On Sunday night the New York Giants will host Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts in their second matchup of the 2013 preseason schedule. While the outcome of preseason games carries little importance, there are some intriguing things to watch as both teams look to prepare their rosters for the upcoming NFL season.
Here are the most important things to keep your eye on during the Giants second preseason game.
Can the Giants defense stop the run?
When the Giants take the field against the Colts on Sunday night there will be a lot to watch as it pertains to Big Blue’s defense. But perhaps the most important thing to keep your eye on is if the Giants can stop, or at least slow down their opponents rushing attack. We all know that the Giants defense had their struggles in run coverage last season, but with the additions of Cullen Jenkins, and Mathias Kiwanuka moving back to the defensive line this years group was supposed to solve that problem. Well, that’s not exactly what we saw on the field during last weeks matchup against the Steelers where the Giants first team defense was torched by Pittsburgh on rushing plays, seemingly giving up big chunks on the ground every time the Steelers handed the ball off. Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell is experimenting with some different schemes to help improve the defensive woes, lets just hope we see some promising signs against the Colts on Sunday.
How is this year’s Linebacking competition shaping up?
It’s no secret that this years crop of Giants linebackers is perhaps the least impressive group we have seen in quite some time. A big part of stopping run, which we discussed above, comes down to the Giants unexperienced linebackers not over-pursuing and filling the gaps. Unfortunately this is not what we saw during the Giants first preseason game against the Steelers last Saturday. With Spencer Paysinger making a strong case for the starting spot at weakside linebacker, and Keith Rivers doing the same on the strong side, the only real competition is in the middle, where Mark Herzlich and Dan Conner will both try to impress the coaching staff. Going into last weeks game the middle linebacker spot seemed like it was in Herzlich’s hands, but after a so-so showing from Herzlich, and a strong one from Conner, expect to see Dan Connor get some first teams reps against the Colts. Overall, it should be interesting to see how this group responds after a less than convincing showing last week in Pittsburgh.
Hello….is it Pugh you’re looking for?
Giants first round pick Justin Pugh was forced to miss 11 days of training camp due to the talented lineman’s first career concussion. Now with Pugh back in the mix it will be interesting to see how the rookie stacks up in live game action. While Pugh is behind veteran David Diehl on the depth chart, you should expect the Giants to give the rookie at least a few snaps with the first team.
Is Damontre Moore the greatest player in the history of the NFL?
Well, probably not, but that does not mean that Giants fans should apologize for being excited about the rookie defensive lineman who had a monster game against the Steelers. Moore blocked a punt and had four tackles – one for a loss – one quarterback hit and a couple of pressures. He also disrupted short passes to running backs. Moore’s performance was so good that every Giants fan who was watching at home let out a collective “Whoa”, as Moore continuously man-handled opponents who had the misfortune of lining up against him. Moore is only 20 years old, a baby by NFL standards, and still has a lot to learn, but this week against the Colts should show a lot to the Giants and their fan base who are hoping that Giants GM Jerry Reese has done it again, and drafted another outstanding defensive lineman.
Giants Preseason Game 2
Sunday, August 18th
New York Giants vs. Indianapolis Colts from Metlife Stadium
7:00 p.m. ET on Fox/4NY/WCBS 101.1 FM
Topics: Ahmad Bradshaw, Andre Brown, Damontre Moore, David Wilson, Eli Manning, FanSided, Giants Preseason, Indianapolis Colts, Mathias Kiwanuka, New York Giants, NY Giants, Si.com, Sports Illustrated, Tom Coughlin, Victor Cruz