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New York Giants Vs. Carolina Panthers: Week 3 Game Preview

September 21st, 2013 at 1:00 PM
By Dan Benton

The New York Giants went into their week one match-up with the Dallas Cowboys with the mindset that the playoffs had already started. After losing that game, they went into their week two game against the Denver Broncos with the mindset that it was a must win. Now at 0-2 and starring 0-3 in the face, the Giants truly do find themselves in a spot that is a must win (although every game is technically a must win).

But they aren't alone. The Carolina Panthers are also 0-2 and understand that an 0-3 start puts their backs against the wall and truly diminishes their chances of making it into the playoffs. Accordingly, this is a tale of two teams battling for their lives, and you had better believe it will have a playoff-like atmosphere on Sunday afternoon.

GAMEPLAN

Abuse the weak link

The Panthers will be without both of their starting safeties, as well as one of their starting cornerbacks on Sunday. Needless to say, their patchwork secondary faces a tall order against Eli Manning, Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz & Co. And, turnovers aside, the Giants sport the No. 1 pass offense in football — granted, that comes due in large part to trailing in games and an inability to run the ball. Either way, the Giants have demonstrated an ability to move the ball through the air at will against healthy secondaries, and should be able to do exactly that against what amounts to second stringers and street free agents.

Don't allow Cam Newton to run wild

Newton may not be running like he had during his rookie season, but the Panthers' occasional read-option affords him an opportunity to do so. With their pass offense struggling, the Giants can expect to see a heavy dose of DeAngelo Williams and the aforementioned read-option featuring Newton. At the end of the day, the Giants' defensive line needs to keep contain, limit big runs by Williams and not allow Newton to beat them with his feet. They will have to force the young quarterback to beat them with his arm, while hopefully taking a few shots along the way. And with Carolina's offensive line struggling to protect him, it may be just what the doctor ordered for Big Blue.

Keep emotions in check

Although emotions aren't something that can be drawn up like a play, they can most certainly impact what happens on the field. For the Giants, they face two emotional challenges on Sunday: desperation to avoid falling to 0-3 and dealing with the loss of Tom Coughlin's brother, John. In both instances, it could cause players to press too hard and lead to avoidable mistakes. It will be important for coach Coughlin to lead the way and just keep his team focused on winning each down.

KEY MATCHUP

Giants Pass Offense vs. Panthers Secondary

As we mentioned previously, the Panthers are depleted in their secondary and this causes a drastic mismatch against a very good Giants aerial attack. And while the Giants will most certainly want to establish the ground game for the first time this season, they may be able to do so by beating the Panthers deep a few times. Either way, the Giants will want to take what the Panthers give them. If they guard against the homerun ball, take some short underneath passes and keep moving the chains. If they guard against short passes and the run, hit them over the top. If, somehow, the Panthers find a way to shut Eli Manning & Co. down, they stand a good chance at winning; if they don't — and it doesn't seem likely that they will — it could be another huge passing day for Big Blue.

BIG GAME ALERT

Linebacker, Spencer Paysinger

In the off chance you hadn't noticed, Spencer Paysinger has developed into quite a talented linebacker. Unfortunately, his transformation has been a bit overshadowed by the overall futility of the Giants' linebacker corps. And while the group is not likely to suddenly morph into the fear-inducing unit of Giants past, Paysinger is certainly likely to continue his solid play. He has taken over play calling duties, earned the respect of his teammates and coaches, and is now looking for a stage to assert himself as a top quality player. That opportunity comes on Sunday as the Giants try to avoid an 0-2 start against the Panthers, who will suit up a familiar face in linebacker Chase Blackburn, whom Paysinger has attempted to emulate in the film room.

PREDICTION

Forget the records, forget the emotion and forget the absolute need to win. Even before all of those things, this game is one the Giants have no business losing. And it's not to say Carolina is a bad team, because they aren't; they're just not as talented or deep as the Giants.

