Thursday Night Football- Giants vs Panthers Preview
Another week of the regular season down and Week 3 is right around the corner with the New York Giants on the road against the Carolina Panthers tomorrow on Thursday Night Football.
The game will be live on NFL Network in America and on Sky Sports 1 in Ireland.
Here is a full preview of the second Thursday Night game of the season.
New York Giants at Carolina Panthers
Stadium- Bank of America Stadium
Kickoff- 8:20 p.m. in Charlotte/1:20 a.m. Irish time
What to Watch
Giants wide receivers vs Panthers secondary
- The first position battle to watch is the Panthers cornerbacks and their attempts at covering Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks. With both being 1,000 yard receivers, Cruz and Nicks are arguably the best wide receiver tandem in the entire NFL and will set out to continue their fast start to the season.
- However, the Panthers cornerbacks aren’t going to allow them to put up the same numbers they did last week vs the Bucs. Chris Gamble and co. should be up to the task of shutting down the Giants wideouts.
Giants defensive line vs Panthers o-line
- One of the constant battles for opposing teams facing the Giants is how they go about stopping their talented defensive line. Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora are all capable of causing problems for opposing quarterbacks when at their best.
- Although off to a slow start, these guys are still great pass rushers who’ll need to be stopped. The Panthers offensive line is capable of doing just that with players like Ryan Kalil and Jordan Gross.
Cam Newton and the Panthers dual threat attack
- One notable casualty from the tremendous play of rookie sensation Robert Griffin III is Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. RG3 has grabbed all the headlines recently for his ability as a dual threat quarterback which has left Newton rather surprisingly under the radar.
- Whether he’s passing or running, the Giants defense will need to keep tabs of where Newton is at all times. He could be in for a big game against a poor Giants pass defense.
Who to Watch
Steve Smith- Wide Receiver- Panthers
- Apart from the obvious choice of Cam Newton, the main man to watch on the Panthers offense will be star receiver Steve Smith. The 33-year-old Smith has turned his career around since the arrival of Newton and appears to have regained the Pro Bowl form he once showed during his early years.
- After a seven catch 106 yard performance in Week 1, he followed that up with another 100 yard game last week. Despite some injury concerns, Smith should start the game and could have a major impact.
Jon Beason- Linebacker- Panthers
- Even with the addition of first-round rookie Luke Kuechly, Jon Beason is still the best linebacker on the Panthers defense and will play a crucial role for the team in this game. A former first-round pick himself, Beason is at his best when used as a middle linebacker and will likely line up in that position tonight.
- Now playing in his sixth season, he has fully established himself as one of the best linebackers in the NFL. An excellent tackler, look for Beason to make plenty of them against the Giants offense.
Ahmad Bradshaw- Running Back- Giants
- The Panthers defense is currently one of the worst in the league against the run after allowing well over 100 rushing yards in each of their first two games. This means that the Giants offense may look towards more of a balanced attack which would give more touches to running back Ahmad Bradshaw.
- Bradshaw has missed practice recently with a neck injury but is expected to play. Whether he is at 100% or not, look for him to see somewhere between 15-20 carries vs the Panthers defense.
Something tells me that the Giants defense won’t be able to contain Cam Newton and the Panthers offense.
Giants 23 Panthers 27
So that’s your preview and prediction, hope everyone enjoys the game.
Check back tomorrow for a recap of tonight’s game along with my picks for the rest of the games in Week 3.