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New York Giants Vs. New England Patriots: Preseason Week 4 Preview

August 27th, 2014 at 3:00 PM
By Dan Benton

Thursday marks the official end to the 2014 preseason, and for the New York Giants, it will conclude with a matchup against the New England Patriots. And while the starters are only slated to play for one or two series, there are still plenty of fringe players that make the game worth watching.

The Giants still have an overwhelming amount of questions to answer, and that includes how their depth will be shaped. Now removed from the first cutdown down, 75 players will be competing for the final 53 spots (not including the 10 Practice Squad spots).

What to Watch For:

  • Final Offensive Tune-Up – It took until the final 2:00 of their fourth preseason game, but Big Blue's new-look offense finally showed a little life against the ever-obsessed New York Jets. And although quarterback Eli Manning & Co. will only play a series or two, it would be a tremendous boost for them to build off of that performance and give themselves a little motivation going into the regular season.
  • First-Team Offensive Line – Both Geoff Schwartz (toe) and Brandon Mosley (back) will miss Thursday's game, so the Giants will get a unique first-string look that will likely include both Weston Richburg and John Jerry as their starters. How the line functions with two new plugins has the potential to be either disastrous or encouraging. And given what we've seen of Richburg to date, it's more likely to be the latter. Either way, it's definitely something worth keeping an eye on.
  • Bottom of the Depth Chart – There are more than a handful of players who will be playing for their NFL lives on Thursday, and as this game represents their final chance, you can expect all players on the bubble to give whatever it is they have left in their preseason tanks. Don't be surprised to see someone stand out who hasn't made much of an impact thus far.
  • Remaining Tight Ends – And then there were four. Daniel Fells is poised to receive some first-team reps on Thursday, but fans should expect a healthy mix of Fells, Adrien Robinson, Larry Donnell and Kellen Davis throughout the game. Head coach Tom Coughlin recently said the inability of any one player to stand out has led the team to move forward with a tight end-by-committee, but Thursday presents one last chance for someone to truly shine.

Five Players to Watch:

  • Running Back Michael Cox – With Peyton Hillis finally back from his ankle sprain, Cox will likely be battling it out with Kendall Gaskins for the final running back spot on the 53-man roster. Both he and Gaskins are sure to get a large number of looks on Thursday, but Cox came into camp in tremendous shape and immediately drew the praise of head coach Tom Coughlin. Now the question becomes: can he offer enough for the Giants to bookend his training camp/preseason with good news and a roster spot?
  • Linebacker Mark Herzlich – Herzlich is no stranger to relentless questions and doubt — he's faced them every single year of his NFL career. But at this point, does he offer the Giants enough to warrant keeping him on the 53-man roster? His Special Teams value is most certainly treasured by Big Blue, but with so many other talented linebackers now on the roster, does he need to offer them something more?
  • Wide Receivers Mario Manningham/Preston Parker – With Odell Beckham Jr. still injured and Marcus Harris now on Injured Reserve, an unexpected spot has opened up at wide receiver. And after surviving the first cutdown down, both Manningham and Parker will head into the final game of the preseason with a fighting chance to earn a roster spot. However, when including Jerrel Jernigan and even Julian Talley, there are a lot of bodies and precious few remaining spots.
  • Defensive End Mathias Kiwanuka – Contrary to popular belief, Kiwi has had a relatively successful preseason campaign, compiling a +3.5 rating from Pro Football Focus. Still, all stats and ratings aside, there's no denying that Damontre Moore has made some truly impressive leaps and bounds in his game. At this point, he's certainly on Kiwi's heels for a starting job, so with whatever reps he receives on Thursday night, Kiwi needs to perform well and cap off a solid preseason in an effort to keep Moore at bay … for now.

What say you, Giants fans? What are you most looking forward to seeing on Saturday night?

Also…

Seeing your team play in the SuperBowl is priceless. Watching the SuperBowl live in the stands for $1 per week is beyond priceless. Find out how at TicketScore.com, the future of Championship Tickets. Tags: Adrien Robinson, Brandon Mosley, Daniel Fells, Eli Manning, Football, Geoff Schwartz, Kendall Gaskins, Larry Donnell, Mario Manningham, Mark Herzlich, Mathias Kiwanuka, Michael Cox, New York, New York Giants, NFL

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19 Responses to “New York Giants Vs. New England Patriots: Preseason Week 4 Preview”

  1.  Krow says:

    I bet we see very little of the first teams. This is the last chance rodeo for players to impress, so it’s always a weird and wild affair. And unlike the pathetic Jets, the Pats approach it the same way we do.

