John Fennelly, Lead Writer
Tonight’s game in New England will be the last for twenty or so players in a Giant uniform. The fourth preseason game is usually relegated to the reserves and “roster bubble” personnel to give them a last ditch chance to impress management.
Tom Coughlin is going to use the first 12-15 plays to give his starters a last opportunity to gain some cohesiveness before next week’s opener in Dallas.
The offense has been a bit disjointed thus far. Injuries has forced the team to continually make changes along the offensive line. As a result, the entire offensive performance has suffered.
Sacks allowed are up (14 in 3 games), completion percentage is down (46.5%) and the third down conversion rate is under 25%. Not good, but certainly fixable especially when Victor Cruz and David Baas return to the lineup. The one stat that Coughlin needs to see improvemnet in is red zone efficiency, where the Giants have scored no touchdowns in eight trips this summer.
The rosters will be trimmed to 53 after this game (Saturday by 6pm, actually) and they’ll be lots to watch in this game in regards who is going to be on that plane trip to Dallas next week.
The Giants only have to make decisions on 20 players this weekend. DT Markus Kuhn (knee) has not been taken off PUP and now it looks like he’s going to stay there. S Will Hill will be part of the final 53, then placed on suspension creating an opening for a player to be signed back to the roster.
ESPNNewYork’s Ohm Youngmisuk released his roster predictions this week and they are ironically similar to mine. (READ)
The only possible changes I can imagine is the Giants cutting a veteran DT (Shaun Rogers or Mike Patterson) in favor of Marvin Austin and then somehow finding a way to keep WR Kevin Hardy.
Austin and Hardy are two players who can increase their chances with big games tonight. Another is TE Larry Donnell.
Other players to watch…..QB Ryan Nassib is going to get the early reps behind Eli tonight so we’ll get a chance to see how he’s progressing. ….RT Justin Pugh will try for more consistency…DB Charles James is attempting to win the PR spot….DE Damontre Moore hasn’t played in three weeks and needs to get back up to speed….LB Kyle Bosworth, who’s still on the bubble, can grab a roster spot with another strong game..