Giants vs. Steelers: What to watch on Sunday

Will the Giants miss Chase Blackburn on defense? - Elsa

A look at a few things I will be watching when the Giants and Steelers meet this weekend.

The New York Giants host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday at MetLife Stadium. Here is a look at what to watch during the game.

1. Eli vs. Big Ben: We have to put this on the table. Both drafted in 2004, one is a Giant and one could have been. Both have two Super Bowl titles. Their careers will always be intertwined, and which one is considered better is a question that really can't be answered until their playing days are done.

2. Will the Giants show up? Yes, they will be in uniform. But, will they really be dialed in? They have played two division opponents in a row. More importantly, they have spent the week dealing with the impact of Superstorm Sandy on their families, friends and communities. Will they be fully ready to play?

3. The Giants' secondary: It sounds like safety Kenny Phillips is ready to return. How will the Giants use him? The Giants have said we will see some three-safety packages with Phillips, Antrel Rolle and Stevie Brown, which makes perfect sense. Can the Giants, who have given up 41 passing plays of 20 yards or more (31st in the league), tighten up their coverage?

4. Will Chase be missed? Middle linebacker Chase Blackburn, a player many would like to see replaces in the Giants' defense, seems unlikely to play. Mark Herzlich will start if Blackburn can't. Maybe we will have more of an idea after Sunday about just how important Blackburn is, or isn't, to the defense.

5. Who's carrying the mail? Maybe it is just me, but the distribution of snaps and carries between Giants' running backs is of weekly interest these days. Ahmad Bradshaw has been getting the lion's share of it, and he simply hasn't run as well the past two weeks as he had earlier in the season. Andre Brown and David Wilson, Brown in particular, have to get more carries eventually. Don't they?

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