Written by: Tony “The Prophet” Yantosca
Everyone in America thought the game with the Saints would be a shootout. It turned out to be anything but. The Saints ended up cracking 30 points but the Giants were in their familiar less than 20 point game. The defense played well and kept them in the game forcing the Saints to kick 4 field goals. However the supreme weapon Kamara was unstoppable rushing for 134 yards and 3 touchdowns. He had 47 receiving yards to add to the rushing.
I said the defense kept them in it. Jackrabbit Jenkins held Thomas to 4 catches for 47 yards. This was a tremendous effort because Thomas had caught 38 targets out of 40 in the first 3 games. The offensive line played better but the right side is a huge liability. The play calling was bad. I though the ghost of McAdoo had taken over for Shurmur. The New Orleans defense, which was toasted for 48 points by less than a juggernaut Tampa Bay, certainly made some adjustments since then. The Giants however assisted the defense by their play. The Giants were a dink and dunk offense except on the scripted first drive that was aided by a face mask penalty that resulted in a touchdown.
The play calling has been horrible as previously cited. Shurmuris supposed to be an offensive guru. He should give up the play calling if he can’t handle both jobs. The Giants only ran Barkley 10 times (he caught 6 passes). The goal of this game was to keep the high-powered Saints offense off the field. Barkley had to get 20-26 touches. Beckham has only had 8.9% of his routes over 20 yards this year. How about you take some shots early and loosen up the defense for Barkley? The Saints played all day at the line of scrimmage. The Giants were always in third and long. It is a combination of Eli’s deteriorating skills and bad play calling. As predicted Sheppard had a big day, 10 receptions on 10 targets and a TD, this was because slot DB Robinson was out. The special teams are abysmal. There are too many mental errors and the Gmen have poor starting position on drives on 2018. ( Giants are 29th in the NFL in starting field position.)
Turning to this week’s game, the Giants will have to get Barkley involved early and often. He should get 20-25 touches including receiving. The Panthers give up 5.4 YPC. Next, the Giants will have to get OBJ going. OBJ does not have a TD this year! They need to take some deep shots early. Eli has only thrown 11.3% of his passes 20 yards or longer. They need to keep the pass rush off Eli and it’s up to the suspect right side. The Panthers only have 8 sacks but Carolina can generate heat. The next sneaky play is to get the tight end involved. The Panthers have already given up 2 TD’s in 3 games to the tight end. It’s a shame Engram is hurt but Ellison needs to step up. The Giants special teams have been bad. They have been leaving the Giants in poor field position making it harder on Eli.
When Carolina has the ball it is McCaffrey time. Last year he was used as a passing threat out of the backfield. This year he is a Belichickian chameleon. In week 2 he had 14 catches and in week 3 he ran for 184 yards. Against the Giants, I think he will be a pass receiver. The weak point of Ogletree is as a pass defender. Snacks usually clogs the middle handling the A and B gaps. The Giants have not solved their vulnerability as a team that can be beat over the middle. Cam Newton has only averaged 32 passes/game but in 2 games he threw 26 times or less. Cam is a dual threat that will cause problems for the Giants. The Gmen have shown an inability at times to set the edge. The Giants want to keep him in the pocket. Jenkins has shut down Hopkins and Thomas in successive weeks, so he should have Funchess under control.
The Panthers are very good at home. They have won the last five games at home including the 2 this year. They are 6-1 against the spread at home in their last 7 home games. Carolina fans can rev up the noise. The Panthers are not unbeatable but the Giants will need a turnover or two and Shurmur not to be a Ben McAdoo play caller. The evidence speaks that the Panthers at home are a touchdown better at least than the Giants so I am calling this game Panthers 27 and the Giants 20.