Giants 34, Panthers 17

Photo credit: Jas&Suz / Foter / CC BY

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Tags: Cam Newton, Carolina, Carolina Panthers, Chase Blackburn, DeAngelo Williams, Eli Manning, Football, Hakeem Nicks, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Spencer Paysinger, Victor Cruz

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20 Responses to “New York Giants Vs. Carolina Panthers: Week 3 Game Preview”

  1.  GIANTT says:

    “this game is one the Giants have no business losing ”
    Thats a big ten-four good buddy

  2.  Chad Eldred says:

    Nice that you mention Paysinger. I was not a believer at all in this kid, but he had a nice preseason and has carried it over into the regular season. I don’t think that the linebackers have been the disaster that we feared. Not a play-making group, but not the liability that was forecast. The biggest issue has been MLB. The Connor injury hurt. Not so much because Connor is a stud (we know that he isn’t), but because Herzlich has been forced into too many situations in which he’s in way over his head.

    Besides being must win, this game could be an opportunity to get on track. It would be nice to come out and put up 40 points and decisively put these guys away. It would go a long way in restoring some confidence and starting to build some positive momentum.

  3.  Valid says:

    I was slightly apprehensive about this game earlier in the week, but with the Panthers missing three starting defensive backs, the Giants desperately needing a win and the fact that they’ll no doubt be playing for Coughlin, I think the G-Men win this one rather easily.

    Your 34-17 prediction sounds about right, Dan, although I can see the Giants dropping 40 on these guys. I expect a HUGE game from Eli.

  4.  Dirt says:

    In recent history, the Giants have won games where they’re ultra aggressive early, and struggled when they’ve started the game trying to “establish the run.” Teams seem to know this, and seem to sell out to stop the run early.

    If there were ever a game to come out ultra aggressive (besides every game), it’s this week. They should come out in a 3 receiver set on the first play, and send the message they mean business. Not some bullsh|t I formation throwing blood in the water to a defense licking their chops trying to strip the young back.

    (I’d say go no huddle to keep the Panthers from substituting, but that’s not in the playbook obviously, so I won’t suggest it. Clearly the only way to be successful is to substitute 3 players on every single play.)

    I’m not as worried as others. Though the situation is urgent, the team has been competitive for 7 of 8 quarters so far, done in by a few bad breaks and a few mistakes. And the competition isn’t going to be as good as last week’s for a long time (Carolina doesn’t worry me, and I’m not buying KC yet. You are what your record is, and so are the opponents you’ve played – the worst team in football Jacksonville, an overhyped Dallas team, a sh|t Eagles team. And how soon we forget they won two (2) games last year.)

  5.  Jared says:

    So far, Giants101 is 0-2 when it comes to predicting the winning team. And tothink you people really thought the Gs could beat Denver. Despite that dose of reality, younthinkmit will be 40-17?

    Granted, it should a closer game tomorrow. The Giantswill come close, but they will end up 0-3.

  6.  Jared says:

    Man, typing on an I-pad is not easy. Norm, I miss you.

  7.  TuckThis says:

    The Giants lose many games they have no business losing. But that being said….this won’t be one of them!

  8.  Krow says:

    Peyton Hillis cut.

    •  jfunk says:

      Peyton Hillis is in rare company. He, Derek Anderson, and Braylon Edwards share the distinction of being the only NFL players in history to have somehow been made to look BETTER than they actually are by the modern edition of the Cleveland Browns.

      They’re somehow chemically antithetical to all other Browns employees.

    •  Dirt says:

      Dood we should totally sign him! C’mon Jerry!!!!!!!!

  9.  fanfor55years says:

    Glad to see Paysinger getting his due.

  10.  rlhjr says:

    Paysinger is as good as it gets for the Giants at linebacker. Even last year you could see the kid had the aggression to be a player. He just lacked size and strength. He’s put on a good 15 solid pounds. Now if he just had some help.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      I spent two years insisting this kid was great in college and a real playmaker. You’re right. He just needed to get bigger. Now he should be an anchor of the line backing corps for years. Get just ONE more real player back there who can be a real two-way backer and we’re set.

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