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10 things to watch for vs. Cardinals


*Ten storylines to follow as the Giants prepare for Week 16 against the Cardinals: *


The Giants will make their first visit in six years to University of Phoenix Stadium, the site of their Super Bowl XLII victory against New England. The teams last squared off in Arizona on Oct. 2, 2011 when the Giants earned a 31-27 victory. The visiting team has won the last four games in this series, the Giants in 2008 and 2011, the Cardinals in 2009 and 2014. The Giants lead the all-time series, 80-43-2, dating back to their first meeting in 1926 when the Cardinals played in Chicago.

The Giants exploded offensively last week with their highest totals in points (29) and yards (504) since the 2015 season, and did so against an Eagles team that boasts the best record in the NFL. Big Blue will look to repeat against another top-10 defense. Arizona ranks seventh in total yards allowed (313.3). The Cardinals are also 14th against the pass (221.1), sixth against the run (92.1) and tied for 23rd in scoring (24.1).


Out: LB B.J. Goodson (ankle), WR Tavarres King (concussion)

Questionable: S Nat Berhe (hamstring), S Landon Collins (ankle), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (finger)

The Giants have activated defensive end Romeo Okwara from the injured reserve/designated for return list. Okwara, who has not played since spraining his knee in practice on Oct. 12, is eligible to suit up for the final two weeks of the season.


Last week, Eli Manning increased his career passing yardage total to 51,287 yards. He needs 189 more to surpass Hall of Famer John Elway (51,475) and move into sixth place on the NFL's all-time list. Additionally, Manning and Philip Rivers are tied for seventh on the NFL's career list with 338 touchdown passes, four behind another Hall of Famer, Fran Tarkenton.

Helping Manning get there this season has been the play of rookie Evan Engram, who needs 11 more catches to take over the top spot for most receptions by a tight end in Giants history. Jeremy Shockey holds the mark with 74 receptions in 2002.


For the first time since summer, rookie quarterback Davis Webb took practice reps with the first team this week. The Giants typically carve out eight plays in practice where their starting offense goes against the starting defense, as opposed to one side showing looks they expect to see from the upcoming opponent. Manning is usually under center for those reps, but Webb took six of the eight on Wednesday and Thursday. However, the third-round draft choice remains third on the depth chart behind backup Geno Smith.


Cardinals coach Bruce Arians decided to re-insert Drew Stanton into the lineup for Sunday's game against the Giants. Stanton hasn't played since hurting his knee against Seattle on Nov. 9. Blaine Gabbert had started the previous five games. Stanton is 9-6 in his career as a starter with 14 touchdowns to 11 interceptions. He won his only start against the Giants in 2014.


Earning his 11th Pro Bowl nod this week, Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald is currently third on the NFL's all-time list for both receiving yards (15,371) and receptions (1,217). In six career games against the Giants, he has 39 receptions for 464 and one touchdown.

"Larry and I go back a long way," said Manning, who was drafted two spots ahead of Fitzgerald in 2004. "Known him since college. We were up for the Heisman together our senior years and from then forward, I've kept up with him his whole time in Arizona, seen him around different times. Obviously last year, we both won the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award together, so I was around him a bunch there. Just a great person. Great football player. I've played some Pro bowls with him, thrown touchdowns to him in some Pro Bowls. So we have a good relationship."


The Giants have already faced two of the top five players in sacks this season. Arizona's Chandler Jones will be the third. The outside linebacker leads the league with 15.0 sacks entering Week 15 as he eyes the Deacon Jones Award, given annually to the NFL leader in quarterback sacks. The Giants have already seen DeMarcus Lawrence (13.5) and Joey Bosa (11.5).


An ankle injury was no match for Collins, who has been elected as the NFC's starting strong safety in the Pro Bowl for the second year in a row. The NFL announced the rosters on Tuesday night for the all-star game, which is set to be played on Jan. 28 in Orlando.

Collins, who was also a first-team All-Pro selection last season, is currently third among all defensive backs with 98 tackles. The third-year pro has been dealing with an ankle injury on and off since October but has yet to miss a start in his career. Meanwhile, defensive tackle Damon Harrison is a fourth alternate.


The Giants began interviews this week for their vacant general manager position and have met with four candidates so far. In chronological order, they were Marc Ross (Giants vice president of player evaluation), Dave Gettleman (former Panthers general manager who previously spent 15 years in the Giants organization as a personnel executive), Louis Riddick (former NFL player and executive and current ESPN analyst) and Kevin Abrams (Giants interim general manager who has been the assistant general manager for 16 years).

Keep an eye on these five players as the Giants get set to face the Cardinals

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