Tonight was slated to be a measuring stick to see just how far the Cam Newton led Panthers have come, and they failed to answer the call. The Giants came in hobbled with Hakeem Nicks, David Diehl, Prince Amukamara, Domenick Hixon and Brandon Jacobs all sitting out.
With the injuries to the Giants the Panthers seemingly had knocked off a lot of their edge and were expected to make this game competitive. Eli Manning would have none of that however, has he hoisted his team on his back from the very get go and took them on a game opening drive for a touchdown.
On paper Eli was seemingly out of his element with just Cruz being his only go-to guy in the game. Manning wasted no time linking up with Marcellus Bennett for the early touchdown. The combo of Andre Brown, Bennett and Ramses Barden was the rise to the occasion the Giants needed to crush the Panthers.
Cam Newton’s game was flawed as he threw five INT’s and was visibly rattled by the Giants pass rush–aka Jason Pierre Paul. Newton was just 16-30 for the night with 242 yards thrown for as he failed to rally his team for the big stage.
The biggest culprit of the night had to be the the defense of the Panthers–or lack thereof. They managed to bring down Eli just once, and allowed him plenty of time to stand in the pocket and throw rockets to his temp receivers who ended up having the games of their lives.
Anytime your Quarterback scores your only rushing Touchdown you know it’s an issue. The game was truly the Panthers to lose from the start as they sought to back up the validity of many people’s choice of picking them for a playoff team. If tonight was indication it’s that there’s still work to be done for the Panthers before they can take that step. The Giants meanwhile improve to 2-1 and embark on a week and half of rest.
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