Defensive Line Rotation
The usage of the defensive linemen, especially the defensive ends, has been a topic of conversation all season. It, of course, became even more of a hot-button issue after the Giants left pass-rush specialists Robert Ayers (the team leader with five sacks) and Damontre Moore on the bench during last week's final defensive series in a loss to the Dallas Cowboys. .
At some point, Ayers has to get more snaps than Mathias Kiwanuka. Doesn't he? At some point, the Giants have to take the training wheels (shackles, if you want to go there) off Moore and let the kid play in more than just third-down passing situations. Don't they?
At some point, they have to recognize that veteran Mike Patterson really doesn't have much left and that Markus Kuhn never had much to offer in the first place. Translated, that means that at some point they have to start giving regular snaps to third-round pick Jay Bromley. Don't they?
Offensive Line Alignment, Performance
Who is going to play this week? And where are they all going to line up? Veteran Adam Snyder went from obscurity to starting left guard last week, hurt his knee and hasn't practiced all week. Does that mean Weston Richburg returns to the starting lineup? Justin Pugh missed last week's game with a quad injury, and has been limited this week. Will he play Sunday? If he does, where does Geoff Schwartz, who filled in at right tackle last Sunday in his first game back from a dislocated toe, play? Will Schwartz play at all? The Giants held him out of practice on Thursday.
Whoever plays, the Giants have to figure out how to handle the Jacksonville pass rush. The Jags don't do many things well, but they have 33 quarterbacks sacks. So, that is one thing they definitely do well. Protecting Eli Manning has, as Giants fans know, been an issue too often lately.
Will The Giants Embarrass Coughlin?
Sunday will be Coughlin's 300th as an NFL head coach, making him the 13th coach in league history to reach that mark. The occasion will happen where it began for Coughlin, whose first NFL head-coaching job was as the leader of the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jags are now celebrating their 20th season.
The Giants are 3-0 this season against teams with losing records. The Jags are 1-10 and, along with the Oakland Raiders, generally considered to be one of the two worst teams in the league. Will the Giants win Sunday, end their six-game losing streak and make this a happy day for the league's oldest coach? Or, will they turn in a stinker and embarrass themselves and their coach in the place where Coughlin's terrific NFL head-coaching career began?
How Will Odell Beckham Follow 'The Catch'?
It has been a whirlwind week for Beckham since he made his spectacular 43-yard touchdown catch against the Dallas Cowboys. There have been autograph signings, memorabilia signings, zillions of memes created, a constant spotlight and questions about whether or not that will be the best thing he ever does on a football field. There are odds on whether or not Beckham will make a one-handed catch Sunday vs. Jacksonville (7-1 that he will, 1-15 that he won't).
How will the rookie respond to the hysteria? Can he focus on the task at hand, which is helping the Giants beat the Jaguars and finally win a game? How will he respond to the extra attention the Jacksonville defense will certainly give him?
Beckham is a star now. He probably was even before the catch, but he certainly is after it. How will he handle everything that goes with it? The answers will define both his career and much of the future of the Giants.
Can The Giants Control Denard Robinson?
The second-year running back had a rough go last week against the Indianapolis Colts, carrying 14 times for 25 yards. He had been excellent in four previous games, though, carrying 72 times for 389 yards (5.4 per carry). Robinson also has 20 receptions and is a security blanket for rookie quarterback Blake Bortles. Can the Giants take that away?