Tonight in Charlotte is a high-profile quarterback matchup between a two-time Super Bowl champion and an electrifying ultimate weapon, as Eli Manning and the New York Giants play Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. The two teams are each off its first wins of the season.
SUNDAY AT THE MET
Manning recovered from throwing three first-half interceptions to finish with 510 yards passing and three touchdowns, the second-greatest passing day in franchise history, to lead the Giants to a 41-34 win over the Buccaneers at MetLife Stadium. Manning threw for 295 yards in the second half - 243 in the fourth quarter alone. Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz had 199 and 179 yards receiving, respectively.
Giants: Eli Manning (732 yards, 4 TDs)
Panthers: Cam Newton (556 yards, 2 TDs)
Giants: Ahmad Bradshaw (94 yards, TD)
Panthers: Cam Newton (75 yards, TD)
Giants: Victor Cruz (237 yards, TD)
Panthers: Steve Smith (210 yards)
Giants: Michael Boley (2)
Panthers: Charles Godfrey/Jon Beason (1)
STATE OF THE G-MEN
Tired, banged-up, but ready to roll in their second game in four days and third in 16, all against NFC opponents. The Giants are drained, and will be missing one of their top receivers (Nicks) and starting running back (Ahmad Bradshaw) and starting right tackle (David Diehl).
THE BLACK CATS
Newton, who passed for 253 yards and ran for 71 with two total touchdowns in the Panthers' 35-27 victory over the Saints in Week 2, will be hungry to pass against the Giants' coverage issues that Tony Romo and Josh Freeman feasted on like prime rib. In addition to Newton, Carolina has a running game that features a two-pronged attack, DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart (questionable-toe).
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WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Nicks (foot) did not make the trip and thus will not play. While there hasn't been a setback, Nicks simply didn't have enough time to recover from the pain that left him limping at times against the Bucs. Thus, the impeccable timing of the schedule has forced Nicks from this game and has the Giants scrambling over who will start alongside Cruz. Domenik Hixon (concussion) is out, so Ramses Barden, Rueben Randle or Jerrel Jernigan will get the call. Expect each out of the young trio, however, to receive plenty of reps.
Will Beatty, who struggled with penalties in Week 2, will likely start at left tackle and Sean Locklear on the right side. Andre Brown, who impressed filling in for Bradshaw (neck) against the Bucs will be challenged running behind this makeshift line. The same goes for David Wilson. The rookie had that infamous fumble in Week 1 and was passed over for Brown in Week 2. Thursday night, it's time to put up and take an immediate big step forward.
Defensively, the Giants will have their hands full with Newton and a Panthers running game that rushed for 219 yards against the Saints after the Bucs held them to a mere 10 in the opener.
"You don't even notice it. It's a daily occurrence with us. We've got many guys who are poised and ready to step in." -- Justin Tuck on the injury epidemic
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