Welcome to football season, New York Giants fans. The NFL preseason gets underway next week, and the Giants play the Cincinnati Bengals next Friday at 7:30 PM. This will be our first look at the new defense under defensive coordinator, Steve Spagnuolo. It will also be the first time the rookies take the field in the Giants big blue uniforms.
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The starters will probably only be in for a drive or two in the first preseason game. I wouldn’t expect to see Odell Beckham Jr. who has been nursing a hamstring injury or Victor Cruz who is just trying to be back for week one of the regular season. The first game serves two purposes. For the starters it is a chance to build a little confidence, getting in some quick work. For the backups it is their biggest audition.
The second game of the preseason will be against the Jacksonville Jaguars on August 22. It will be the Giants first home game of the preseason. In this game we may see the starters go a quarter or so of play. Just like in the first week of the preseason the coaches want the starters work to be sharp so they can quickly get them out of there.
The third game of the preseason, which is considered the dress rehearsal for NFL football is set for the 29th against the New York Jets. This should be an interesting game because the Giants and Jets play in the regular season as well. Will the teams make their game plan vanilla or will they try to get their starters the best possible dress rehearsal? Either way the starters will play into the third quarter to simulate week one the best that they can in an exhibition game.
There are two things that make this preseason more interesting. The Giants play the Jets and Patriots to close out the preseason, two teams which they face in the regular season. The Giants shouldn’t have any issue with the Patriots game because the starters don’t typically play at all in that game.
The other thing that makes this so interesting is the volume of inexperience on the Giants roster this season. The Giants have several rookies pegged at key roles including Ereck Flowers and Landon Collins. Will the team get them a lot of snaps to get them up to speed, or will they treat them like any other starter? It will be interesting to watch and it all begins next Friday at 7:30.