The New York Giants are gearing up to take on the New England Patriots in the final preseason game of the 2021 off-season. Having lost their first two preseason games, the Giants will feature the first-team offense and defense in preparation for Week 1 against the Denver Broncos. However, the Giants will be without several key pieces on offense, including Kenny Golladay, Kyle Rudolph, Kadarius Toney, and Saquon Barkley.
We will get a good view and look at some of the Giants’ reserve pieces, including running back Devante Booker and potentially several back-end receivers gunning for a roster spot. Both Dante Pettis and David Sills are competing to make the roster, and with Pettis showing out against the Patriots during joint practices, things could be closer than they appear.
Three things to watch in the New York Giants’ final pre-season game against New England:
1.) The performance of the offensive line
First and foremost, the performance of the offensive line remains a question mark heading into the regular season. With starting left guard Shane Lemieux working his way back from a knee injury, working with trainers at the Giants’ facilities instead of traveling to New England, getting a look at him this weekend will be essential.
A lack of continuity and experience plagues Daniel Jones’s protection scheme, but the hope is they can gradually improve as the season moves along. Last year, the line struggled to get anything going in the first half of the season, which led to the firing of OL coach Marc Colombo.
Left tackle Andrew Thomas has reported they look great during training camp and during joint practices and will get a bit more action against the Patriots on Sunday. Creating chemistry between Thomas and Jones during live action is essential, but the right tackle spot is also up for grabs. Both Matt Peart and Nate Solder are battling it out. This is a position battle work keeping an eye on.
2.) Daniel Jones’s pocket presence
Of course, one of the Giants’ biggest weaknesses has been Daniel Jones’s pocket presence over the first two seasons of his career. Heading into year three, Jones has spent ample time improving his drop-back and muscle memory when it comes to clutching the football with two hands in the pocket. Jones has 29 total fumbles over the past two seasons and will be looking to lessen the number as his rookie contract quickly approaches a danger zone. The front office is clearly confident he will take a big step forward, but his success is directly correlated to the offensive line, which has brewed little optimism thus far during camp.
The starters will have the first half at least to get some important work in, and hopefully, Jones put together a positive performance.
3.) The secondary
With Adoree Jackson suffering a low ankle sprain, the Giants will likely have a few rotational pieces next to James Bradberry in the secondary on Sunday. Expect to see Julian Love, Rodarius Williams, and a few others compete at CB2 for starting snaps. Judge stated on Friday that Williams has done enough to prove heâ€™s capable of being a good player, so heâ€™s all but a lock to make the 53-man roster.
Luckily for the Giants, they escaped anything serious with Jacksonâ€™s ankle, as he was moving around freely with trainers during Fridayâ€™s walk-through practice. Heâ€™s expected to be available for Week 1 against Denver but will miss the first unit’s opportunity to get on the field during a real-game setting this weekend.