The darkest days for the New York Giants in the last decade have been spent hosting the Carolina Panthers at the Meadowlands.
In the 2005 playoffs, Eli Manning and the Giants offense were shut out by the Panthers on their home field, 23-0. Just last season, the Giants were looking to keep their playoff hopes alive in a critical game against Carolina. Perhaps more importantly, it was the final game the Giants would play at Giants Stadium, and obviously they wanted to go out with a win. Instead, the Giants were embarrassed, 41-9.
Luckily for New York, they will get a chance to exact revenge on the Panthers this weekend in the first ever regular season game at the New Meadowlands Stadium.
The Panthers come into this game having not scored an offensive touchdown throughout the preseason. They do, however, have a few notable weapons. Steve Smith, who sat out the preseason recovering from a broken arm, will be active and ready to go. The Panthers also feature a two-headed running attack in Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams, who became the first running back tandem to rush for over 1,100 in the same season. The Giants will need to focus on stopping the run and force QB Matt Moore to make plays with his arm. Moore had no problem doing just this last season when he threw for three touchdowns against Big Blue.
I’m very interested to see how the secondary plays against Carolina’s receiving corps. It is going to be awesome to watch Kenny Phillips and Antrel Rolle, two former University of Miami players, roaming around the middle of the field. The aforementioned Smith and Dwayne Jarrett will definitely provide a challenge.
Offensively, the Giants will look to a balanced attack for success, but establishing the running game will take even more precedence than it usually does because of the expected rainy conditions. It will be very interesting to see how the Giants distribute carries between Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs. The days of Carolina’s dominating run defense should be no more considering Julius Peppers and Kris Jenkins are long gone.
I believe the Giants will win this ballgame, 17-9. All preseason, the Giants defense has played a “bend, don’t break style” and this coupled with the Panthers’ inability to find the end-zone, should lead to a positive debut for Perry Fewell, the new defensive coordinator.
If the Giants don’t win, a great football trivia question will ensue. Who won the last game at Giants Stadium and the first game at the New Meadowlands Stadium?
About the Author
Written by Chris Ippolito
Grew up in Holmdel, NJ. Studied at Marist College. Worked as personal intern for hockey analyst and writer Stan Fischler of MSG network. Interned at MSG network for school credit during Fall of 2008. Worked as play by play broadcaster for the Danbury Westerners of the NECBL in summer of 2007. Passionate about baseball, football, basketball, and hockey. I mostly follow New York teams, but I pay attention to what goes on outside the tri-state area very closely. I feel as though I write so that people can both relate to and understand what they are reading. I am honest, but I also try and look at issues from different perspectives. I will do my best to both inform and entertain while contributing to this website.