NFL Preseason Week 1 buzz
The Giants will take on the Lions tonight in Detroit as they begin their three-game preseason slate.
The two teams took part in joint practices earlier this week, which saw a lot of lively competition.
Heading into the preseason opener, NFL.com's Eric Edholm highlighted one thing to watch for on every team this weekend. For the Giants, the focus is on the wide receivers.
"I can't imagine Darren Waller will get too much run in Friday's game against the Lions, so let's pivot to highlighting some of the young receivers," wrote Edholm. "This includes third-round speed merchant Jalin Hyatt, of course. He has already said he wants to be Offensive Rookie of the Year, so the confidence part comes pretty naturally. But it's not just Hyatt we'll be watching. Collin Johnson has been around a few years and clearly has talent. Bryce Ford-Wheaton is another interesting rookie. It doesn't seem like Wan'Dale Robinson (torn ACL last November) is going to play, but the Giants have a lot of sorting out to do in the receiving corps."
As for the Lions, the NFL.com writer zeroed in on Detroit's second-round pick, tight end Sam LaPorta.
"The Lions have a ton of storylines entering their most anticipated season in memory. But I'm really jacked (Dan Campbell voice) to watch TE Sam LaPorta in his pro debut. Preseason predictions are often laughably wrong, but I have a sneaky suspicion he'll wow the Ford Field crowd at least once Friday night. And though rookie tight ends have been pretty irregular producers as pass catchers, I could see LaPorta ending up with solid volume this season -- maybe even sniffing the number of targets he had at Iowa in 2022 (90, per PFF)."
View photos from Detroit, where the Giants and Lions held joint practices ahead of their preseason opener.
The Giants' three NFC East opponents are all set to make their preseason debuts this weekend as well.
Here is what NFL.com is keeping an eye on this weekend for the rest of the division.
"First-round DT Jalen Carter has been one of the stars of camp, and he figures to see action in this one alongside his nearly-as-impressive college teammate, fellow first-rounder Nolan Smith. Both have received first-team reps in recent weeks. If there's one concern about this Philadelphia defense, it's up the gut. The Eagles lost DTs Javon Hargrave and Linval Joseph, plus both starting linebackers and safeties this offseason. So that places a high value on Carter's role: helping to shut the front door before opponents can exploit it. He'll square off against a Ravens team likely to rotate a lot of guards on Saturday night in Philly."
"There's a theme for this particular game on Saturday, and it's rookie running backs. Yes, Tony Pollard is still the lead dog for the Cowboys, but the depth feels a bit shaky -- especially with Pollard possibly due to set career workload highs despite being fresh off a broken leg. Dallas must decide on keeping three or four backs on the initial 53-man roster, which means one of the Rico Dowdle-Malik Davis-Deuce Vaughn trio could be fighting for a job. Vaughn's draft-day story in April was so good, and I think the 5-7 back will stick because of his joystick-like shiftiness and incredible heart as a player. I'd love to see him make a strong opening preseason statement here."
"Most Washington observers believe Sam Howell will eventually be named starting quarterback, but it hasn't happened yet. Reports from Commanders camp suggest that the offense has had a tough go of it on the whole -- creating some drama around new coordinator Eric Bieniemy -- but that's not surprising considering they're running a new offense and are facing a darned-good defensive unit. Perhaps we'll see things open up for Howell and Jacoby Brissett in Bieniemy's first game as Washington OC. Bieniemy isn't likely to throw the kitchen sink at the Browns on Friday night, but I won't be shocked if he looks to have a little fun with his QBs as a way of ramping up the competition"
View photos of the New York Giants' 2023 roster as it currently stands.