Not only is it the season debut of Monday Night Football tonight, it's also the first ever game at New Meadowlands Stadium between the venue's two teams, the New York Giants and the New York Jets.
This game could have a little more intensity than your average preseason contest. Both teams want to begin play at the new stadium with a win and the rivalry between the two squads has been growing behind trash talk from the Giants' Terrell Thomas and the Jets' Bart Scott. If that trash talk leads to anything on the field there could be some hard hitting on Monday night. The Jets are the home team tonight and the favorite by 2.5 points. When the Jets and Giants met up in the preseason last year the Jets edged the Giants 27-25. The Jets' game plan for Monday night, according to head coach Rex Ryan, is for the starters on both offense and defense to play past the first quarter. That should give quarterback Mark Sanchez a chance to get in at least a few plays with new Jets Santonio Holmes and LaDainian Tomlinson.
Also expect to see plenty of Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, and Shonn Greene early on. On defense the Jets won't have their best player, cornerback Darrelle Revis. The Pro Bowler is still holding out and he may sit out the entire season if contract talks between him and the Jets don't improve. The Giants will have a number of starters out Monday night, and the starters who are going to play are expected to see the bench before the end of the first quarter. On offense the injured Giants include WRs Steve Smith and Tim Brown, TEs Kevin Boss and Scott Chandler, and linemen Chris Snee and Rich Seubert. The walking wounded on defense include LB Keith Bulluck, safeties Kenny Phillips and Michael Johnson, and corner Corey Webster. One spot the Giants need to fill during the preseason is kick returner. Domenik Hixon was expected to handle most of the returns this season, but that plan was scrapped after Hixon was lost for the season with a torn ACL in June. Some of the players Giants coach Tom Coughlin will give a chance to fill the role include Danny Ware, Andre Brown, Victor Cruz, and Aaron Ross.
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