The New York Football Giants stumbled out of the starting gate again in 2014, losing an error filled game against the resurgent Detroit Lions 35-21 on Monday night. This week, Big Blue hosts the Arizona Cardinals, who came back to defeat the San Diego Chargers 18-17 in a game also played on Monday night.
The New York Giants were doomed for failure in 2013 by starting the season with an 0-6 record. In 2014, there are plenty of new faces in the fold, but Big Blue once again laid an egg on opening day, losing to Detroit 35-14 in a Monday Night Football dud.
The New York Giants dealt with a brittle offensive line in 2013, and the team appears to have the same problem occurring this season, even before a single regular season game is played. In addition, first round draft pick Odell Beckham, Jr. has not seen the field in a meaningful way, so an expected big part of their offense will be unavailable as they face the Detroit Lions on Monday night.
Although they made a deeper playoff push a year ago, the 2013 season for the 49ers was far from a letdown. The team continued to improve each week, and heading into the off season know that they have a quarterback and defense that is going to make them contenders for years to come.
Up next for the 49ers are the Carolina Panthers. Although the Panthers came to Candlestick earlier this season and beat San Francisco, the 49ers are the better team and have a very good shot at winning their second straight road playoff game.
The Carolina Panthers had to win the last game of the season to get the NFC South title and a first-round bye so it’s not like it was a time they could rest their players. Steve Smith had to sit out with an injury, and there were not a lot of other options for Cam Newton to rely on, but there need to be.
Seattle has already faced, and beaten, both the Saints and 49ers this season but not the Packers. Does the unknown help or hurt a team in the Playoffs?
Each team has just 16 chances to distinguish itself from the pack in order to secure a playoff spot and hopefully a bid in the Super Bowl. The question is, quite simply, will the Super Bowl champion emerge from the AFC or NFC?
Here’s an update on which NFC teams took a step forward this week, and which ones overwhelmed the training staff with a rash of new injuries…
The good news is, arrests and court cases did not dominate NFL news this week. The bad news is that injuries to key players overwhelmed the news cycle instead.