The New York Giants have the privilege of opening the season this Wednesday night as a result of being the Super Bowl champions. The NFL has been putting the defending champs on opening night since 2004, and the champs are 8-0 in these games, including one win by the Giants over the Washington Redskins in 2008.
They have the pleasure of hosting the Dallas Cowboys in this season’s opener and there are already story lines brewing on top of the traditional back and forth trash talking.
It looks like Prince Amukamara, who is expected to start for Terrell Thomas when healthy, will not be playing in the game on Wednesday after he sprained his ankle against the Chicago Bears. In his stead, Michael Coe will get the start.
The Giants are desperately thin at the cornerback position, so any more injuries in the game could be devastating. As of right now, Corey Webster, Coe and Justin Tryon are the only healthy bodies. Rookie Jayron Hosley remains a question mark to play Wednesday with an injury.
It will be an opportunity to show what Coe is made of and he plans on making the most of it. Coe expects to be targeted by Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.
“They’re always going to go after somebody new, whether it be whoever’s out there in that secondary. But I think that gets you more ready, because you know the ball could come your way any play.”
Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell has confidence in Coe to get the job done.
“I think he’s a much improved football player. He helped us last year. When we were up at San Francisco he helped us, he helped us in New England last year, so he’s got playing experience. He can play.”
Despite the coaching staff showing confidence in Coe, I’m skeptical at how effective he will be against the potent Cowboys offense. The one good thing is that Dallas has a questionable offensive line, so hopefully the Giants can bring the pressure and take some of it off the defensive backs.
Also, with the Giants so thin at corner this week, expect Antrel Rolle to play nickel corner at times.
Another interesting story, though not unexpected, is Domenik Hixon being named the third wide receiver for Wednesday. Obviously that is subject to change throughout the season, but the Giants like Hixon as long as he can stay healthy.
“He’s very dependable,” Offensive Coordinator Kevin Gilbride said. “You can trust that he’ll do the right thing and right now, there’s no evidence that there’s any residual limitations (from his two ACL injuries).
Rookie Rueben Randle should challenge Hixon for playing time, but also do not count out Ramses Barden, who had a terrific final two preseason games, and Jerrel Jernigan, who looked good at times in camp.
The Giants have a plethora of weapons that will be on display Wednesday night.
Jeff is an NFL Featured Columnist for RantSports.com. He contributes mainly to the New York Giants and NFL Rumors pages. He also will occasionally touch on the NBA and humorous videos involving all sports.
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