Patriots Vs. Giants Preview: Preseason Finale

The New York Giants (1-2) conclude their preseason schedule by playing host to the New England Patriots (1-2) Wednesday night at MetLife Stadium. Coverage on WNBC in New York begins at 7 p.m. with the game over the local radio airwaves on WCBS-AM 880.

LAST SATURDAY AT THE MET
Two players in particular stood out in the Giants’ 20-17 loss to the Bears. Rookie running back David Wilson started for Ahmad Bradshaw (hand) and rushed for a game-high 49 yards on five carries while catching two passes for 26 yards. Ramses Barden’s 46 receiving yards and a touchdown probably secured his spot on the final roster and boosted his candidacy for the third receiver’s job.

THE LAST TIME
There was a gathering in downtown Indianapolis where for the second time in four years Eli Manning and the Giants got the best of Tom Brady and the Patriots. While 2008 in Arizona had Manning to David Tyree, Super Bowl XLVI had Manning to Mario Manningham and an equal amount of drama even without the Patriots going for an undefeated season. Like Super Bowl XLII, the Giants scored late and held off one final Brady drive to be crowned World Champions.

As an aside, I find it funny that the NFL Network is billing the preseason finale for both teams as a “Super Bowl rematch.” Okey Dokey.

STATE OF THE G-MEN
The Giants removed 15 players from their roster on Monday to reach the required limit of 75. Two veterans, defensive tackle Chris Canty and tight end Travis Beckum, were played on the reserve/physically unable to perform list and will miss at least the first six games of the season. Among the veterans waived were three with NFL experience: tight end Ryan Purvis, defensive tackle Carlton Powell and defensive back Chris Horton

By 9 p.m. on Friday, the Giants will have to submit their regular-season roster limit of 53 players.

BOSTON’S BRIDESMAIDS
You obviously know about Brady and Belichick. If not and you call yourself a Giants fan I’m willing to bet you have real estate on Mars. The question is how the Patriots’ makeshift offensive line will keep Brady intact without Pro Bowl left guard Logan Mankins (ACL) and projected starting right tackle Sebastian Vollmer (back), each of whom are recovering from offseason surgeries.

The Patriots have an abundance of tight ends. Months after All-Pro Rob Gronkowski was signed through 2019, Aaron Hernandez received a new five-year contract on Monday.

Pats Pulpitt has more on the New Englanders.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Hakeem Nicks is itching to play in a game. Tom Coughlin hasn’t determined whether he’ll actually compete on Wednesday, but Nicks felt 100 percent for the first time on Sunday … David Douglas and Adewale Ojomo, two undrafted rookies who have emerged as pleasant surprises, have one last opportunity to prove themselves worthy of a roster spot. Douglas has a legit shot at special teams, possibly as a punt returner. Although Ojomo has three sacks, he’s also a defensive end and the Giants are very deep at that position, which means he could end up a victim of a numbers game and on the practice squad.

WHAT NOT TO WATCH FOR
Marquee starters on both sides will see little to no action. After all, the Giants go at it for real a week from tonight.

QUOTABLE
“I can’t wait to get some live action, knowing somebody’s gonna be hitting me after I catch the ball, so that’s what I look forward to. In practice, ain’t nobody touching you. Being able to catch the ball, have to make a move and really turn it on a little bit before you actually have to play in the season-opener (against the ”sbn-auto-link" href=“http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/teams/dallas-cowboys”>Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 5) is good." – Hakeem Nicks

— Visit Big Blue View for more Giants discussion and analysis.

Follow Jon Lane on Twitter: @JonLaneNYC

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