Yes, it’s just the preseason, but the New York Giants have given fans something to cheer about. Having gone 4-0 so far in the preseason, the Giants are the biggest surprise going into their 7:30pm finale tonight against the New England Patriots. But will watching tonight’s Patriots game give those fans reason to stay excited, or will it bring them back to reality?
Last season the Giants struggled mightily behind quarterback Eli Manning. The one-time all-pro had his worst season as a professional, throwing 18 touchdowns and 27 interceptions, earning him a 36.5 quarterback rating and 69.4 overall rating. For his career, Manning has an 81.2 rating, which is bad 2013 season dropped considerably.
Last week Manning completed 12-of-21 passes for 139 yards and a touchdown against the New York Jets, but Manning still struggled for the third straight game. His offensive line recovered both of his fumbles, and he lucked out that one of the Jets dropped what looked like a sure-fire interception.
But the Giants still found a way to win, and their 4-0 preseason record has to count for something.
While Giants fans have been experimenting with their victory dances, the Patriots coaching staff has been experimenting with literally dozens of offensive-line combinations. The grand experiment culminated in the Patriots’ trade of six-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman Logan Mankins to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for tight end Tim Wright and a draft pick.
According to Ian Rapoport, the Patriots traded Mankins after he refused to take a pay cut as asked. After the Buccaneers called inquiring about a backup guard, the Patriots expressed interest in Wright, which changed the Bucs’ request to be for Mankins.
Will Wright play in tonight’s Giants game? Not likely. The trade took place just two days ago, so Wright still needs to pass his physical. There’s an extremely slim chance he’ll plug into the Patriots offense tonight, but it will require him getting the doctors’ approval this morning, which doesn’t seem likely.
Slipping in to fill Mankins’ spot will likely be Josh Kline. The second-year player from Kent State has lined up at both guard spots, and in fact already subbed for Mankins once, in their Dec. 22 game last season against the Baltimore Ravens. Kline was already a contender for the starting right guard spot, and he’s also been used as a blocking tight end.
Tonight’s New England Patriots / New York Giants game kicks off at 7:30pm EST from MetLife Stadium. The game is not on TV, but you can watch Patriots vs Giants live online free preseason week 4 if you’ve signed-up for the NFL Preseason Live service. That program lets fans watch all preseason NFL games for $19.99, making this the last week you can use it. NFL Network subscribers have another option to watch the game live on the NFL Online website. All that’s required there is to enter your login info for your satellite or cable TV provider.