The New York Giants are the reigning Super Bowl champions but just because they’re at the top of the food chain doesn’t mean that they have the perfect roster. There’s parity aplenty in the NFL and the Giants have some ironing out to do before the regular season starts.
The defense appears to be a bit ahead of the offense these days as the offense tries to iron some kinks out. They’ll have an opportunity to do exactly that in their third preseason game when the Chicago Bears visit.
Chicago Bears @ New York Giants
The Giants offense returns mostly intact this season but there are a couple of notable changes. For starters, third wide receiver Mario Manningham signed in San Francisco, so the team is looking to fill the slot spot and also running back Brandon Jacobs joined him in the Bay Area, so the Giants need to address their depth on the running back chart.
The running game figures to be the bigger concern as the Giants picked up just 58 yards on 32 carries in the second week of the preseason (1.8 yards per carry). The Giants lost starting running back Ahmad Bradshaw to a wrist injury, which moved D.J. Ware and Andre Brown up the depth chart. Many people would like to see 2012 first-round pick David Wilson join the first-stringers but he’s buried right now as he learns to be a better blocker.
At wide receiver, most experts making their NFL picks didn’t think it would be a big deal for the Giants to lose Manningham but it has created a bit of a hole. With Jake Ballard in New England now and Travis Beckum on the physically unable to perform list, the Giants need to develop some other options besides Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz.
The receivers competing for the job are veteran Domenik Hixon, who has missed the last two seasons with knee injuries, 2011 third-round pick Jerrel Jernigan, 2009 third-rounder Ramses Barden and this year’s second-round pick rookie Rueben Randle. Manningham made some key plays for the Giants in the playoffs and the team knows they’ll need some of these underachievers or Randle to step up early on in the season.