What I'm looking for is to see the starting groups on both sides of the ball have some success. The offense didn't get a first down until its fourth series in the preseason opener, and the offensive line play was not good. The defense gave up a six-play, 52-yard touchdown drive in its opening series, including three straight plays of 10 or more yards. I just want to see some signs of progress. A nice drive by the offense, a punt or two forced by the defense.
2. How long should we expect Eli Manning and the rest of the starters to play?
Not sure. Manning played 12 snaps in the first game, and might go a little longer this time. The starting offensive line could actually go 30-35 snaps. They need the work, and played 25 snaps in the opener.
3. Akeem Hunt looked good on kick returns against the Bengals. Is he just that good and fast, or would you say his success was largely due to it being the first preseason game.
Who knows? The guy can really run, but I still don't think he makes the team. The Giants signed Dwayne Harris in the offseason, he's a premier return guy and I'd be stunned if he isn't the kickoff return guy when the season starts.
4. Cincinnati's starters had just one series and gashed the Giants for a quick touchdown. What did Tom Coughlin pin as the reason for the breakdown? An inexperienced secondary? Lack of a pass rush? All of the above? What do you think the problem was?
Well, it's a brand new defensive system with a lot of young players. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo thought his players were thinking too much, trying to be perfect in their newly-learned techniques and assignments, and thus didn't just play football. There are always growing pains with a new system, and it's going to take time for the Giants to get this right. If they get it right.
5. If you could have us pay attention to one position battle on Saturday night, what would it be? Which players should we pay attention to on the Giants?
There are position battles all over the place. An intriguing one that is actually easy to watch is at wide receiver. After Odell Beckham, Victor Cruz and Rueben Randle, Harris has a roster spot but no guarantee of offensive snaps. Then Corey Washington, Preston Parker, rookie Geremy Davis and veteran James Jones are in a too-close-to-call fight for the final couple of spots.