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Giants At Panthers: Five Things For Giants' Fans To Watch

Ahh, real football. Or, well at least the NFL preseason version of real football. The New York Giants get to lace 'em up Saturday night (8 p.m. ET) in Carolina against the Carolina Panthers.

Depending on where you live, there are a variety of New York and Connecticut TV stations on which you could watch the game. The game will be broadcast on WNBC Channel 4 in New York, as well as: WNYT-NBC, Albany; WTIC- Fox, Hartford, CT; WSTM-NBC, Syracuse; WICZ-Fox, Binghamton, and WWTI, Watertown.

Here are five things to pay attention to if you are lucky enough to be within the viewing area for the game.

  1. The Play Of The Wide Receivers -- Umm ... duh. I bet you never guessed the wide receivers would make this list. Who, among Domenik Hixon, Victor Cruz, Jerrel Jernigan, Darius Reynaud, Devin Thomas (if he plays) and Michael Clayton will take a step forward in the battle for third -- and even fourth -- wide receiver responsibilities?
  2. Turnovers -- After the Giants made 42 of 'em last season I am hoping I don't see any Saturday night. Giants coach Tom Coughlin has indicated his starters will play 15-18 snaps, and I will be especially annoyed to see turnovers while that group is on the field. My guess is, so will TC.
  3. The Offensive Line -- I will be trying to watch the revamped left side of the Giants line -- Will Beatty at left tackle, David Diehl at left guard and David Baas at center -- during those 15-18 snaps. The communication isn't likely to be perfect, but let's see what it does look like.
  4. The Defensive Tackles -- The Giants are depending on 2010 second-round choice Linval Joseph and 2011 second-round choice Marvin Austin. Let's see how well they hold up. You also have to wonder if veterans Rocky Bernard and Gabe Watson are competing for one roster spot.
  5. Special Teams -- Mostly, I want to see if someone can take a step forward and show some explosion as a returner. By default, returns would be Domenik Hixon's job. You wonder, though, if the Giants want to expose him there full time after he missed last season with a knee injury.