07The one and three New York Giants are coming off a loss while the well-rested Panthers had a bye week after crushing the Bengals.
The Giants offense is struggling. They haven’t scored over thirty points yet and have mostly been kept under twenty. Their ground game is ranked 29th, Manning has been criticized for playing it too safe, sticking to short yardage passing to avoid risks. Bill Parcells was quoted saying that older quarterbacks “don’t take risks.” Add to that, Odell Beckham Jr. is growing frustrated with the lack of long yardage passes to him for big gains and big plays. And the Giants tend to score under 20 points a game.
The Panthers are boasting powerful offense. Cam Newton is throwing at 65% pass completion. And then there’s the history.
10 years ago the defending Super Bowl Champion 2008 New York Giants made a second-half comeback against the Panthers from an 11-point deficit to win in overtime and go on to a 12 and 4 record, clinch first place in the NFC only to lose to the Eagles in the playoffs. And then came 2015 and Odell’s disastrous game against Carolina’s cornerback Josh Norman. A pre-game fight irked Beckham to the point of losing his composure. Beckham and Norman targeted each other throughout the game with helmet-to-helmet blocks and late hits. The two players combined for five personal fouls. OBJ was suspended for one game.
For both the 2008 comeback and the 2015 debacle, the same saying applies: that was then; this is now.
This is not the 2008 New York Giants squad, although many experts believe they are not far away from it. The defense has to stick together more. they need to communicate and believe in each other and work as a team. The pieces are there. the talent is there. They have to jell. The New York Giants’ offensive line has been a top topic all season so far. Again, they have the right players and the players have the talent to carry out their assignments. What’s lacking is the attention to detail, the execution of the role, or dropping the ball on their assignment. They’re still a work in progress and Coach Shurmur will find the answer. He has a knack for doing just that.
Then there are the injuries to consider. Pass rusher Olivier Vernon will not play against the Panthers. He’s almost ready but not quite there. The Giants are tied for second to last place in sacks this year. O.V. will be missed against Cam Newton.
Tight End, Evan Engram is also still out with a knee injury. Engram has been a playmaker for Eli throughout the season thus far, coming up big with drives on the line.
Finally, will the more mature, and significantly more valuable Odell Beckham Jr. get those big play passes and pull them in for some big points? The Panthers’ defense is not the likely one to give up big numbers but the Giants have been full of surprises all year.
Will this be OBJ time? Let’s go. ‘Cause ya never know.