(Photo by Hannah Ally - JSN)

Preview: Giants Host Panthers in Home Opener, Week 2

Week 1 is officially in the books and for the first time in six years, the New York Giants get to start their season at 1-0. While some of us are still celebrating the week 1 win, the Giants have moved on to week 2 and are focusing on their matchup against the Carolina Panthers.

As Daniel Jones told the media on Wednesday regarding the week 1 win, “It’s a big win for us, but it’s one game. It’s about what we do now. I think that’s been the approach. As soon as we finished up the tape on Monday. We’re now on to Carolina, and that’s what we focus on.”

And we are focused on the Giants home opener against the Panthers here at Jersey Sporting News so let’s jump into this week 2 matchup!

What To Expect

  • Saquon Barkley and Christian McCaffery to play! They both missed last years week 7 matchup due to injuries so both teams having their star running backs in the game will look a lot different this year
  • The great 2018 debate of the Giants taking Saquon Barkley vs Baker Mayfield to be a storyline
  • Both teams have power running backs who with one stiff arm can change the game at any given moment
  • Both teams have decent weapons at wide receiver
  • Both teams have some inexperience to deal with on the defensive side of the ball
  • Giants defensive line will play better
  • Saquon Barkley to go for at least 150 yards rushing
  • Deep threat of Baker Mayfield to Robby Anderson

Numbers Don’t Lie

  • The Giants beat Carolina 25-3 last year in their week 7 matchup
  • The Panthers defense gave up 217 yards on the ground last week
  • Saquon Barkley went for 164 yards rushing and 194 yards overall against the Titans
  • Giants and Panthers have played 11 times in previous seasons with the Panthers winning six of those games
  • Carolina is ranked 19th in 3rd down efficiency and the Giants are ranked 30th as we head into week 2 of the season

Injury Report – Giants (notable)

  • Wan’Dale Robinson – Did not practice
  • Jon Feliciano – Limited practice
  • Azeez Ojulari – Limited practice
  • Kayvon Thibodeaux - Limited practice

Injury Report – Panthers (notable)

  • Christian McCaffrey – Did not practice (resting player. not injury related)

Key Matchup(s)  of the Game

Run Game

  • Saquon Barkley vs the Panthers porous run defense. This is the perfect matchup for Saquon Barkley and his fresh legs to have another monster game. The Giants defensive front will hold Christian McCaffery in check much better than the Panthers front that allowed Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt to have their way with them.

Coaching & Gameplan

  • I expect that Brian Daboll will have a better gameplan in place over Matt Rhule. Daboll will set Daniel Jones up to manage the game in similar fashion to how he did against the Titans in week 1. Look for Jones completion rate to be somewhere in the 70% range and most likely one TD. Panthers underutilized Christian McCaffery last week so I would assume that Matt Rhule is planning to get his (only?) playmaker involved more however the Giants are just the better coached team with more talent to execute the gameplan.

Take the bet?

Well hopefully you listened to me last week when I said to take Giants to cover the 5.5 spread. This week is no different. I like the Giants to cover the 2-point spread this week. Mostly because Carolina is horrible at covering the spread. The Panthers are 3-13 ATS in their last 16 games and they have not covered in 4 straight road games.

The Giants however covered the spread in 5 of the last 6 meetings and they 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games against the Panthers at home.

Take the bet? You bet!

Giants to cover this small spread at home

Who Wins

Giants move to 2-0