The Giants come off a much-needed bye week to face an angry Colts team eager to put a significant loss behind them. Will this be the game that sparks a second half run for New York, or one that Andrew Luck uses to reset Indy and put them back into the driver's seat? Here are five things we're looking for:
- Hakeem Nicks' first experience against his former Giants teammates this preseason was not a friendly one. Perhaps he's gotten past his feelings there, but we have a feeling that there will certainly be some more attitude on Monday night in prime time. After the way Nicks left the franchise, there was bitterness on both ends, some of which manifested itself in some of Nicks' relationships inside the current Giants' locker room. Will Luck send him over the middle and give us a chance to find out?
- How will New York's secondary respond to the best offense in football? At this point, this appears to be an epic matchup nightmare for Perry Fewell's defense, especially with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on the mend. The Giants have also spent time shuffling at safety, which makes some trickle-down matchups like Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener tough to gauge.
- How good can this Colts' defense be? Aside from some temporary lapses in judgment from Luck, which still pale in comparison to his incredible, game-changing talent, this defense will be the measuring stick for Indianapolis in December and January. The last two games they played, a 27-0 shutout win over the Bengals and a loss to the Steelers in which they gave up 51 points, are certainly the outliers for the season. What will Monday's game tell us?
- Does Tom Coughlin have any magic left in him? That will be the question this week, coming off a bye and heading into the toughest part of his schedule. Barring a disaster, this season likely won't be Coughlin's swan song, but it will help the front office understand what the near future could look like. Coughlin can put them at ease with a win on Monday with a big win over a top-tier opponent in prime time.
- Can Odell Beckham lift the Giants' receiving corps? Without Victor Cruz, Beckham has been charged with being the dynamic playmaker who can solve Eli Manning's problems deep. New York has been looking to establish a deep threat all year with little success (Manning is one of the least accurate deep passers in football this year), but can that change against a team that is fifth in the NFL in passing plays of 40 or more yards allowed (eight)?