For the second time in three weeks, the New York Giants face off in a midweek clash on the national stage. After a hard fought, come from behind win against Tampa Bay on Sunday, the Giants now travel to Carolina to take on a team that just took it to the New Orleans Saints.
Both the Panthers and Giants enter the game 1-1, and both teams obviously feel like they have the personnel to not only make the playoffs, but make a serious run. Surprisingly, both have already played the Buccaneers, with the Giants beating them by seven at home and the Panthers losing to them by six on the road. Not much can be taken from those comparisons though, because both teams probably felt they did not play up to their potential in their matchup with the Buccaneers.
As many could guess, this matchup will come down to quarterback play. Eli Manning turned his Week 2 game around, throwing for 510 yards and three touchdowns in the game, despite three interceptions early on. After a rough first week, Cam Newton bounced back for the Panthers and threw for 253 yards, while rushing for 71 more.
The Giants still do not look like the defending Super Bowl champions that they are, but they are slowly getting their swagger back. They come into Charlotte as the slight favorites, but this matchup is really a toss up.
If the Panthers are going to pull off the mild upset and protect their home field, the key will be the running game. Newton will only be able to do so much, but if Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo can have solid games running the ball, the Panthers will have a hard time shutting down and focusing on their star quarterback.
A lot of points will be put up on Thursday Night, but at the end of the day it’s easier to trust the Giants to show up and pick up the victory. The Panthers are still learning how to win big games like this, while the Giants have a “been there, done that” attitude.
Pick: New York Giants 34-31 (Giants -1.5, over 51.5)