Giant fans seemed uneasy for their team. They were coming off of a sunday game, to play on thursday night which meant less time to rest. To make matters worst the team had multiple injuries to deal with that ultimately sidelined 4 impact players which were starters Hakeem Nicks, Ahmad Bradshaw, David Deihl, and Eli Manning's third receiving option in Domenik Hixon. With the young, talented, and dynamic Carolina Panthers led by 2nd year sensation Cam Newton on their schedule many people worried on the Gmen's behalf. Well worries were the last thing on the minds of the New York Giants last night as they crushed the Panthers 36-7.
Eli Manning came off a week 2 career high 510 yard performance. A performance in which he fueled his team to yet another come from behind 4th quarter victory. Coming into this game he would have no Hakeem Nicks, Ahmad Bradshaw, Domenik Hixon, or his best lineman in Daivd Deihl. All inactive due to injury. None of those loses stopped Manning from having a great game as he picked apart the Panther's secondary with 27/35 completions, 288 yards, and 1 touchdown. Another factor to Manning's great performance was the great job done by his offensive line. Due to starting left tackle David Deihl's injury Will Beatty took his place at left tackle, and Sean Locklear filled the right tackle spot. Both players did well along with the rest of the offensive line, as they made it possible for Eli to take his time and pick apart that secondary.
The rushing attack was sensational in big part to the offensive line creating rushing lanes, and the amazing performance from Andre Brown. Brown filled in for the injured Ahmad Bradshaw last week and did well, however this was on a whole other level. Brown finished with 20 carries, 113 yards, and 2 touchdowns. He ripped off big runs at times, broke many arm tackles, and was patient behind the offensive line which helped him a lot. He also did an excellent job in pass protection for Eli when called upon. Look for Brown to remain the starter due to his hot streak, even if Bradshaw returns soon.
The receiving core took a hit with Hakeem Nicks, and Domenik Hixon out however a new threat made his presence known. With a quiet game from Victor Cruz who was facing double coverages all night, Ramses Barden took advantage of the Panther's single coverage with his 6-6, 224 lbs frame. Barden finished with 9 receptions, and 138 yards. Along with Barden tight end Martellus Bennett continued his hot start to the season with another good performance. Bennett finished with 6 receptions, 73 yards, and 1 touchdown. Bennetts touchdown was a nice 14 yards strike from Eli Manning between two defenders. The guys stepped up when needed, and this receiving core can only get better when Nicks, and Hixon return healthy.
Cam Newton had it rough night last night, and it seemed after one bad play another one would happen. And so on. Newton finished with 16/30 comepltions, 242 yards, and 0 touchdowns. To make matters worst for Cam he also threw 3 interceptions. Newton couldn't get it going in the air, or on the ground with only 6 rushing yards which most teams try to take away from him. Cam Newton is still a very talented QB, however he just ran into a defense who looks like it's starting to get hot. He looked uncomforatble, stared down his receivers which caused the interceptions. Panther fans should not think this will be a pattern however, Cam will bounce back.
The rushing attack for the Panthers was almost non-existent last night. DeAngelo Williams finished with 11 carries, and 50 yards. He had a couple break away runs, but besides that the Giant's defensive line controlled the play at the line of scrimmage. The option plays also didn't work for the Panther's as head coach Ron Rivera tried to get Cam Newton going on the ground. This rushing attack just ran into a brick wall last night.
Because of the great play from the Giant's secondary the passing attack was not it's highest point of the team's play. Greg Olsen did finish with 7 receptions, and 98 yards but no touchdown. The team's top receiver Steve Smith finished with 4 receptions, and 86 yards but no touchdown as well. Again the defense they went up against made their quarterback struggle the whole night, so it wasn't a surprise to see how the passing attack as a whole struggled.
Giant fans were treated to an exceptional defensive performance last night. All the talk of how the defending champs would be able to contain Cam Newton went out the window. Mainly because they only gave up 7 points to a pretty good offense. The defensive line pressured Newton in the pocket totaling 2 sacks, and making throw a total of 3 interceptions. They also did a great job of containing him when he tried to run the ball with his option attack. Linebacker Michael Boley had an interception last night which brought his season total up to 3 interceptions already. Rookie corner Jayron Hosley and corner Stevie Brown also had an interception a piece. Giant fans should be excited to how good this defense looks, next week it'll be an even greater test when they go up against Michael Vick.
The Panther's defense was picked apart in the air, and then pounded into the ground. There was noting they could do to stop the Giants offensively. Now the defensive line did get 2 sacks for the night, but they still didn't put on enough pressure to stop Eli Manning from slicing, and dicing the secondary. Perhaps the biggest factor against the defense was the Giants offensive line. The O-line was the nucleus of the great performances in the air, and on the ground against the Panther's as they controlled the play at the line of scrimmage enabling running back Andre Brown to have a great night. Look for the Panther's defense to get to the film room, study, and practice hard after this bad lost.
The New York Giants are 2-1, and will travel to Lincoln Financial Field next week to play their heated NFC East rivals the Philadelphia Eagles. The game will be at 8:20 pm, on NBC.