By Daniel Brennan on August 20, 2014
The New York Giants take on their hometown rival the New York Jets on Friday night. It will be the Giants' fourth preseason game, leaving them with one to go. Usually, starters play more in the second-to-last preseason game than any other. However, the Giants may use their final game against New England as another tune-up, considering the offense looks to need all the work it can get. Here are five areas to watch for the Giants against the Jets.
New York's secondary looks to be their strongest and deepest unit on either side of the ball. However, Prince Amukamara hurt his groin and the severity of the injury is not known at this time. Walter Thurmond is likely to start in his place if Amukamara can't go. Also, like every other team in the NFL, the Giants are having a hard time adjusting to the emphasis of illegal contact this year. We'll see if they can cut down on the flags this week.
The Giants' competition for the starting tight end job seems to be at a standstill. Larry Donnell continues to start but has really done nothing to secure the position. Adrien Robinson recorded a couple of nice catches last week, but will need to seriously build off that performance to climb his way up the depth chart. The Giants will surely try and open up the passing game on Friday, so keep an eye out to see which tight ends get involved.
The Giants' defensive line has generated decent pressure thus far but it is a little troubling that neither Jason Pierre-Paul or Mathias Kiwanuka have sacks yet. These veterans need to anchor the defensive pressure and dial it up with a much higher level of consistency. On the plus side, Damontre Moore looks to be much-improved from a year ago. Hopefully for New York, he can keep up his strong play against better competition.
Eli Manning is just 1-for-9 for six yards in his last two preseason games. It will be impossible for the Giants to compete if the passing offense continues to struggle like this. Manning may play a half or more on Friday, so look for New York to try to right the ship. Also, the competition for the backup role seems to go back and forth with every game. Both Ryan Nassib and Curtis Painter will have a couple more opportunities to win the job.
Once again, it all starts up front. New York's offensive line is still trying to find a groove this preseason. Overall, the unit has been sloppy and not provided Manning with enough time to operate. Look for the Giants to shuffle the o-line around on Friday to try and find the winning combination. Rookie Weston Richburg will likely spend time at either guard spot and the center position, as he tries to break his way into the starting lineup.
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