The New York Giants had some question marks surrounding their team heading into their Thursday night contest with the Carolina Panthers. They had lost their regular season opener to the Dallas Cowboys, needed a wild comeback at home to survive the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and then traveled to Carolina on a short week. Throw in the fact that they were without starting running back Ahmad Bradshaw, starting left tackle David Diehl and starting wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, and the Giants could have easily dropped to 1-2 against the Panthers.
Instead, the Giants showed up in a big way, pieced together their most complete effort of the season and easily dismantled the Panthers 36-7. Not only did their passing game look great with Eli Manning completing 27-of-35 passes for 288 yards and a touchdown, running back Andre Brown stepped in and ran for 113 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries.
The Giants also won the turnover battle 5-0 and saw their defense show up big time, which will be crucial as they now prepare for the Philadelphia Eagles. Facing Cam Newton might actually give the Giants some extra preparation into handling Michael Vick, who is similarly a duel threat. The Giants held Newton to just 16-of-30, 242 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions. They’ll need to similarly keep Vick in the pocket and force him to be a passer where he’s thrown six interceptions already this season.
The NFL odds makers have the Giants and Eagles as the current favorites in the NFC East so this matchup will be important. The Giants have already dropped one divisional game so they can’t afford to lose another. The good news is they’re heading into this all-important contest with momentum, extra time to prepare and rest, which should help them get the win.