The New York Giants were in for an uphill battle already because they had to go play the Patriots in Foxborough after a rough loss. But then the injuries started to pile up. Starters C David Baas, WR, Hakeem Nicks, and Ahmad Bradshaw are all listed as doubtful. OL Stacy Andrews is out. Super talented DE Jason Pierre Paul suffered a concussion in practice during the week and is listed as questionable.
The Patriots, on the other hand, are going to be without only Dane Fletcher (who cares). They have 9 players listed as questionable. Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez are two of them and their absence would help the Giants (though I expect both will play).
Update: I wrote this late yesterday afternoon and since then Nicks, Bradshaw, and David Baas have gone from doubtful to out.
Ramses Barden, the former 3rd round pick has been activated from the Physically Unable to perform list.
Who is the Giants #3 WR going to be if Nicks doesn’t play?
Hakeem Nicks is listed as questionable. If he can’t play who are the Giants going to turn to as the number three wide receiver. Are they going to try and insert the disappointing Travis Beckum into that role? Will they activiate Ramses Barden from the PUP list to play the slot position all game. Is it going to be the young rookie Jerel Jernigan’s time to shine. A player who has run, I believe, two routes all season? This bears watching.
Can the Giants contain Wes Welker at all?
Corey Webster has been playing out of his mind this year, seriously at a pro-bowl level. The problem is he’s a guy who excels at covering the bigger wide receivers because he is a good press coverage guy. That’s not what the Patriots wide receivers do well. The Patriots are a lot of shifty guys who run good routes, which plays against what the Giants do well. It’s likely that either Antrel Rolle or Aaron Ross (most likely Antrel Rolle) will be called onto to cover Wes Welker. Can he have any success at all? Rolle seems to be at his best when he is playing up near the line of scrimmage as a guy who can help in the run game, not a guy who excels in man to man coverage, though he has the athletic ability to do so (it’s why he was moved to safety in Arizona after being drafted as a cornerback).
Linval Joseph vs the Patriots interior OL
Everyone and their brother knows that the Giants can rush the passer with their front four. They lead the league in sacks and only one has come from someone who doesn’t play in the front four-Safety Deon Grant. The Patriots are going to get the ball out quick to their shifty wide receivers. If Linval Joseph can dominate in this game it would really help keep the Patriots pass offense at bay.
Jacquian Williams to rise again?
Jacquian Williams is a talented Giants rookie linebacker who really started the season well making a lot of plays. Williams has missed assignents and been, at times, a liability in the run game, but with the Patriots style of offense, Williams seems likely to take a lot of snaps this week. Will he succeed? I took a much deeper look into this subject on Thursday
Good luck Nate Solder
Not much more to say here. If Jason Pierre Paul plays he’ll see a lot of Justin Tuck, Pierre Paul, and Dave Tollefson. None are really reasy matchups. He’ll have to be on his best game Sunday.
Is it time for Da’Rel Scott and Prince Amukamara to shine?
Rookie cornerback Prince Amukamara has finally been upgraded to questionable after being listed as out all season. And he could not have picked a better week. He’s going to be way behind because he hasn’t had any real football activity this year (he broke his foot on his first training camp practice after holding out for a bit). He’s very talented, but is he going to help or be a liability vs such a smart quarterback.
Rookie Running back Da’Rel Scott had an impressive preseason showing off blazing speed and an ability to make big plays. The Giants are slowly phasing Scott into the games. Will this be the week he sees quality snaps? With Bradshaw likely sidelined and Brandon Jacobs playing so-so, it’s possible Scott will get some opportunities this weekend.
The Patriots Matchup I would have been most interested in watching is Devin McCourty vs Hakeem Nicks.
But I’m also interested in seeing if Shane Vareen or Steven Ridley is going to get a lot of snaps on Sunday. The Giants run defense has been a big problem this year and either could be in store for a big game.