As the regular season inches closer, NFL teams are looking to shore up their weaknesses as best they can. After their first preseason game against the Steelers, the most glaring question mark for the Giants‘ 2013 season is still the run game – both offensively & defensively.
Wilson and Brown are both stepping into their first full-time roles and, although it was just a half of preseason ball, they didn’t exactly instill a ton of confidence. Wilson was stuffed on 3 of 5 carries and whiffed on one of his blitz pickups. Brown ran & protected a lot better, but committed the inexcusable sin of fumbling on a Coughlin-coached team. Both get another shot tonight to prove they’re capable of replacing Ahmad Bradshaw as he watches from the Colts’ sideline. The second half will be the Michael Cox show as he tries to swipe the #3 RB job from a couple of injured vets. That might not be a big deal right now, but another preseason fumble from Brown and it could be.
Defensively, the line got pushed around by Pittsburgh. DT was a high priority in the offseason. That’s why Cullen Jenkins was plucked from Philly, Shaun Rogers re-signed & Jonathan Hankins snagged in Round 2. Didn’t seem to make much of a difference though with LaRod Stephens-Howling breaking off 6 for 36 in one first-quarter series. Again, it’s a small sample size – but if Vick Ballard (who’s not exactly McCoy, Morris or Murray) comes into MetLife & runs through them, there’s a problem.
Tuck & Nicks will be active. #1 pick Justin Pugh will see his first pro snaps, most likely, with the second-stringers. Ryan Mundy will get time opposite Stevie Brown while Rolle tries to heal up for the regular season. The LB battle is in full swing. There’s a lot to watch for tonight, but Big Blue tipping the rushing scale in their favor is the priority.