What To Watch For: Giants vs. Jaguars

The Giants Beat's Joe Hofmann takes a look at the major storylines surrounding Big Blue as they prepare to host the Jacksonville Jaguars in the preseason home opener.

With several question marks, but a lot of room for improvement, Odell Beckham Jr. and the Giants set their sights on the Jacksonville Jaguars at MetLife Stadium Saturday night at 7:30.

All eyes will be focused on the Giants offense considering its lackluster performance last week against the Bengals. Among those under question is Beckham. Will he continue his success from 2014 or will he be just another rookie burn out?

What makes OBJ's numbers even more spectacular through the 2014 season is when he was able to torch these defenses. Putting up impressive stats, (91 receptions, 1,305 yards, and 12 touchdowns) is a task in and of itself. But these numbers were accomplished from Week 5 against Atlanta, where Beckham started his 2014 bid with four catches for 44 yards.

As if that wasn't remarkable enough for a rookie, Victor Cruz, the Giants’ star receiver lining up alongside OBJ, tore his patellar tendon in his right knee; sidelining him for the rest of the season as of Week 7. Beckham received the best coverage teams could offer for the majority of his time in 2014. Giants’ fans have all the more reason to be excited for 2015 now that Cruz is ready for action as well as Beckham looking to solidify himself as a top wide out in the National Football League.

Now the only concern is getting the ball to Cruz and Beckham in the first place. The offensive line has betrayed Manning in the past. Yet, positivity courses through the Giants locker room. Will Beatty bounced back from a rough year in 2013; reassuring Giants’ fans that Manning’s blindside will be more secure. With the addition of Ereck Flowers, (6-foot-6, 329 pounds) and Bobby Hart, (6-foot-5, 329 pounds) the Giants look to evolve into a spread look, while still maintaining some sort of run prowess to balance the offense.

Justin Pugh gave off an impression of looking over matched in 2014, yet should continue to do good things in 2015 due to his versatility. Geoff Schwartz did not make the trip to Cincy because of an ankle issue; however, he did manage to practice this week in preparation for the Jaguars.

Preparation is critical for the Giants offensive line, as Manning looks to build off of last season; finishing with 1,070 yards in his last three games, two of which came against division opponents.

Although it remains early in the 2015 campaign, Tom Coughlin looks to fix the bugs in the system before it gets out of hand.


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