  2.  fanfor55years says:

    Nice to see someone else who realizes that Kiwi is far from the bum that many here insist is the case. I think Moore should get more snaps, but they should come from Kiwi AND JPP if the latter doesn’t get going soon. Moore is certainly the future, and may even be the present, but Kiwi is a very solid player who quietly does a good job. I think Dirt is a very sophisticated fan, but when it comes to Kiwi he has blinders on at least as big as those I wore when I watched the late, lamented Gerris Wilkinson.

    Personally, I’d cut both Gaskins and Cox. Neither impresses me as someone who won’t be sitting on the couch should we need another running back later in the season. And going with just three running backs could allow us to keep a much better player at one of the positions where we could use some more depth.

    I think Herzlich sticks. We need six backers, certainly at the start of the season because of uncertainty regarding Beason. He’s # 6 on the depth chart and stays.

    I really want Manningham on this team because my instincts tell me he isn’t that far from being able to play at his best, which is FAR better than all of the current receivers except Cruz. But I suspect that knee, and perhaps a desire to use Parker as the punt returner, forces Mario off the roster. I think we will live to regret that decision if it’s made.

    •  James Stoll says:

      I still say 1 TE (can you have a committee of 1?), 2 FBs, 7 WRs

      •  fanfor55years says:

        You know that won’t happen, but I have to say that I wouldn’t at all mind it if McAdoo said the hell with it and kept Conner as a blocking tight end/H-back (and Hynoski as the fullback) and cut everyone except Robinson among the tight ends. None of those guys have earned a job to date so it wouldn’t be crazy to just rid the team of all of them and then search the Saturday waiver wire in order to find a second tight end. Not gonna happen, but there sure aren’t good options at the TE spot at the moment.

        •  skinnydoogan says:

          FF are you really endorsing Robinson?

          •  fanfor55years says:

            No, I hate him at the moment. But I’ll take him over Donnell because I think he can learn, at a minimum, to block. I don’t trust Donnell to even do that.

  3.  GOAT56 says:

    Repost:

    See BBG that’s where you’re wrong. Go watch Washington against the Ravens in the 3rd preseason game. Houston has struggled on offense too. Detroit besides a long Bush run struggled as well in their 3rd preseason game. And Palmer missed 2 easy TDs against Cincinnati plus had a pick 6 but yet I’m the optimist. No I watch other teams too. I know we have flaw and are a work in process right now but so are these other teams that you think are better than us. I think we have better coaches and a better QB than those teams so I take our uncertainty over theirs.

    I’m not saying we are going to win these games but I will say there’s a better chance we start 4-0 than 0-4 considering the competition though 4-0 is unlikely. 3 of these teams have new head coaches and won’t be as good in the beginning of the season as they will towards the end. Look at Philly and Arizona last year with new head coaches they had great seasons but started slow.

    •  James Stoll says:

      GOAT

      despite our raging agreements today, I have to take issue with the assertion that we “have better coaches”

      that goes too far

      •  skinnydoogan says:

        LOL

      •  GOAT56 says:

        Our coaches are far from perfect but they are also far from the idiots you make the seem like. I’m talking about Caldwell, O’Brien & Gruden. I will take TC and staff, especially early in the season when TC usually has been very good.

  4.  fanfor55years says:

    Detroit doesn’t really like to play defense. Yeah, on paper their front four are good, but how did they do against our horrendous offensive line last year when their season was on the line? Yes, they have a good passing game and we have to get some pressure on the QB or Stafford will slice us up. But is that first game winnable? Definitely.

    Arizona is good, but recently damaged by key injuries and a suspension. Carson Palmer doesn’t like pressure at all. Fewell should plan on using blitzes at home and hope the crowd is really into the game and screws up the Cards’ game plan. This is a winnable game.

    The Texans got better, but besides improving their pass rush did they get THAT much better than the 2-14 team they fielded last year? Should we beat them at home? Yes, even if our offense is not yet clicking.

