Tale Of The Tape: New York Giants At Carolina Panthers
- QuarterbackIt’s been a troubling start of Eli Manning since he has thrown seven touchdowns in the first two weeks of the season. The instinct is to protect this two-time Super Bowl winner, but he has not been on the same page as his receivers. While he’s certainly capable of turning it around, Manning is not throwing the ball well enough at this point.Cam Newton is quickly coming to a critical juncture in his career. While he has wonderful physical gifts, he has a hard time coming through with clutch plays for the Panthers. This team regularly falls short in the fourth quarter and that is largely on his shoulders for not finishing drives. Newton seems to feel the pressure in clutch situations and that’s troubling to head coach Ron Rivera.
- OffenseThe Giants were under the impression that explosive David Wilson would give the Giants a plus running game this season, but his fumbling problem caused the team to bring back Brandon Jacobs. The Giants have a superb receiver in Victor Cruz, and Hakeem Nicks can stretch the field. The Giants’ offensive line is going to have an advantage in most games.The Panthers have the weapons to be a dangerous offensive team, but they don’t always play like it. DeAngelo Williams has some explosive characteristics and he is capable of busting long plays. Greg Olsen is one of the best receiving tight ends in the league, while Ted Ginn has the explosive speed to get downfield frequently. Steve Smith is still a game-changing factor.
- DefenseThe Giants did a solid job early in the game against Peyton Manning in Week Two, before the bottom fell out in the second half. The Giants have struggled on defense since the final eight games of last season and they have shown no signs of improving. Jason Pierre-Paul has not been on top of his game and the defensive line no longer gets after the quarterback the way it had in the past.The Panthers had all but secured a win over the Bills in Week Two, but linebacker Luke Kuechly’s pass interference penalty with 14 seconds left gave Buffalo a chance to steal the game, which it did. The Carolina defense allowed the Bills to score on four of their last six possessions. Despite the penalty, Kuechly is likely the Panthers best defensive player. He had 14 tackles vs. Buffalo.
- Special TeamsIf the Giants are going to turn things around this year, they could get a lift from their special teams. Josh Brown made 3-of-3 FG attempts vs. the Broncos and is dependable while Steve Weatherford is a dependable punter. Wilson is capable of breaking big returns and giving his team a field-position boost.Brad Nortman has one of the biggest legs in the league. He average 51.4 yards on his punts against the Bills. Graham Gano made 3-of-3 FG attempts in that game, but he is just an average kicker. Ginn may be the most dangerous of all the return specialists in the league because of his speed.
Brad Nortman has one of the biggest legs in the league. He average 51.4 yards on his punts against the Bills. Graham Gano made 3-of-3 FG attempts in that game, but he is just an average kicker. Ginn may be the most dangerous of all the return specialists in the league because of his speed. -Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor