The Carolina Panthers have made a return to relevancy with Cam Newton as their quarterback. They host the New York Giants tonight in Carolina to open up Week 3.
New York Giants
The Giants avoided dropping to 0-2 by outscoring the Bucs 25-7 in the fourth quarter this past Sunday. Eli Manning’s two touchdown passes in the quarter tied the game, and the Giants ultimately took the lead and held it until the end of the game.
After a rocky start in Week 1, the Giants offense exploded in Week 2. Manning threw for a fantasy-owner’s dream of 510 yards and three touchdowns. One of those touchdowns was an 80-yard pass to Victor Cruz that tied the game at 27-27. It took the confidence away from Tampa Bay and led to a go-ahead touchdown just a few minutes later.
Gaining yards in the passing game has been no issue for the Giants thus far. Eli already leads the league with an average of 348.5 yards a game, thanks to his 510-yard performance on Sunday. His favorite targets have been Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks, each with 237 receiving yards, but Martellus Bennett leads the group with two touchdowns.
Nicks will not be around to provide help to Manning this week, however, as he did not make the trip to Carolina due to injury.
The issue for the Giants has been gaining yards on the ground. They have a total of 176 rushing yards through two games, and no back has over 100 yards on the year. The Panthers are 28th in the league in stopping the run, so Andre Brown may be able to do some work filling in for the injured Ahmad Bradshaw and the doghoused David Wilson.
Just like the Giants, the Panthers had a rough outing in Week 1 with a loss to the Bucs. They quickly turned things around with a 35-27 win over the Saints on Sunday. Cam Newton led the offense in both passing and rushing, and he leads the team in both categories for the year.
The Panthers defense had a rough outing on Sunday, but just like last season Newton and the offense bailed them out. The defense did help with a pick-six in the first quarter, something that shows how much the Saints are struggling this season.
The key for the Panthers tonight, just as any other night, is the performance of Cam Newton. Being the leading rusher as a quarterback does have its advantages, as this could open up possibilities for DeAngelo Williams, who will be the primary ball-carrier with Jonathan Stewart out.
The Panthers are definitely a different team than one’s seen in the recent past, but the Giants are the defending champs.
They finally played up to to their potential in the second half of Sunday’s game against Tampa, and will continue to play that way tonight.
Giants 31 | Panthers 24
New York Giants at Carolina Panthers Game Info
- Giants-Panthers Date: Thursday, September 20
- Giants-Panthers Kickoff Time: 8:20 PM
- Giants-Panthers TV Network: NFL Network
- Giants-Panthers Point Spread: Giants -1.5
- Giants-Panthers Over-Under Odds: 51.5