After an upset win over the Titans in Week One, the Giants must refocus on the challenge ahead. They head home to face the Panthers who were on the receiving end of a last-second field goal a week ago.
The New York Giants started off the 2022 campaign in a dramatic way. They beat the Titans on the road thanks to a missed field goal from kicker Randy Bullock that secured the Giants the win. The day however belonged to Giants running back Saquon Barkley as he rushed for over 160 yards and had 30 yards receiving. He was the Giants MVP Sunday and if it wasn’t for him, the Giants most likely would be 0-1 right now.
Although the win was massive and changed the narrative early on, Giants Head Coach Brian Daboll must get the team ready for Sunday’s home opener against the Panthers. Led by new starting quarterback Baker Mayfield, they are looking for revenge after they lost in heartbreaking fashion to the Browns at home. Before the season started, this upcoming game was categorized as a winnable game for the Giants and with the opportunity to go 2-0 to start the year, the G-Men must capitalize.
Panthers Are Looking To Prove Themselves Against The Giants
A year ago, the Panthers traded for Sam Darnold with the hopes of reviving his career and him being a catalyst for the rise of the team. Unfortunately for Carolina, it didn’t turn out that way. They finished the season 5-12 and Darnold didn’t live up to the expectations that were set when he arrived on the team. Fans were calling for the firing of Head Coach Matt Rhule but the team didn’t budge pushing forward.
They did need a better QB so in early July the Panthers traded a conditional 2024 fifth-round pick to the Browns for Baker Mayfield. A former first-round pick, Mayfield wanted out after the team acquired Deshaun Watson via trade and he got his wish. Now he’s with Carolina and in Week One, he played decently but didn’t stand out. He threw for 235 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. The Panthers’ best player, RB Christian McCaffrey, was nonexistent other than a lone touchdown.
If everything clicks, the Panthers are a scary team. They have talented players on offense like WRs DJ Moore and Robbie Anderson, rookie LT Ikem Ekwonu and McCaffrey. Their defensive secondary is something to keep an eye on with names like Jaycee Horn, Jeremy Chinn, and Xavier Woods. Upfront, their defensive line is nothing to mess with led by 2021 Pro Bowl DE Brian Burns.
Detailing The Giants’ Gameplan Ahead Of Sunday’s Matchup
On offense, the Giants have to stick with the hot hand and continue to prominently feature Saquon Barkley. He gained over 190 total yards against the Titans last week and it certainly looks like he’s 100 percent after so many years dealing with various injuries. Another key reason why you continue to showcase Barkley this week is that the Panthers’ defense struggles against the run. They gave up the second-most rushing yards in the NFL last week, only behind the Titans. Keep giving the ball to Barkley and good things will happen.
It’s a different story when talking about the Panthers’ pass defense as it ranked as one of the best last week. They only gave up 138 yards through the air last week against the Browns. The Panthers have a dangerous secondary so the Giants must be clinical in the passing game and QB Daniel Jones should take shots when necessary.
They can’t afford to give the ball back to a struggling Panthers offense in good field position. Also, watch for wide receiver Kadarius Toney to get more playing time as he only had seven snaps on Sunday. If the Giants want to beat the secondary, they need to utilize a guy like Toney who finds ways to get himself open.
The Giants’ defense must put pressure on Panthers QB Baker Mayfield if they want to cause havoc Sunday. The Browns got four sacks last week against a young Panthers offensive line that looked inexperienced. If the Giants can get their two starting EDGE rushers back healthy, Kayvon Thibodeaux and Azeez Ojulari, big things could be on the horizon for the defense. One small thing to watch out for Sunday is that Mayfield fumbled four times last Sunday and most of them were due to bad snaps. Some lack of playing time concerning QB and center could leak into Week Two.
Giants Injury Report For Their Week Two Game Against Carolina
After missing the opportunity to play in his first NFL game last week, rookie EDGE rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux looks to be gearing up for that moment this week. After dealing with a knee injury he suffered during the preseason, Thibodeaux’s practice schedule has been ramped up this week where he’s been involved in team drills.
That is a great sign and according to Kayvon himself, he’s really confident he can go Sunday. That would help the Giants’ pass rush that only got one sack against the Titans. Fellow Giants pass rusher Azeez Ojulari might have to wait another week to go as he’s still recovering from a calf injury. He’s making progress but his status for the game is in doubt.
Cornerback Aaron Robinson will be out this Sunday as he had his appendix removed this week and will have to recover for the next week or two. With Robinson out, that leaves a void in the secondary, and players like Cor’Dalle Flott, Fabian Moreau, and Justin Lane will have to fill that spot temporarily. Someone to keep an eye on approaching this week’s game is Kadarius Toney. He popped on the injury report Thursday as being limited in practice due to a hamstring injury. He did deal with a similar injury during the summer so it’s something to monitor as we get closer to Sunday.