News Archives

New York Giants Vs. Carolina Panthers: Insider Report

September 20th, 2012 at 12:30 PM
By Simon Garron-Caine

In a little over a year in the NFL, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has a highlight reel longer than most players acquire in their whole career. But as our New York Giants get ready to face off with him tonight, we realized we haven't had a chance to watch much Panthers football lately, so we decided to reach out to our friends at for an inside take on Newton, Steve Smith and DeAngelo Williams.

'Cam Newton' photo (c) 2011, Parker Anderson - license:

So tell us, is the Panthers offense all Cam all the time?

Despite Cam's explosive play-making ability, the Panthers are at their best when they are a run-first team. Consider this: Since the Cam Newton era began last season, the Panthers hold an overall record of 7-11. In those 11 losses, Newton has thrown the ball an average of 36.8 times per game. In the seven wins, “Super Cam” has averaged just 23.6 pass attempts per game (and the Panthers held second-half leads in seven of those 11 losses, so the stat isn't skewed by the Panthers playing from behind).

So what kind of offense should we expect to see on Sunday?

Look for the Panthers to establish the ground game early and often with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart (if he plays). Offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski also likes to call a lot of designed runs for Cam, especially in the red zone. With the Giants hunkering down for the run, look for Cam Newton to find Steve Smith down the field on play-action passes.

Cam Newton, DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart, Steve Smith…anyone else we should know about?

Brandon LaFell has really emerged as a serviceable No.2 receiver. With Smith often attracting double coverage, the 6-foot-2, 211-pound LSU product has been able to exploit one-on-one matchups and give Cam Newton another threat in the passing game. LaFell has caught nine passes for 155 yards and a score through the Panthers’ first two games.

On paper, the Panthers run defense looks suspect giving up 293 yards through two games. The Giants may have finally got something going on the ground with Andre Brown. Is this a good matchup for a Giants running game that badly needs a breakout game?

The defense has surrendered a lot of yardage on the ground, I don’t believe the stat sheet accurately represents how this unit has played. They have adopted a “bend-but-don’t-break” mentality and shown a knack for making plays when their backs are against the wall. The defense is very young, but also completely healthy for the first time in several seasons. The linebackers – Jon Beason, Thomas Davis, James Anderson and rookie Luke Kuechly – are extremely talented and are improving on a weekly basis.

Well, it's not like we haven't seen the Giants get stuffed up front and then have to be bailed out by Eli Manning's arm before. How do you feel about the Panthers' ability to defend a guy who threw for 510 yards last week?

The secondary is undoubtedly the most suspect part of the Panthers defense. There is no question that defensive coordinator Sean McDermott is thanking the football gods for Hakeem Nicks’ injured foot. Outside of cornerback Chris Gamble, the rest of the defensive backfield is unproven. No. 2 corner Josh Norman, the Panthers’ fifth-round pick in last April’s draft, is very talented but very inexperienced. Strong safety Charles Godfrey has looked decent so far this season, but has struggled in coverage in the past. Like Norman, free safety Haruki Nakamura is also a first-time defensive starter.

Also, the pass rush looked exceptional last week against New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees. The Panthers only sacked him once, but pressured him into one intentional grounding penalty and several ill-advised throws.

The Panthers win if…

Cam Newton protects the ball. The Panthers are 6-0 when Newton is without a turnover. When he has one or more giveaways, they are 1-11. In fact, last Sunday’s 35-27 victory over the Saints was the first time the Panthers have won a game in which Newton has turned the ball over.

We'd like to thank Jesse Collin and the crew over at for taking the time to give us some stuff to think about while we waste the day, pretending to work or study, waiting for the game tonight. Check out Panthers 101 for more coverage on the game and let us know in the comments how you think we stack up against the pictures Jesse paints.


Tags: Andre Brown, Cam Newton, Carolina, Carolina Panthers, DeAngelo Williams, Eli Manning, Football, Hakeem Nicks, Jonathan Stewart, Luke Kuechly, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Steve Smith

17 Responses to “New York Giants Vs. Carolina Panthers: Insider Report”

  1.  JimStoll says:

    listening to Francesca
    he’s saying what I’ve been saying the past 2 days: Steve smith is the problem
    he’s likely to blow us up single-handedly unless we get pressure with containmnet on Newton
    I could easily see a 10+, 150 yd, 3 TD performance out of Smith

    •  GOAT56 says:

      I don’t type of performance because I think he will be doubled. I hope we put Holey on him and double him. I don’t like Webster vs him because of his quickness. Either way I think the other targets will determine their effectiveness. Lafell, Olson and Tolbert are all dangerous but we only linted resources to stop them while focusing on Cam, Smith and their RBs.

  2.  kujo says:

    With the current state of our defense, it’s all about the pass rush. That’s always been the key component of our scheme, but it’s even more important now that our corners aren’t performing up to their potential. We need our stallions up front to do what they do best–put the QB on his asss! On the other hand, Fewell needs to dial up the blitz from the corners and linebackers (please not Blackburn) to help our front 4 break loose.

