Monday, September 24, 2012

Giants De-Claw Panthers in Rout

Thursday, September 20 2012
Post Game Recap
Final Score: New York Giants: 36 Carolina Panthers: 7
Giants De-Claw Panthers in Rout
The underdog, down and out team is what the Giants make a living off of and Thursday was no different.  Facing and up and coming Carolina Panthers squad on short rest and decimated by injuries, the Giants rallied together and hammered the Panthers 36-7.  The Giants dominated every facet of the game, putting on an impressive display even faced with the challenge of overcoming so many injuries.

Heading in the game, the Giants were without Hakeem Nicks, Ahmad Bradshaw, David Diehl, Domenik Hixon and Michael Coe, all major contributors so far this season.  That did not matter Thursday night, as the Giants were able to get out to a quick start and had their replacements step up and fill the voids left.

Unlike the first two games of the season, the Giants were able to get off to a fast start that fired up the whole team.  The Giants trailed for most, if not all, of their first two games of the season, being down 14-3 against Dallas in the opener and 24-13 at the half against Tampa Bay; Thursday was a different story as the Giants scored on their first four possessions putting their opponent in the early hole for a change.

Eli Manning was the driving force in scoring on the first four possessions, as he led methodical drives that just sapped all of the energy out of the Panthers defense and the crowd.  With the help of a suddenly lively ground game thanks to Bradshaw’s replacement Andre Brown, Manning was able to pick apart the Panthers secondary with doctor like precision. 

The 25 point fourth quarter against the Buccaneers from Sunday seemed to fuel the Giants Thursday night, as they carried over all the momentum and stunned what was expected to be a game Carolina Panthers squad.

The offense had the added dimension of a running game tonight thanks to Bradshaw replacement Brown.  Making his first career start in front of family and friends, as Brown is from North Carolina, the results were outstanding.  Brown ran for 96 yards in the first half alone, hitting the hole hard and finishing off runs by running through and over Panther defenders.
Brown also excelled around the goal line, a place the Giants have been struggling.  Brown scored two touchdowns, finishing with 113 yards on 20 carries on the night.  He also added three receptions for 17 yards.  Brown gives the Giants a very nice change of pace back once Bradshaw returns and a reliable option it would seem if Bradshaw is out for an extended period of time.

Ramses Barden got the call in replacing Nicks and stepped up big time.  The 6’6” former third round pick has never been able to show what he can do on the field, but tonight showed glimpses of the abilities that he has.
Barden had struggled to get on the field because of injuries and an inability to break press coverage, but he took full advantage of the opportunity placed before him and had a monster game in place of Nicks.  Barden finished with nine receptions for 138 yards, seven of which came in a break out first half in which the Giants took control.

The effort put forth by Barden was huge, as he gave Manning another option behind Victor Cruz.  The performance will also benefit Barden in the long run, as he showed tonight that he is a capable performer and can handle more playing time in the case another injury happens and while Hixon is still recovering from his concussion.

The offense was able to click and run so smoothly because of the play of the offensive line.  Manning was virtually untouched outside of a late third quarter sack and the running game hasn’t seen holes opened up like that in quite some time.  Will Beatty started at left tackle with Sean Locklear at right tackle with the injury to Diehl and were able to keep Manning up right and get the running game going.

Jayron Hosley stepped up again, as his progression and playing time have had to be accelerated because of injuries in the secondary. 

Hosley put pressure on Cam Newton with corner blitzes and had an impressive interception of Newton after a pass went of wide receiver Brandon LaFell’s hand.
Unfortunately, Hosley was forced to leave the game in the fourth quarter with a hamstring injury, just adding to the injury list for the Giants.  Hosley was not the only defensive back to get injured, as Antrel Rolle had to be taken to the locker room in the fourth quarter after banging his knee on a camera and Corey Webster broke a bone in his left hand but as able to return.  The Giants can not afford any more injuries in the secondary even with Prince Amukamara having made his debut this week.

Not to be lost in the shuffle was the performance of Martellus Bennett, as he had six receptions for 73 yards and another touchdown.  Bennett has scored a touchdown in his first three games as a Giant, the first time a player has accomplished such a feat in Giants franchise history.
Lawrence Tynes also had a strong game for the Giants, as he continued his perfect season going 5 for 5 on field goals and knocking all three of his extra points in as well.  Tynes performance will be overlooked by many people, but he played a key part in the victory as he was able to keep adding points on the board for the Giants and keep the pressure on the Panthers, never allowing them to build any momentum.

The Giants will get some much needed rest heading into their next game against Mike Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday Night Football September 30th

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