With the fourth and final preseason game about to take place, we’ve now reached the Christmas Eve portion of our NFL schedule. I’m staring at the 17 weeks of presents wrapped beneath the tree and eager to start ripping them open.
First things first, we have to get through this final preseason warmup against the Patriots. What can we look for in this game? And what should we not expect to see? Let’s break it down.
Look for: Ryan Nassib to start the entire game.
Don’t look for: Giants fans to be encouraged by what they see.
Look for: the Patriots to give Tom Brady a few snaps under center, because it’s the Patriots and they like to do counterintuitive things.
Don’t look for: Brady in the rest of September; he has the month off.
Look for: commentators to mention Colin Kaepernick before or after the playing of the national anthem.
Don’t look for: any Giants or Patriots players to be sitting down like Kaepernick in an equally pointless exercise.
Look for: players on the roster bubble to be flying around like madmen and ballhawking incessantly in a last-ditch bid to make the 53-man roster.
Don’t look for: me to stop watching because the opening day starters aren’t getting much run; watching the marginal guys play for their NFL lives is great theater.
Look for: Orleans Darkwa to being playing in his last game as a Giant.
Don’t look for: me to be happy about it.
Look for: the slimmed down Andre Williams.
Don’t look for: him to average his usual 1 yard per carry in 2016.
Look for: some highlights from the Giants’ two Super Bowl wins over the Patriots.
Don’t look for: any Aaron Hernandez highlights.
Look for: the commentators to discuss the challenges facing new Giants head coach Ben McAdoo.
Don’t look for: them to make note of his 80s hairdo and 70s porn stache.
Look for: personal fouls, sloppy play and everything you associate with desperate guys doing anything they can to make an impression on coaches.
Don’t look for: injuries; please, no injuries.
Look for: Patriots coach Bill Belichick to be dressed like a homeless person.
Don’t look for: his cutoff sleeves.
Look for: commentators to discuss Deflategate.
Don’t look for: the world’s smallest violin, playing just for the Patriots.
Look for: this game to end and for our attention to turn toward Week One and the Cowboys.
Don’t look for: my excitement for the regular season to abate this week.