Carolina has no time to celebrate their first victory of the season as they prepare for Thursday Night Football this week. They will host the defending Super Bowl champion Giants in this contest who are also coming off their first victory. They beat the Bucs team that took out the Panthers in week one, and it took all four quarters to do so. Eli Manning threw 3 picks in the first half, just like his brother Peyton did last night. However, he came back in a big way, throwing 3 touchdowns and totaling over 500 yards. He torched the Bucs secondary in the second half with both Cruz and Nicks well over 150 yards each.
that will be the Panthers biggest challenge by far. They were able to keep Brees from destroying them, but he was still able to get his yards and scores by the end of the game. Manning has the ability to score in bunches, so they need to keep him in control. A big reason they were able to slow down the Saints was because they limited the production of the Saints receivers. They will need to do that again, and then some, if they want to take down the Giants.
The running back situation is a bit more murky for the Giants. Bradshaw injured his neck last game, and doesn’t seem likely to play given the short week. David WIlson was figured to run away with the starting gig before he fumbled his second career offensive snap. He has been in the doghouse ever since, and despite Bradshaw’s injury, he seems to remain there. He may take a larger role next game, but as it stands Andre Brown looks to be the feature back on Thursday. For the Panthers, Jonathan Stewart is Questionable for the contest. He did make anything worse, but he may need more than a couple of days to recover from the normal wear and tear on that ankle. He didn’t practice today, so that will be a situation to monitor heading closer to game day.
The key for the Panthers will be attacking the depleted secondary of the Giants. They may not be so depleted come Thursday though, as Prince Amukamara may be making his 2012 debut. He was expected to play last Sunday, but was a late scratch, still fighting back from a high ankle sprain. That particular injury typically lingers for quite a time, so he is no guarantee to play in this game either. Even if he is able to play, he could be at less than full effectiveness. Newton did a great job at hitting his receivers last game, which he will need to do even more if he wants to lead his team to victory. He threw just 20 passes last game, expect that number to jump quite a bit.
This should be fun game to watch. Another shootout looks to be in the making. If Carolina can win the turnover battle they very likely can win this game.