Preseason Game Preview: New York Giants vs. Indianapolis Colts

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  • When: Sunday, August 18, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. ET
  • TV: FOX
  • Radio: WCBS 101.1 FM
  • Last regular-season meeting: Sept. 19, 2010 – Colts 38, Giants 14

The New York Giants opened their 2013 campaign with a preseason victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers as well as lots of good and bad takeaways. While standouts like DaMontre “DaMonster” Moore and Victor Cruz have been hotly discussed, there is no ignoring an utterly flat offensive performance from Big Blue.

Now, the Giants return home to open up MetLife Stadium against the Indianapolis Colts. An improving young unit, coming off a playoff berth in 2012, the Colts will be a challenging opponent for the G-Men in this preseason matchup.

The quarterbacks — Eli Manning and Ryan Nassib especially — must have better showings this go around. They — along with their receivers — were clearly not on the same page and it showed when they were on the field… save for Manning’s 57-yard touchdown connection with Cruz.

The run game, meanwhile, will also be important to keep an eye on. The G-Men averaged just 2.5 yards per carry against the Steelers, not exactly an improvement from their disappointing last-place finish in 2012.

Great things are expected for second-year back David Wilson, but he needs to show he can be more than just a home-run threat. He needs to prove he can be the feature back and cut down on the carries that go for little to no gain.

 

What to expect from the Giants:  The Giants are going to run the football. They want Manning to shake off the rust, but they know he’ll be ready to play once the regular season starts. The ground attack is a much greater concern. Earlier in the offseason, they let Ahmad Bradshaw walk, assuming Wilson and Andre Brown could carry the run game, but both players need to show improvements.

Rookie Justin Pugh will see some snaps on the offensive line, but I’m doubtful it will be more than a few possessions. It will be interesting to see how he — in comparison to Syracuse teammate Ryan Nassib — handles his first NFL game.

Can “DaMonster” (Damontre Moore) and the Giants’ pass rush keep up the pace? They did a great job pressuring Pittsburgh’s quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger and his backup quarterbacks, but was it a one-time deal? The Colts have one of the league’s worst offensive lines, so this will be a good opportunity to keep the momentum rolling.

 

What to expect from the Colts: The offensive line aside, the Colts’ offense is lethal. Their first-team offense is littered with talented playmakers, the very best of those being quarterback Andrew Luck, of course.

The Giants’ secondary wasn’t tested much last week, but the human highlight reel that is wide out T.Y. Hilton could have a field day inside MetLife Stadium if Perry Fewell doesn’t have his group prepared. Hilton could strike at any moment so, seeing how the Giants handle him will be key.

On defense, the Colts’ boast an underrated unit that is slowly developing into one of the best in the league. They will not be an easy test for the Giants’ sluggish offense.

 

SIX GIANTS TO WATCH

David Wilson – It’s been touched on plenty enough already but it needs to be said again: Wilson must be better in 2013. RotoWorld’s Evan Silva’s greatest concern was the RB’s failure to pick up positive yardage. Per Silva, 32 of his 75 carries went for two yards or fewer in 2012. That’s not acceptable, even if he will break off the occasional 50-yarder. That’s not going to happen. Often,  a runner carrying the football  as many times as 175-plus in a season will ultimately be a detriment to the team. He needs to be a more positive runner and stop looking to bounce every run to the outside.

Rueben Randle – He had one reception against the Steelers, but it was a big one. Randle is going to be a key player for the Giants this season, so the more he shows in preseason the better. It’s impossible to predict Hakeem Nicks’ health this season or his future with the team. The sooner Randle breaks out, the better.

Hakeem Nicks – Speaking of Nicks, he will make his preseason debut for the Giants. How many snaps he plays are unknown and his contributions will likely be rather slim, but it will be nice to see him suited up on game day.

DaMontre Moore – Is “DaMonster” for real? Too many Giants’ fans ran to all social media outlets declaring the pass rushing rookie from Texas A&M the next JPP but, can you blame them? He was an exciting, pleasant sight for New York’s defense and his punt block was the type of game-changing play the team so desperately needed. It would be foolish to label this guy a surefire star, but he’s worth watching again this week for the preseason home opener.

Justin Tuck – 2013 is a make-or-break year for Tuck in New York. He’s coming off two consecutive down years and has a lot to prove. After missing the Steelers game, Tuck returns to make his preseason debut. Will he be able to generate pressure? Or could this be another disappointing season for the Giants’ defensive leader?

Mark Herzlich – The third-year middle linebacker appeared to be the leading candidate to win the starting job at the position, but then he was outperformed by Dan Connor against the Steelers. The Giants have been waiting to provide Herzlich with this opportunity but now it’s his job to seize. He’s done well in camp. However it would be all for naught if he fails to out-duel Connor on game day.

 

Louis Musto is a reporter and sports talk host for the Sports Journey Broadcast Network. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. You can follow him on Twitter @LouisMusto.

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