After a disappointing 0-2 start to the season, the Carolina Panthers are looking to bounce back and secure their first win. However, Week 3 will not be easy. The Panthers are playing the 0-2 New York Giants. Although both teams share the same record on paper, the Giants have the advantage. The last time these two teams met, the Giants destroyed the Panthers 36-7. This season both teams have gotten off to a rocky start but one of them will come out with their first victory.
The key to watch for is how well the Panthers’ secondary play. They have been plagued with injury losing Charles Godfrey for the season and corner backs D.J. Moore and Josh Thomas for at least this game. This young secondary lacks depth and will need some of their veterans to step up and take control. The Panthers’ secondary will be facing two elite wide receivers in the NFL. Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz have established themselves as some of the most dangerous receivers in the league. They have fantastic hands and quick speed. They are also threatening when it comes to deep balls. This receiver duo is one of the best in the NFL behind the Denver Broncos receiving core. It is difficult for defenses to cover both of these players. The Panthers cannot get beat deep. The best game plan is to give up the short passes and tackle the receivers as quickly as possible to prevent them from extending the play with their speed.
Another player to watch for is Eli Manning. He is currently third in the NFL for passing yards. The Manning family has football in their blood, and always expect them to come out firing and make great plays. The key for the Panthers is to pressure the quarterback and force him to either scramble or throw the ball away. Although Manning is third for passing yards, he leads the league in interceptions thrown with seven. That statistic keeps the hopes alive for the Panthers. The only chance the Panthers have at winning is if they win the turnover ratio and make those turnovers count. Obviously it’s impossible for a team to score on every offensive possession, but if the Panthers can convert turnovers into points, they will have a solid chance at winning.