    The Redskins are confused about their offensive identity and may have a quarterback controversy brewing in the locker room. And a critical part of their offense, the dive option, isn’t going to work against out tackles and Beason. This could be a game the defense and special teams win even though it’s away, especially if we can beat up on RG III early and have the crowd get disgusted with the home team.

    I’m certainly not saying we’ll win all of those games, but it is certainly possible to win any and all of them. I think we ought to get to at least 2-2, at which point we can hope the offensive system really HAS become second-nature and Schwartz and Beckham are starting to contribute. This certainly isn’t a terrific team right now. But I keep repeating, “The season is long”. If the Giants can hang on until December rolls around and by then have gained confidence in their offensive approach and execution of that approach, who knows? I don’t think the Eagles are going to run away and hide in the NFC East. It probably, again, all comes down to the last 2-3 games. Skins at home. Rams minus their quarterback. Eagles at home. I’d take going into those three games with a chance at the division title. Happily.

    •  James Stoll says:

      you, me and GOAT are all saying the same thing (except for the drivel about us having a good coaching staff)
      scary

      the key is to be 2-2 after 4 and 4-4 after 8
      I think it is mid-season before we see a contributive Beckum and an O-Line that’s settled in
      if at that point we get those 2 things and the defense performs as even the most pessimistic of us think (regardless of Fewel’s idiotic gameplanning), then we may have a respectable shot at a run

    •  GOAT56 says:

      Maybe you’re just a better writer and others will understand what you’re saying. I made similar statements earlier. I think because our fans focus on our team they don’t realize these other teams have issues as well. We are certainly not in great shape not but neither are most teams. And fortunately we face some teams that may have more uncertainty than us in the beginning part of the year.

      •  James Stoll says:

        GOAT,
        I think most of us know very little about other teams’ ups and downs
        it’s hard enough finding the time to stay current on the Giants, let alone the other 31
        that’s why last year’s performance becomes the proxy for what to expect this year
        that’s how I ended up putting Arizona in the sure to be a loss column, thinking back to their very impressive 2013 defense which looked like it would feast on our nascent offensive line — but the observations about injuries and losses you and FF make, and without knowing what new toys, if any, they’ve added, I am willing to slide them into the 50/50 column.

        that means that out of the first 7 games, only the Eagles look on paper set to slaughter us; and of course we know you have to throw out the paper for divisional games

        so really, all 7 could be up for grabs

        of course, not even you, FF, or any other O thinks this team has shown itself good enough right now to run that table, or even do better than a split, but if we come out with a W against Detroit, and then against Arizona, we’ll be well positioned

        we just can’t be that team that emerged from pre-season in 2013
        we can’t turn the ball over at record pace; we can’t leave the defense on the field for 40+ minutes; we can’t provide short fields

        getting close

  5.  fanfor55years says:

    When Jim, GOAT and I fully agree the End of Days must be approaching.

    But really, those early opponents are not juggernauts and we might just catch a break and start to look like a decent offense sometime in October after running it in games and practices for 4-6 weeks with the starters playing almost every snap. That may have to wait ’til next year but no one knows that. Should it kick in we have a chance. That’s a lot of “if” but not impossible.

    Might as well hope for the best. More fun that way.

    •  James Stoll says:

      indeed, until forced to believe otherwise
      and I’m hoping we get past mid-season still believing and hoping

  6.  Nosh.0 says:

    Ezikiel Ansah might end Will Beattys career on Monday night. If Stafford and Schwartz had any understanding of game flow they would have realized that we were not going to score, let alone convert a third down in the 2nd half of that game. That was a team that was ready to fly back to NJ at halftime. So what does the QB do? Throw a bullet behind his TE in traffic that gets deflected up and returned for a pick 6 by Will Hill.

    To say I’m nervous about Ansah and Suh is an understatement.

    •  rlhjr says:

      The thing is Ansah and Suh may end Eli’s career on that Monday night.

      Also if Schwartz and Stafford had more game management acumen, the Giants would have been able to select either Lewan or Ebron. Talk about subtraction by way of addition.

  7.  GmenMania says:

    Uhh Dan I believe the game is tomorrow night, not Saturday.

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