The New York Giants will return to the site of one of their greatest triumphs on Saturday night when they head to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indiana to take on the Indianapolis Colts in their third preseason game of the season. It will be their very first trip back to the stadium since their dramatic 21-17 victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI.
As fun as sensationalizing and reminiscing is, Super Bowl XLVI is now a distant memory. Rather, the Giants need to focus heavily on rounding their new offense into shape, and that development is one of the top things we'll be watching for on Saturday night. Here are a few others, as well as a number of specific players to also keep a watchful eye on.
What to Watch For:
- Familiar Faces – The Giants will return to Indianapolis for the first time since Super Bowl XLVI, but with it comes the return of some familiar faces. When the Big Blue defense looks across the line of scrimmage they will be staring directly into the eyes of wide receiver Hakeem Nicks and running back Ahmad Bradshaw, who were each major impact players in that Super Bowl XLVI victory over the New England Patriots.
- Wide Receiver Competition – Time is beginning to run out for both Mario Manningham and Jerrel Jernigan — which has led to an apparent rift in the organization — as Corey Washington and Marcus Harris continue to shine. Both Manningham and Jernigan will need to outperform Washington and Harris in order to have a shot at making the 53-man roster. And don't discount Preston Parker, either. He's played well and has really shown some value on Special Teams.
- Offensive Progress – Starters are expected to play into the second quarter on Saturday night, so we'll get our first real look at multiple offensive series to see how far Ben McAdoo's new offense has come. The team began adding in new plays this past week, as well as some other intricacies of the new offense and they'll likely all be on display versus the Colts.
- Tight End/Fullback Mashup – So far this preseason, we've seen the tight ends used, on occasion, in the fullback role. This past week however, we've also seen Henry Hynoski used at the tight end position. With starters going into the second quarter on Saturday night, expect to see a little bit more of this mashup — Hynoski at tight end, Larry Donnell & Co. at fullback and any other sort of tight end/fullback combination you can imagine.
Five Players to Watch:
- Wide Receiver Preston Parker – With all the talk about Corey Washington and Marcus Harris, Parker has gone somewhat overlooked. However, much like Washington and Harris, he's made the most of his opportunities in both practice and in game situations. Additionally, as we mentioned earlier, he's also done a good job on Special Teams and is poised to receive a few additional looks on Saturday night.
- Cornerback Charles James – As James continues to push to overcome his underdog role and earn a spot on the 53-man roster, time is slowly beginning to run out. He had a brutal muffed punt a week ago that obviously bothered head coach Tom Coughlin, so he'll need to rebound in order to keep himself in a very tight race at a very deep position. Not only will he need to contribute on Special Teams, but he'll need to start making some noise in the secondary.
- Quarterbacks Ryan Nassib/Curtis Painter – Curtis Painter has leaped Ryan Nassib on the depth chart, and although Tom Coughlin insists there is nothing to it, Painter will be the second man up behind Eli Manning on Saturday night and is poised to see more snaps than either of the other two quarterbacks. He's now in a position to really separate himself from Nassib, who needs to come out and have a huge game to get himself back in the race and on the good graces of his coaches.
- Left Tackle Will Beatty – Beatty will make his long awaited return on Saturday night and how he performs could be crucial for the New York Giants. Not only do they need him to remain healthy, they need him to return to his pre-2013 form. Thus far in practice, he's done quite well, even handling the revitalized Jason Pierre-Paul on most occasions. However, Saturday night present the first opportunity for him to see live game action against someone in a different uniform.
What say you, Giants fans? What are you most looking forward to seeing on Saturday night?
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Tags: Ahmad Bradshaw, Ben McAdoo, Corey Washington, Football, Hakeem Nicks, Henry Hynoski, Jerrel Jernigan, Larry Donnell, Marcus Harris, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Preston Parker