The New York Giants travel to Foxborough to face the New England Patriots Sunday. You knew that already. What you don't know is what my weekly list of 'Five Things To Watch' is going to look like. Read on and find out.
1. Who The Heck Is Going To Play For The Giants? Looking at the Giants' injury report on Friday, Ralph Vacchiano tweeted: "So the #NYG may go into NE without their starting running back, center and fullback, their best receiver and best pass-rusher. ... Wow." Wow is right. The Giants might be without Ahmad Bradshaw, Hakeem Nicks, Jason Pierre-Paul, David Baas and Henry Hynoski, on top of all of the guys they have already been playing without. I am not nearly as worried as I probably should be, mostly because No. 10 is not on that list.
2. Giants' Running Backs: This is interesting no matter how it shakes out. If Ahmad Bradshaw drags himself onto the field it will be interesting to see how he can perform with the cracked bone in his foot. If Bradshaw doesn't play it will be interesting to see what Brandon Jacobs can do in his absence. Also if Bradshaw does not play it will be interesting to see how the Giants use D.J. Ware and Da'Rel Scott, and whether or not one of them can take advantage of the opportunity.
3. The Giants' Offensive Game Plan: New England is last in the league defending the pass, and Pittsburgh shredded the Patriots via the air a week ago. The obvious plan of attack would be for the Giants to try and duplicate that. In the 'Friday Five' this week, though, Pat Traina hinted at a possible surprise in the attack. Does that mean the Giants think they can exploit New England on the ground? We will have to wait and see.
4. How Do The Giants Defend Wes Welker? Corey Webster has been matching up with the opposition's best receiver in recent weeks. Will the Giants continue with that approach? Welker plays much more in the slot than the guys Webster has been covering, so again we will have to wait and see if the Giants change their approach.
5. What Will Perry Fewell Do? I think I know the answer to this, and I don't like it. I think Fewell is going to sit in three- and four-man rushes way too often, allowing Tom Brady to pick the Giants apart. The four-man rush can get to the quarterback at times, but the Giants can't let Brady sit in the pocket. That's a recipe for disaster. As Dan Dierdorf would say 'Release The Kraken.'