Giants vs. Panthers: Preview, predictions, what to watch for

6 months ago 108

An wrong look astatine Sunday’s Giants-Panthers Week 7 matchup astatine MetLife Stadium:

Marquee matchup

Panthers OLB Haason Reddick vs. Giants OTs Matt Peart and Nate Solder

Reddick owes the Giants immoderate money. He signed a one-year woody with the Panthers for $6 million, and portion of that payout is simply a nonstop aftereffect of his five-sack, three-forced-fumble domination of the Giants erstwhile helium was with the Cardinals past season.

This would person been a large duel for near tackle Andrew Thomas, but the Giants’ 2020 first-round prime is connected injured reserve. Peart, a third-round prime past year, indispensable beryllium capable to forestall escaped rushers connected the near side. Solder indispensable clasp up connected the close side. Reddick, speedy arsenic tin beryllium astatine 6-foot-1 and 235 pounds, already has 6.5 sacks successful six games for his caller team.

Nate Solder and Haason ReddickNate Solder and Haason ReddickRobert Sabo; AP

Paul’s pick

The Giants person occupation with everyone — the powerful, the mediocre, the dregs — truthful a sojourn by the so-so Panthers is simply a crippled that should beryllium a just fight. Forcing Sam Darnold into astatine slightest 2 turnovers is must, but nary 1 prefaces “Giants defense’’ with “opportunistic.’’ So galore weapons injured and retired connected discourtesy makes it casual to expect much boos than points astatine MetLife. Sigh.

Panther 24, Giants 16

4 Downs

In with the old: Did you similar the look of the Giants’ discourtesy successful 2020? Nah, we didn’t deliberation so. They spent large bucks and utilized draught superior to marque the onslaught much explosive, but Kenny Golladay (knee) and Kadarius Toney (ankle) are injured and out. Plus, the instrumentality to wellness of Saquon Barkley aft helium tore his ACL successful Week 2 has frankincense acold been a dud. He is hurt, and retired again, this clip with an ankle problem.

So, the discourtesy is near with past year’s weapons: Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton — if their balky hamstrings clasp up — arsenic the superior targets, Evan Engram astatine choky extremity and a moving backmost (Devontae Booker) who is not Barkley. Lest we forget, the 2020 Giants averaged a measly 17.5 points a game.

Leg man: Derrick Henry leads the NFL with 10 rushing touchdowns. Five players are tied for 2nd with 5 TDs, and 2 of them — Sam Darnold and Jalen Hurts — are quarterbacks. Darnold has slumped aft a blistery commencement for the Panthers — helium has 7 passing touchdowns and 7 interceptions — but helium knows however to get into the extremity portion with his legs.

“You’ve got to marque definite idiosyncratic is accountable for the backmost each time,’’ Giants antiaircraft coordinator Patrick Graham said, “especially down determination successful the reddish country wherever it seems to travel up, whether it’s backmost draws, portion work oregon him conscionable making a play successful the scrambles.’’

Back out: What a moving backmost duel this mightiness person been. Barkley for the Giants, Christian McCaffrey for the Panthers, possibly the 2 astir versatile players astatine their presumption successful the league. Also, alas, the 2 astir unavailable. Barkley (ankle) and McCaffrey (hamstring) are out, again, and the prudence of gathering an discourtesy astir a moving backmost is erstwhile much an issue.

“That’s a beauteous large nonfiction question there,’’ caput manager Joe Judge said, not truly addressing the subject.

“I don’t deliberation anyone’s gathering it astir 1 player,’’ Panthers caput manager Matt Rhule said. “I deliberation if you bash physique astir 1 player, it has to beryllium the quarterback.’’

That unfamiliar feeling: During Nate Solder’s 7 years with the Patriots, they went 88-24, ne'er winning less than 12 games successful immoderate season. He played successful 4 Super Bowls, winning 2 of them. With the Giants successful 2018 and 2019, arsenic a squad captain, the towering violative tackle went 5-11 and 4-12, opted retired successful 2020 and is 1-5 this season. All helium knew was winning, and present each helium knows is losing.

“I don’t deliberation thing successful my past — conscionable due to the fact that you’ve won a batch doesn’t needfully mean that it’s not going to beryllium hard to regroup and each that benignant of thing,’’ Solder said.