The Carolina Panthers over the past few years had the Giants number beating them decisively in the 2005 playoffs (23-0) and last year in the final game at Giants stadium (41-9), so when the Giants opened up their new stadium to kickoff the 2010 season, obvious trepidation ensued. The Giants; however took care of business winning 31-18 to open up the season (1-0) finally exercising the Panther demons.
The game was sloppy at times, especially in the special teams play where rookie Matt “we miss Jeff Feagles” Dodge had a punt blocked which gave the Panthers a safety, hence how the score became 18 for the Panthers. Dodge only averaged 28.7 yards with a net average of 16 yards punting. The specials also gave up a 45 yard kickoff return while the G Men could not advance the ball past the 20 yard line all day. Staying on the not so great part of the day, the offensive line while doing a great job of pass blocking for Eli, struggled mightily opening up holes for the running game in the first half only yielding 8 yards on 13 carries; however, did get back on track in the second half as starter Ahmad Bradshaw finished with 76 yards rushing and a TD while backup Brandon Jacobs ended with 44 yards on 12 carries.
The Giants did a lot of great things in this game such as Eli Manning looking sharp throwing the ball all over the field to Mario Mannigham for 85 yards on 4 catches and to the breakout player of the game and first Giant to score a TD in the new stadium; Hakeem Nicks, 4 catches for 75 yards and 3 touchdowns. Eli did have three interceptions all off the hands of his own receivers (20-30-3 for 263 yards). The Giants defense looked back to form holding the stellar running game of Carolina to only 89 yards rushing (only 6 net rushing yards in the second half) with the dynamic duo of DeAngelo Williams yielding only 62 yards and Jonathan Stewart only 12 yards. The ball hawking secondary intercepted Matt Moore three times with the acrobatic Deion Grant, Kenny Phillips and Terrell Thomas all picking one. The Giants after trailing 16-14 at the half saw their defensive line come alive with four sacks in the second half with Barry Cofield starting the sack party. Only two key injuries in this game, one to Kevin Boss (neck and concussion) and the other to captain Chase Blackburn (strained knee) both are day to day.
Overall, the Giants looked solid with plenty of room for improvement, but after one week in the 2010 books they sit atop the NFC East in first place with the Redskins as both Dallas and Philadelphia lost.
About the Author
Written by Dennis Napoliello
Graduate of Providence College with a BS degree in Business Administration. While at Providence College, I co hosted the #1 radio program titled "The Sports Page". I make my living in the fitness industry as National Vice President of Sales at David Barton Gym located in New York City. On a personal note, I have been a long standing Giants fan as my family has held season tickets since the opening of Giants Stadium in 1976. I now own the tickets and enjoy going to the game with my three children (Peyton, Trevor and Camryn), wife (Michelle), Dad (Al) and brother in law (Chris). Other than college, I have lived my entire life in NJ and currently reside in Roxbury, NJ. My objective with this blog is to have fun writing, along with my two sons, about the team we love, and to be as objective as possible always trying to give you the fans point of view,