On Saturday night the New York Giants will host the rival Jets in the crucial third game 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.
New faces on the Offensive Line
After a week in which the Giants lost half of their offensive line to injuries, the G-Men will be unveiling a new look up front against the Jets. With center David Baas and right tackle David Diehl out for at least the next few weeks, first-round pick Justin Pugh will get his first start at right tackle in place of Diehl, with Jim Cordle getting the start at center in place of Baas. If this unit can play well together, expect to see them on the field against Dallas in week one.
The ongoing competition at Linebacker
After a so-so showing from Mark Herlich, former Cowboy Dan Connor is expected to get the start at middle linebacker again and could see a significant amount of snaps with the first team. Connor has been outplaying Herlich up until this point, and a strong showing against the Jets is all Connor needs to separate himself form Herlich and win the starting job at middle linebacker. On the outside, Spencer Paysinger continues to impress, and seems like the sure fire week one starter at this point. The other side is not as clear cut. While Keith Rivers will start, and looks good in run coverage, expect to see Jacquian Williams on the field for third downs, as he has performed better in pass coverage than Rivers.
Terrell Thomas returns to the field
Saturday will be the first time Terrell Thomas has played in a football game since the 2011 preseason, when he tore his ACL against the Chicago Bears. Thomas showed this week in practice that his hard work has payed off, looking fast and showing great mobility in passing drills. If Thomas can prove to the Giants coaches that his injuries are behind him, he should see a lot of action this year as the Giants extra defensive back in nickel packages.
Giants Preseason Game 3
Saturday, August 24th
New York Giants vs. New York Jets from Metlife Stadium
7:00 p.m. ET on NBC 4/WCBS 101.1 FM
Topics: Dan Connor, David Baas, David Diehl, Eli Manning, FanSided, Giants Jets, Hakeem Nicks, Jim Cordle, Justin Pugh, Keith Rivers, Mark Herzlich, New York Giants, NY Giants, NY Jets, Si.com, Spencer Paysinger, Sports Illustrated, Terrell Thomas, Tom Coughlin