It seems like the New York Giants just got done playing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Now, though, the Giants have to take the field again. Thursday night the Giants (1-1) are on the road to face the Carolina Panthers (1-1). Kickoff is scheduled for 8:20 p.m. ET on NFL Network.
The game presents physical and emotional challenges for the Giants, the road team on a short week. It also presents the challenge of getting for quarterback Cam Newton and a Carolina offense that is hardly traditional by NFL standards.
Head coach Tom Coughlin referred to the short week as "a challenge." Typically, though, Coughlin wants to talk about that about as much as he wants to talk about Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano and kneel down plays.
"Quite frankly, as I always say, you don't worry about things that you don't have anything to do with. We play Thursday night and we're going, so the guys have done a pretty good job of it," Coughlin said. "You're hoping that some of your veterans can come around fast enough to get back into a full swing ... It's challenging, particularly for the people that played an awful lot of snaps and are sore or whatever and just getting back to their game."
The Giants will be without running back Ahmad Bradshaw (neck), right tackle David Diehl (knee), and wide receivers Hakeem Nicks (foot) and Domenik Hixon (concussion). That means Andre Brown (13 carries 71 yards against Tampa Bay) will likely carry the load at running back. On the offensive line, Sean Locklear moves to right tackle and Will Beatty starts at left tackle. Ramses Barden is likely the second wide receiver, and Reuben Randle No. 3. Randle also handled punt returns flawlessly against the Bucs after Hixon was injured.
What To Watch
I will have an expanded 'What to Watch' later today. The thing I am primarily curious about, though, is how the Giants approach the Panthers defensively. We know about the Giants' secondary difficulties, and we know there has been discussion of adjusting the scheme. There is also the issue of Carolina using the shotgun on every play and using a decent amount of read-option type running.
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)
Event: Giants (1-1) at Carolina Panthers (1-1)
Where: Bank of America Stadium
Game Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
TV: NFL Network