It’s the last preseason game before the real action starts and it’s undetermined how much playing time the Patriots will give Tom Brady, Wes Welker, and the team’s other stars.
But what we do know is that this is the last opportunity for about 20 players to make the 53-man roster. The Patriots have until Friday to trim 22 others from its rolls.
That puts a larger focus on the players in tonight’s game who are in the margin — RB Branden Bolden, CB Marquice Cole, DL Justin Francis, OL Darrion Weems, etc. — and not on a superficial rematch of Super Bowl XLVI.
The Giants are coming off a 20-17 loss to the Chicago Bears Aug. 24. Eli Manning was a cool 17 of 21 for 148 yards and a touchdown in the game.
Here’s the details for tonight’s game:
Kickoff: 7 p.m.
Preseason records: Patriots 1-2 (Finished last season 13-3, AFC champions); Giants 1-2 (Finished last season 9-7, Super Bowl champions).
TV/Radio info: WBZ-TV Ch. 4 (Don Criqui, Randy Cross); 98.5-FM The Sports Hub (Gil Santos, Scott Zolak).
Projected starting lineups:
Based on information distributed to the media, practice observations, and injuries for each team.
Patriots offense: WR Wes Welker, LT Nate Solder, LG Logan Mankins, C Dan Koppen, RG Dan Connolly, RT Marcus Cannon, TE Rob Gronkowski, WR Deion Branch, QB Tom Brady, RB Stevan Ridley, TE Aaron Hernandez.
Patriots defense: NT Vince Wilfork DT Kyle Love, RDE Chandler Jones, LB/DE Ron Ninkovich, LB Jerod Mayo, LB Dont’a Hightower, LB Brandon Spikes, CB Devin McCourty, CB Kyle Arrington, S Steve Gregory, S Tavon Wilson.
Giants offense: WR Victor Cruz, LT Will Beatty, LG Kevin Boothe, C David Baas, RG Chris Snee, RT David Diehl, TE Bear Pascoe, WR Hakeem Nicks, QB Eli Manning, FB Henry Hynoski, RB Ahmad Bradshaw.
Giants defense: LDE Justin Tuck, LDT Linval Joseph, RDT Rocky Bernard, RDE Jason Pierre-Paul, SLB Mathias Kiwanuka, MLB Chase Blackburn, WLB Michael Boley, LCB Corey Webster, RCB Michael Coe, SS Kenny Phillips, FS Antrel Rolle.