Breaking Down the Giants-Panthers Matchup

The Giants look for their first win of the season on the road against the 0-2 Carolina Panthers

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Eli Manning, left, and Cam Newton

    Yes, we’re talking about the winless Giants, the team tied for the last in the NFC East.

    The 0-2 Giants have done nothing to help themselves in the standings but they are not in bad shape.

    How could they be? The Cowboys, Eagles and Redskins all lost last Sunday. Then the Eagles lost again on Thursday night.

    The next NFC East team to win a game will be the division’s first winner since week one. Overall, the east is a combined 2-7.

    The division is better than that — we think. But no matter what we think, the NFC East will crown a champion, and that club will host a playoff game in January. We also know that the more the division's teams struggle, the more likely the division will be sending just its winner to the postseason.

    The Giants are lucky to be in the NFC East. They do, however, have to start helping their own cause, and winning Sunday against the winless Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C., would be a good start toward that goal.

    Here is NBC 4 New York’s preview of the Giants-Panthers matchup:

    Reasons why the Giants can win Sunday: The Giants have a considerable edge in the passing game and Carolina’s secondary is really hurting. The Giants should let quarterback Eli Manning and his receivers go to work on a potentially short-handed Panthers’ pass defense.

    If the Giants play to their capabilities on offense, the Panthers will eventually crack. Carolina could not cope with New York’s offense in a 36-7 defeat a season ago and does not look capable of offering more resistance this time.

    New York’s defense also has a favorable matchup. The Panthers have thrown for just 302 yards in two games. They also struggled with pass protection in a week two loss at Buffalo. While the Giants have recorded just two sacks in two games, they have the defensive line talent to pose problems for Carolina.

    Reasons why the Giants could run into trouble at Carolina: The Panthers’ offense has the potential to quickly improve and must be respected. Wide receiver Steve Smith has given defenses fits for years and quarterback Cam Newton has a rare skill set and takes care of the football.

    Most of all, the Giants cannot afford to make multiple major mistakes like they have in the first two games. The Giants must limit turnovers, and cannot give away field position — or worse — on kickoffs and punts.

    Prediction: The Giants are capable of winning comfortably Sunday. However, we’re talking about a winless, mistake-prone team playing on the road. Manning and the Giants’ receivers figure to have productive days, and even the beleaguered running game should be able to make a positive contribution.

    That said, the Giants will probably leave the door open just enough for the Panthers to make this interesting.

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