The New York Giants have a clock in their locker room which counts down to this year’s Super Bowl in MetLife Stadium. That sets the expectations pretty high for a team which was a Super Bowl Champion in 2011. The Pittsburgh Steelers haven’t sniffed a Super Bowl in quite a while longer and hope their retooled offensive line can change that.
The two meet Saturday night at 7:30pm EST. Here are three things to keep an eye on.
1) Hakeem Nicks is laid up again, so the Giants will keep a special eye on their No. 3 and 4 receivers in case they need a long term replacement. Rueben Randle is the favorite, though Ramses Barden did well when he got a chance in 2012. The Giants also have a new tight end in Brandon Myers. Myers had a good 2012 but was left standing alone in free agency. With Nicks out, he might get a chance to show the league they missed out.
2) The Steelers offensive line has been shaky the last few years. This year they hope that Mike Adams and Ramon Foster can secure the left side and the line as a whole can block better for rookie running back Le’VeonBell. Both the line and Bell will be under the spotlight in preseason action as they will be key to the Steelers’ chances this season.
3) Eli Manning is likely to be wrapped in bubble wrap and escorted quickly off the field, so we will see an awful lot of rookie Ryan Nassib. The subject of wildly varying draft analysis, we’re likely to get a very long look at him and begin to judge for ourselves whether he might have a future in the league or not.
Andrew Garda is a member of the Pro Football Writers Association. He is also a member of the fantasy football staff at Footballguys.com and an NFL writer at Bleacher Report. You can follow him at @andrew_garda on Twitter.