The defending Super Bowl champions are on the field for a mid-week night game for the second time in three weeks. First, the Giants opened up the season with a home loss to Dallas two weeks ago. This week, they travel down to visit Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. Both teams are coming off of shootout victories in their last games, so this should be an exciting matchup. Let’s take a closer look.
How the Giants can Win: The defense will have to step up and show why they were so feared in the playoffs last year. Last week, they allowed 27 offensive points to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and now they are up against an offense and quarterback that many believe is better. Perhaps the biggest factor tonight will be the health of the Giants, who will be without their top wideout Hakeem Nicks, and their starting running back Ahmad Bradshaw. This means that Victor Cruz will need to have a huge game, and someone else (Martellus Bennett, Andre Brown), will need to step their game up if they want to win tonight.
How the Panthers can Win: Unlike the Giants who are thin at running back, the Panthers have the lethal 1-2 combination of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. These two will have to he huge tonight, as they can get pressure off of Cam Newton from the outside rushers. If the Panthers are running up the middle, it will limit the threat of Justin Tuck and JPP on the outside. On the defensive side, they will need to give Victor Cruz all the attention, as he is the big weapon leftover. If they can contain Cruz, and force Eli into a couple of mistakes, then I think the Panthers win this.
Our Prediction: On Tuesday, I had the Giants winning this game. Today, I have the Panthers, for the simple fact that the Giants are beat up on offense. Manning and Cruz will have to play catch all day, but of course Carolina knows this. If the Panthers can jump out to a lead here, then the Giants will be very predictable, and Carolina will use that to their advantage. Because of that, I think the Panthers pull off the “home upset”, and knock the Giants down to 1-2. Carolina wins 21-17.
Who do you think will win tonight? Do the beat up Giants get the huge road victory? Or do the Panthers take the next step and jump into the category of NFC contenders with back-to-back wins over the Giants and Saints? Let us know what you think in the comments!