The New York Giants are the kind of team you want to play in the preseason. They have the best defensive line and one of the best offensive lines in the sport. If you've been going easy on tackling this summer, Brandon Jacobs will change that in a hurry. They'll test your corners with short routes to speedy receivers and they don't make an awful lot of mistakes. You wanna gauge your progress? Play the New York Giants.
Last week I put Caleb Hanie, Nathan Vasher and Chris Williams under the microscope. Hanie was terrific. Vasher was atrocious. Williams finished the game healthy - a bonus in my opinion. This week the focus shifts...slightly. Four to watch:
Orlando Pace / Chris Williams
Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck. Block those two guys consistently and you're a great player. Don't block them and you're just like everybody else. Williams should have success against a half-speed Tuck but are Orlando Pace's aging legs capable of containing the hungrier-than-hell Osi? The season may rely heavily on the answer.
Would a poor performance from Cutler lead to boo birds? No. It's the preseason. But Jay is making his debut in front of a fan base that has clamored for a quarterback with his ability for half a century. Cutler needs to feed off the Soldier Field energy, complete something like 10 of 15 passes and put some points on the board. Nothing flashy is necessary. Just precision.
Eventually the Duke of Earl needs to be more than hypothetical potential. He's got zero regular season catches and has been gifted a starting position because he did beer funnels in college with the current quarterback. How about something real? Beat a corner to the sticks? A big third down catch over the middle? Drag those feet in the corner of the endzone? Just something...anything.
Who did I forget?