves a roster spot based on merit f we are employing 3-4 looks it’s hard to not keep Rodgers.

    Cox – just because I think we might have a Bradshaw type sleeper in this kid. I want to see him as a RB a lot more than last game. I think 4 RBs makes more sense but talent at other positions make that unlikely so there’s really no battle.

  5.  BigBlueGiant says:

    Brady not playing tonight.

    who’s gonna kill themselves when Tebow has field day against Fewell’s scheme’s?

  6.  creewan says:

    My final 53 actually has us keeping all 6 DTs, 3 QBs, 6 CBs and 4 S with no glaring lack of numbers at any position other than WR and LB (which we have Kiwi and Tracy who have experience standing up as well as experience in the LB classroom).

    SPECIAL TEAMS (3)
    K – Brown
    P – Weatherford
    LS – DeOssie

    OFFENSE (24)
    QB – Manning, Carr, Nassib
    RB – Wilson, Brown, Cox
    FB – Hynoski
    TE – Myers, Robinson, Pascoe
    OT – Beatty, Pugh, Diehl
    OG – Snee, Brewer, Mosley
    OC – Boothe, Baas, Cordle
    WR – Nicks, Cruz, Randle, Murphy, Jernigan/Barden

    DEFENSE (26)
    DE – Tuck, Kiwi, JPP, Moore, Tracy
    DT – Joseph, Jenkins, Hankins, Rogers, Austin, Patterson
    LB – Paysinger, Rivers, Connor, Herzlich, Williams
    CB – Prince, Webster, Ross, Hosley, Thomas, James
    S – Rolle, Mundy, Taylor, Sash

    PUP (1)
    DE – Kuhn

    SUSPENDED (1)
    S – Will Hill

    Will Hill replaces anyone who may get injured when he comes back. If the entire team is healthy then he can replace James or Sash.

    “Notable” cuts were Bosworth, Ojomo, Broha, Trattou, Hardy, Jernigan/Barden (whoever doesn’t make it), Torrain, McBride, Herman, Capers, Goodin, McCants

    Don’t have a PS picked out yet. Not sure who is and who isn’t eligible.

  7.  Dirt says:

    Holy sh|t, there’s a college game on tonight! It’s football season!!

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