Giants vs. Panthers: 3 things to watch

Cam Newton
Cam Newton was battered by the Bills last week, as Mario Williams had 4 1/2 sacks.
Credit: Reuters

The Giants travel to Carolina in a battle of winless teams with questions abounding.

Whether it’s a quarterback with interception woes, a running game that’s been lame or injuries on both sides of the ball, Big Blue is already at a crossroads after just two weeks.

Three things to watch for …

1. A semblance of balance

The Giants have the largest discrepancy between passing yards (390.5 per game) and rushing yards (36.5 per game) in the league, but that has equated to zero wins. Something has to change for Big Blue, because that lack of balance has been arguably the biggest reason quarterback Eli Manning has a league-high seven interceptions. As great and clutch as Manning has been at times, he can’t solely shoulder the offensive load. He needs help from his patchwork offensive line and a running game that features a running back with fumbling issues (David Wilson) and another who just rejoined the team and may have lost some tread (Brandon Jacobs).

2. Which team breaks its rut first?

The Panthers are also winless and have lost two close games in the waning moments, so they’ll be just as hungry as the Giants. They’ve found uncanny ways to lose ball games to both the Seahawks and the Bills, as young teams often do. The Panthers’ weakness, though, presents a great matchup for the Giants as Carolina’s secondary is depleted.

They lost regular starter Charles Godfrey for the year with an injured right Achilles. Look for Manning to test the fill-ins early, which in turn may actually loosen up Carolina’s front seven so the running game can also get on track.

3. Strength versus strength

The Giants’ defense has actually done a good job against the run in their first two losses, despite Knowshon Moreno’s 93 yards rushing last week. But the Panthers are an offense that would like to run the ball on all four downs if possible. Carolina’s three-headed attack of running back DeAngelo Williams, fullback Mike Tolbert and quarterback Cam Newton poses a different kind of problem than the Cowboys and Broncos — especially since Newton can throw the ball as well as any passer in the league, but has the open-field running prowess of a top-tier running back. Giants middle linebacker Dan Connor (neck) was placed on injured reserve this week, making an already thin linebacker corps even more desolate. How well Big Blue can adjust to the Panthers’ triple-prong rushing attack will go a long way in determining how fluid Carolina’s offense can be.

Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Tattooed, bearded suspect sought in Williamsburg bike theft:…

The suspected thief faces grand larceny charges after investigators said he entered the building on North 5th Street in Williamsburg.

Local

Report: Rich New Yorkers don't move from NYC…

An Independent Budget Office analysis found that the wealthiest residents don't move out of the city any more or less than other New Yorkers.

National

Pioneers for domestic violence push on

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article. Two decades have passed since the O.J. Simpson trial captivated the country. But in the 20 years…

Local

Food truck with a mission hires at-risk New…

A group branding itself as food trucks for social justice specifically hires and trains young men and women with troubled pasts.

Movies

Scarlett Johansson on 'Lucy':' 'I guess I’m the…

Scarlett Johansson continues her foray into action movies with thriller “Lucy”, admitting it’s been an unexpected adventure.

Movies

Review: Liking Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'…

Woody Allen's latest, "Magic in the Moonlight," concerns a magician (Colin Firth) trying to debunk an alleged psychic (Emma Stone).

Movies

Piano from 'Casablanca' up for sale at auction

An iconic piano featured in Rick's Cafe Americain in the 1942 Hollywood classic "Casablanca" is expected to be the highlight of a sale of film…

Music

Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks more accessible than Animal…

Believe it or not, Avey Tare — the man in the mustachioed mask pictured here in the pool of blood — may have made the poppiest music of his career.

NFL

5 players to watch at Giants training camp

Metro takes a look at five players who will be on everyone’s mind when Giants training camp gets underway.

NFL

'Vicktory dogs' travel road to rehabilitation seven years…

Of the dozens of dogs groomed by Bad Newz Kennels, 48 were rescued and 22 of the pit bull terriers have emerged at Best Friends Animal Society.

MLB

Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according…

Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according to report

NFL

Giants lineman Chris Snee to retire: Reports

The Giants report to training camp on Tuesday, but Chris Snee may not be there when they do.

Parenting

Buy gently worn back-to-school clothes with Kidizen

Kidizen allows parents to buy and sell gently worn back-to-school clothes.

Wellbeing

Ruling could be beginning of the end for…

This morning, a federal appeals court threw out an IRS regulation that implements subsidies for low-income Americans who bought insurance through Obamacare. These Affordable Care…

Tech

RocketSkates let users roll with a motor

Los Angeles company Acton has raised funds on Kickstarter to roll out a nifty alternative – motor-powered "RocketSkates."

Tech

Knicks star Carmelo Anthony becomes a tech entrepreneur

He's been an All-Star, an Olympian, and a celebrity spokesperson. Now NBA player Carmelo Anthony is adding the position "tech entrepreneur" to his resume. Along…