1) All eyes will be on the Giants defense on Sunday, specifically the secondary. This will be Mark Sanchez's first game against them. What can we expect from him, and what can the Giants do to limit the Jets' passing game?Kinkhabwala: How about, uh, play better? It sounds awfully simple, but honestly Jets receiver Santonio Holmes wasn't that far off Wednesday when he called the Giants defensive backs 'poor-tackling.' Or when he said, 'We know plays can be made over their head.' The Giants have been burned by far too many big plays back there, and while we didn't see as much of the confusion – namely, one DB playing man coverage, another zone – Sunday against the Redskins, seeing defenders get plain old beat was just as unpalatable. The corners need to cover better, the safeties need to make more plays and really, the best way to limit the pass game is to finally have the Giants ostensibly-vaunted pass rush rear its head.
2) The Giants ran the ball 18 times against the Redskins. Will they need to run more often against the seventh-ranked pass defense this week?Kinkhabwala: The Giants need to run the ball more because they need to run the ball more. This is a short-handed, beleaguered defense and part of its problems on third downs may very well be because it is exhausted. Running the ball bleeds the clock and it sets up the Giants' play action, too, which is where a huge chunk of the Giants' pass game success comes from. The offensive line has been more stout and physical and everything about this game screams more fight than finesse.
3) Shonn Greene is having a solid stretch of games, averaging close to five yards per carry with four touchdowns in his last three games. Meanwhile, the Giants are 22nd against the run. Who will win that battle?Kinkhabwala: My job is to watch the Giants, not the Jets, so I could be wrong here. But far as I can tell, the Jets have been inconsistent with the run, were getting better and then ran into the Eagles. The thing there, though, is that the Jets got down early and so had to get away from the run in that game; Greene may very well have run over the Eagles, too. Greene is running downhill well and the Giants have not exactly been stellar at the second level (i.e. linebackers). So in sum, the Jets' ranking is a little misleading, the Giants' is not and the Giants' best defense is a good offense: get up early and by a lot.
4) Who gets more attention -- good or bad – in New York: Eli Manning or Mark Sanchez?
Kinkhabwala: Was Eli Manning ever on Page Six even when he was single? Sanchez is working on a boudoir list to one day match Derek Jeter's and so in paparazzi terms, the Jets quarterback has this one hands down. On the flip side, I don't think Sanchez has nearly taken the heat – or public derision – Manning has, nor does he seem to have the mental make-up to dismiss it the way Manning does. For as much as Rex Ryan talks, more will always be expected of the Giants.
5) There has already been a lot of chatter and it will only pick up as we move on in the week. What effect will the whole rivalry aspect have on the game?Kinkhabwala: Tom Coughlin said he's never been a trash-talker. Coughlin said he's never been one to post something on a bulletin board or to hand out some other team's quote sheets and his go-to line is "Talk is cheap." But when he was asked Wednesday if he just might be able to use some of the Jets' incessant chatter, he gave us all this Cheshire cat grin and said, 'Perhaps.'
Do I think when Darrelle Revis is trying to jam Hakeem Nicks at the line, Nicks is thinking about what the Jets did or did not say? No. Do I think when Jason Pierre-Paul is staring at D'Brickashaw Ferguson blocking his path to the quarterback, he's thinking about some back page? No. But all the smack talk is funny and, in some ways, it keeps the mood light. And, hey, that's not a bad thing.