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Giants vs. Bills: What to watch tonight

A look at things to watch when the Giants play the Bills on Sunday night.

Tom Coughlin watched Michael Strahan enter the Hall of Fame Saturday. He will watch his Giants play tonight.
Tom Coughlin watched Michael Strahan enter the Hall of Fame Saturday. He will watch his Giants play tonight.
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants open the NFL preseason Sunday night vs. the Buffalo Bills in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game (8 p.m. ET, NBC). Here are a few things to look for as you watch the Giants play football for the first time this season.

The New Offense

This is what everyone is most anxious to see, including the Giants themselves.

"I think we are going to put us right to the test, and see how well we know the offense, how well this thing can perform at a high level, and I think right out of the bat we will be, maybe not no-huddle, but a little bit more up-tempo," sadi wide receiver Victor Cruz.

Expect to see at least one no-huddle series from the first-team offense. The Giants run no-huddle every day in the first 11-on-11 portion of practice. Expect to see a lot of three-wide receiver sets. Expect to see mistakes, the Giants are still installing the offense and aren't close to having it perfected.

Backup Quarterbacks

You won't see Eli Manning for very long, probably just a couple of series. You will see a whole lot of Ryan Nassib and Curtis Painter, and that will give you a good look at where the competition for the No. 2 quarterback role stands. Nassib is the clear front-runner. The second-year man from Syracuse took all the second-team reps in the spring, and has continued to do so throughout training camp. It looks like his job to lose. Nassib has been playing well in recent practices, so let's see if he can carry that over into game action.

The Rookies

You won't see first-round pick Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring), sixth-round pick Bennett Jackson (ankle) or undrafted free agent Xavier Grimble (hamstring). You will see linebacker Devon Kennard, the impressive fifth-round pick who has quickly become the Giants starting strong-side (SAM) linebacker. Kennard has made some of the bigger hits during training camp. Let's see if his impressive play continues in a game. Second-round pick Weston Richburg figures to see extensive action, possibly at both center and guard. Fourth-round pick Andre Williams could be critical to the Giants if David Wilson can't play. There always seems to be an undrafted defensive lineman or two who stands out. Will it be Kelcy Quarles? Jordan Stanton? Kerry Wynn?


Henry Hynoski and John Conner are slugging it out for this job, and there has been little to nothing to separate the two during training camp. Let's see if one of the two veterans can take the lead in that competition.

Offensive Line

Do not expect to see Will Beatty at left tackle. He was among the players who did not make the trip to Canton, Ohio for the game. Do expect to see a lot of Brandon Mosley as he tries to solidify the right guard spot. Backup lineman Eric Herman didn't make the trip, either. Watch center J.D. Walton in however many series he plays and see if it looks like he has control of the line of scrimmage. You will also see a lot of backup linemen, including a couple who haven't been with the Giants long. So, you might see Nassib and Painter running for their lives quite a bit.

Tight Ends

Larry Donnell has become the leader in the clubhouse for this job. Donnell has made a number of acrobatic catches during training camp. Let's see if veterans Daniel Fells and Kellen Davis can make an impression. Oh, and let's see if Adrien Robinson can both play well AND manage to get through a game without getting hurt.