Thursday night, the New York Giants will be facing a true double-threat of a quarterback in the Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton. When I say double-threat I mean that he can easily tear apart a defense with his arm as well as his legs. This poises as a tough challenge for the Giants defense as they have four players that are banged up pretty well. Those players are: Cornerback Prince Amukamara (ankle), cornerback Michael Coe (hamstring), defensive end Adewale Ojomo (hamstring) and linebacker Keith Rivers (hamstring).
The Giants will indeed have their hands full with the second year quarterback, as last season Newton had perhaps one of the best offensive rookie seasons ever by a quarterback. The offensive rookie of the year passed for a rookie-record 4,051 yards and rushed for 706 more to become the first player to pass for 4,000 yards and rush for at least 500 yards in a single season. He also set a rookie record with 35 touchdowns (21 passing and 14 rushing). The 14 touchdowns on the ground were a record for NFL quarterbacks.
So the question here is: Even though the giants defense is banged up can they stop this phenom? the answer for on that one is easy….YES! However, if the Giants want to stop Newton, there is much they need to do to get it done.
First, The Giants must improve their coverage against the likes of Panthers’ wide receiver, Steve Smith and get pressure on Newton. Defensive ends Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora, who both are still looking to record their first sacks of the season, could’nt get them at a better time than Thursday night. Stopping the run is incredibly important against a Panthers team that can pound the Giants on the ground with the four-headed monster that is Newton, running backs DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert. I trule believe that the Giants linebackers will truly be the ones that can determine the fate of this very game.
Besides being disciplined and patient up front, the Giants’ secondary is going to have to do a better job of covering and giving the defensive ends time to chase Newton.Cornerback Corey Webster, who has struggled at times in the first two games, believes the Giants can improve their coverage by being more aggressive and roughing up the receivers at the line of scrimmage thus slowing down the Panthers receivers and giving the Secondary more time to read and react to Newton.
With the Giants knowing once the NFL schedule came out, they knew that they would not have much time preparing for the panthers. So, The Giants decided to prepare for them at some points in the offseason. And as well know, head coach Tom Coughlin will have this team prepares and ready to go Thursday night. I also think that the Giants defense will have a lot of frustration that they will take out on the Panther offense after what happened to the Giants at the end of Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers.
Many of the Giants are looking forward to this challenge as linebacker/defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka said It’s fun. These are the fun games that you want to play as a defender, It is going to be a test of our abilities.”
Carolina panthers and especially Cam Newton, be ready because this one angry group of Giants you have to face, and they just can’t wait to take their frustrations out on whoever is standing in front of them since they will not be facing the buccaneers anymore this season. I have a feeling that you are just at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Follow jon Wilhelm on Twitter: @jwilhelm24