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Giants vs. Colts 2014: Five things to watch Monday night

Ronald Martinez

Here are this week's 'Five things to watch' when the New York Giants face the Indianapolis Colts on Monday night.

The Giants' Approach on Offense

Will all the talk this week about the Giants possibly being too cautious on offense change the way Ben McAdoo and Tom Coughlin choose to attack the Indianapolis defense? Probably not. Coughlin has always believed in balanced offense, and that is not going to change. If the Giants are going to pass effectively without getting Eli Manning killed, they have to offer at least the semblance of a running game. The quick-strike, short-passing game is what the Giants signed up for when they hired McAdoo to replace Kevin Gilbride. Given the right circumstances the Giants might like to try to take more down field shots, but don't expect them to suddenly start trying to force the ball vertically all the time.

How Will They Use Their Defensive Personnel?

No Jon Beason. No Cullen Jenkins. No Walter Thurmond or Trumaine McBride in the slot. A limited Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Lots of talk about Damontre Moore and a more equitable distribution of defensive end snaps. Who will play on defense for the Giants on Monday, and how will Perry Fewell utlize his newer chess pieces? That certainly will be interesting.

Hello, Old Friends

Ahmad Bradshaw and Hakeem Nicks will return to MetLife Monday. How will they be greeted by Giants fans? My guess is that Bradshaw gets a warm reception while Nicks gets a mixed reaction. What impact will each have on the game? No Giants booster wants to see either of them celebrating in the end zone.

The Strahan Effect

Michael Strahan is receiving his Hall of Fame ring in a halftime ceremony. There will be about 100 former Giants in attendance and on the field for that. The organization is giving away Strahan rally towels. Wil all of that pump up the crowd? Will the crowd at MetLife Stadium help pump up the Giants and push them to an upset of the Colts?

Above the Xs and Os

Can the Giants make some big plays? Can they force some turnovers? Create some missed tackles? Get a big kickoff or punt return? Can they make some purely athletic plays to turn the game in their favor? Tom Coughlin is looking for these things. Can the players make them happen?