    •  Chad Eldred says:

      I agree, but the only thing Fewell is going to dial up is some 2-deep coverage with the standard four man rush.

  3.  HopLax says:

    IMHO, these are the games that the Giants typically win. When their backs are up against the wall they somehow, some way rise to the occasion. I expect them to do so tonight.

    As ESPN’s Graziano pointed out in a recent column…..” this group of Giants doesn’t get down or upset when things aren’t going their way. They’ve seen it too many times, have seen it turn out OK too many times, to disbelieve. This game tonight can’t help but remind you of Week 9 of last season, when they went to New England without Nicks, Bradshaw and center David Baas and managed a comeback victory over the Patriots. They weren’t supposed to win that day, either. They were supposed to be outmanned. They were down by three points and on their 20-yard line with 1:21 left in the game. But Manning just marched them down the field, finding Ramses Barden and Jake Ballard for key catches, and won the game with a touchdown.”

    •  kujo says:

      We also have a tendency to put up stinkers against inferior opponents. Regardless of our injury situation, we are definitely a better team than Carolina.

      34-30 Giants. We have a tough go of it in the first half but find a rhythm midway through the 3rd quarter and drive back for the win.

      •  JimStoll says:

        I can live with that
        I’ll calm my agida with a beer or 2

        •  kujo says:

          There’s a ribeye and a glass or 3 of scotch in my future. First time this season that I’ll be watching the game without diapers to change or bottles to heat.

  4.  HopLax says:

    I have always contended that “roster depth” wins championships, not offense, not defense, but great roster depth across the board.

    I believe the Giants roster is about as strong and deep as any team in the NFL. Just 3 short weeks ago most were raving about the strength and depth of the roster, save the offensive line. Due to a rash of injuries our “depth” now has to step up. It’s funny, 3 weeks ago we all believed in them and now when they are called on to produce we don’t?

    •  kujo says:

      Good point. But I’ll say this–a lot of our so-called depth consists of young guys who, in an ideal world, would be given time to earn their stripes on the practice field and in the classroom. I speak specifically of the WRs and CBs on our team, who have to become Jedi Masters in order to be successful players for extended periods of time. Hosley, Prince, Randle, Jernigan…these guys haven’t even taken the 101 classes, but have now been thrust into significant roles that require them to be postdoctoral candidates.

      It is what it is. We’ll be fine. We’ve got talent, potential. Time for them to sack up and make an impact.

  5.  kujo says:

    It sure would be swell for Marvin Austin to make a play tonight. I’m not being greedy and asking for some sort of coming out party. A tackle for a loss, a stuff on 3rd and short, maybe tag team with one of the DEs for a sack. Something positive to get the arrow pointing in the right direction. Kid is supposed to be a beast in the making. It’s high time we see some of that on the field.

    •  JimStoll says:

      with Tuck and Osi so far no-shows, I wouldn’t mind seeing Tracy get some snaps as well as Kiwi

      •  AdamGmen says:

        That D-line has been so slow, even when they have someone contained guys have been able to slip away. The Murry run comes to mind, Martin TD run too.

  6.  AdamGmen says:

    Very hard to predict this game because the Panthers very talented but young. I really dont like this match up, they have a very fast explosive offense and so far this Giants D has been terrible. My gut feeling is Giants loose this game.

  7.  HopLax says:

    BTW, did any of you see Carolina’s first 2 games.

    Against the Bucs they were held to 10 yards rushing on 13 carries and 291 yards passing (Smith had 7 receptions for 106 yards and no TDs)……does anyone on G101 think that the Bucs have a better defense than the Giants? Carolina struggled against the Bucs offensively, while the Giants manhandled them. Carolina scored 10 points against the Bucs, the Giants without the interceptions and dropped TD passes could have scored 50-60 points.

    Against an atrocious Saints defense they scored 28 points (not including the defensive TD they scored).

    I just don’t see a whole lot offensively that scares me about the Panthers. If you keep Cam in the pocket and roll coverage to Steve Smith, I don’t see Carolina putting up more than 14-17 points. Their vaunted running backs (Williams and Stewart) have a total of just 119 yards on 31 carries through 2 games.

    Oh…….just an FYI, Steve Smith is not 100%, in fact he had to come out of last week’s game for awhile because of a sore knee.

    •  JimStoll says:

      so hard to judge this early in the season; historically smith has always killed us
      our DB’s and Safeties have been pretty poor in coverage
      our D-Line has applied 0 pressure
      I watched most of the Bucs Panthers 1st half, week 1
      in that game the Bucs got tremendous pressure on Cam early
      against us the bucs got no pressure; so we shall see what our D can do
      the panthers d is suppose to be terrible in all phases
      I’m looking for A Brown to run well early; Eli to target Bennett early (hopefully he catches 4/5ths of the passes thrown to him) and then Cruz later as the Panthers have to adjust
      I’m also half-expecting — or more accurately hoping — that either Wilson or Randal breaks a return; both have flashed , especially last week; I hope TC does not replace one or both of them with Jernigan given the depth issues, but knowing Tom he well could

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Login with: