The Giants won their preseason opener, beating the Pittsburgh Steelers 18-13 at Heinz Field last Saturday. The Colts hosted the Buffalo Bills last Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium and fell hard, being beat 44-20 by E.J. Manuel and the boys.
Without question, this contest will feature two of the game's best quarterbacks with Andrew Luck and Eli Manning dueling it out, likely for a majority of the first half before the backups take the field.
Meet the Colts
Few teams have such high expectations as Indianapolis, which comes into the 2013 season following a playoff berth in Luck's rookie campaign. The Colts stunned many last year, improving from a 2-14 record in 2011 to 11-5 and a wild card spot in the AFC playoffs.
The key for Indianapolis will be its defense, which added LaRon Landry in the offseason. Landry should help to shore up the secondary which wasn't always up to par in 2012, yielding 236.8 passing yards per game, 21st in the league. Perhaps the biggest concern is the front seven however, which ranked 29th in the league against the run. Nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin was brought in to stuff the middle, but the veteran has struggled recently, this being his fourth team in as many years.
Meet the Giants
New York is playing in the extremely wide open NFC East, where it seems any team, maybe save the Philadelphia Eagles, could win it. Head coach Tom Coughlin is entering his 10th season with Big Blue, making him the longest tenured coach of any team currently with the exception of Bill Belichick. After missing the postseason last year, Coughlin and co. are eager to get back into the dance.
The biggest concern for the Giants is also defense after the unit ranked 31st, only ahead of the dreadful New Orleans Saints who actually had the worst defense of all-time statistically. New York brought in and Keith Rivers to shore up the front seven, but is more depending on holdovers such as Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul to step up and be healthy. Pierre-Paul is still recovering from back surgery, but it's believed he'll be ready for the season opener against the Dallas Cowboys.
Local takes: Colts
Basically, here's where Fleener is entering 2013: he's a bit overshadowed by Allen, but not so much to the degree that people aren't expecting things from him this year, he's in an offense that he is very familiar with and excelled in at Stanford, and he is in his second year in the league. He's really poised to have a big year, as both myself and Tyler Brooke have looked at this offseason.
Local takes: Giants
Ed Valentine writes Terrell Thomas might finally be healthy on Big Blue View:
Everyone connected to the Giants has to be looking forward to seeing Thomas get real game action. If he can return to some semblance of his 2010 form, when he intercepted five passes and looked to be on the verge of stardom, that would be a huge boost to the Giants.
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Giants' Rolle out of protective boot, but no timetable for his return http://t.co/Lc8yOlW7DD— Paul Schwartz (@NYPost_Schwartz) August 14, 2013
With this still being the preseason and all, it's really tough to give an accurate prediction here. Of course, that won't stop me from giving you my best shot. Considering the starters will only play at most a half, it's really based on which team has the best depth. From what I've seen so far, that crown goes to the Giants, and so does this game.
The pick: Giants 28-20
The Giants are favored by four points against the Colts, according to Oddsshark.