The Jets and Giants meet in their annual preseason contest at MetLife Stadium Saturday. To get an idea on how Big Blue looks heading into the game, Ed Valentine, the man in charge of SB Nation's Giants blog, Big Blue View, was kind enough to answer five questions for me about his team.
Before we get into that, note that ahead of the MetLife Bowl, the MetLife Foundation is donating $25 to charity up through Saturday's game every time you use or retweet a post with #Road2MetLifeStadium as part of their Road to MetLife Stadium campaign. If you are on Twitter, tweet for a good cause these next few days.
1. Any word on how long we can expect the Giants' starters to play?
The Giants' third preseason game history under Tom Coughlin is that starters will play into the third quarter. This will be their most extended work of the preseason.
2. Give me a starter to whom you are paying extra close attention in this game.
That has to be Justin Pugh, the first-round pick out of Syracuse. With injuries to center David Baas and T/G David Diehl Pugh is starting at right tackle Sunday. That will be his first start, and it will be intensely scrutinized.
3. The 2010 matchup between these teams lives in Jets-Giants preseason lore in part because an undrafted rookie wide receiver caught three touchdowns for the Giants in the second half. That undrafted rookie was of course Victor Cruz. Can you give us a player or two to keep an eye on who might not be familiar to Jets fans?
Watch for running back Michael Cox, a seventh-round pick out of UMass (where Cruz went to school), who has been extremely impressive thus far. It's an upset at this point if he does not make the roster. You might also look for Larry Donnell, a tight end/fullback who has impressed with his play and his toughness thus far.
4. What concerns do you have about the Giants based on what you have seen and heard from training camp and preseason? What do you need to see Saturday to alleviate your worries a bit?
The biggest concern right now is the re-shuffled offensive line. The Giants lost two starters this week, and neither Pugh nor Jim Cordle, who moves in at center, have ever started an NFL game. Some folks actually think Diehl and Baas are the weak links in the Giants' line, anyway, and that they are better off without them. That , however, has to be proven.
The other concern is that defensively the Giants were 31st in the league last season. Thus far, the revamped defense is getting mixed reviews. So, what will we see Saturday?
5. You saw Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg work in the NFC East with the Eagles for a long time. Could you give a rival fan's perspective on him?
That's tough to say. One thing is I always thought Mornhinweg was a coordinator and not a head coach, which I think has been proven out. It's difficult to eveluate the guy b/c in Philly I always thought Andy Reid really controlled the offense. Tough to say what was Mornhinweg and what was Reid. A general impression of the Philly offense, though, is that the Eagles tended to be pass-happy and at times forgot to use LeSean McCoy, one of the best running backs in the league.