3 Keys for the Giants against the Panthers
There's nothing rhythmic about the Giants' early-season schedule. Game 1 on a Wednesday. Game 2 nearly two weeks later on a Sunday. They're back at it again, having played just four days earlier, as they visit the Panthers in Charlotte, N.C. Here's a look ahead to Thursday night's showdown between 1-1 teams:
Ahmad Bradshaw has been ruled out for the Giants and his running back counterpart, Jonathan Stewart, hasn't practiced and is questionable. At wideout, NFC Offensive Player of the Week Hakeem Nicks is out for Big Blue and Panthers receiver Steve Smith was limited in practice but is probable.
Good, bad or ugly
Carolina rushed for a pathetic 10 yards on 13 attempts in Week 1 against the Bucs, then blew the Saints away with 219 yards on 41 tries. The quality of the running against Big Blue is anyone's guess. On the flip side, the Panthers are 28th in rushing yards allowed. It's a safe bet the Giants can have a good day on the ground even without Bradshaw. The real question is: Will it be Andre Brown or David Wilson taking the bulk of the handoffs?
Easy on Eli
The Giants' runners had better make Eli Manning's job a little easier. Carolina held Drew Brees and the Saints' prolific passing attack to just 6.6 yards per attempt on Sunday. A greater emphasis on the run is clearly required against the Panthers' sturdy pass defense.