Game Preview: Giants vs. Panthers

The Giants Beat takes an inside look at the battle between the unbeaten Panthers and 5-7 Giants.

December 20th, 2015

MetLife Stadium East Rutherford, NJ

Will be televised on FOX at 1:00 p.m. ET

Radio channels: Sirius- channel 82, Internet- channel 820, XM- channel 230

as well as other local affiliate stations

 

FOX

Play-by-play TBD, color commentator TBD, sideline reporter TBD

 

Radio Broadcast

Play-by-play Bob Papa, color commentator Carl Banks, sideline reporter Howard Cross

 

New York Giants:

 

2015 preseason record: 2-2

2015 regular season record: 6-7

 

2015 Regular Season Leaders:

Passing: Eli Manning 319 for 500 (63.8 completion %) 3655 yards 28 TD, 10 INT

Rushing: Rashad Jennings 138 rushes for 512 yards, 1 TD

Receiving: Odell Beckham jr. 85 receptions for 1320 yards, 12 TD

 

Carolina Panthers:

 

2014 regular season record: 7-8-1 (lost in second playoff game to Seahawks)

2015 preseason record: 3-1

2015 regular season record: 13-0

 

2015 Regular Season Leaders:

Passing: Cam Newton 233 for 394 (59.1 completion %) 3062 yards 28 TD, 10 INT

Rushing: Jonathan Stewart 242 rushes for 989 yards, 6 TD (INJURED; LIKELY OUT)

Receiving: Greg Olsen 65 receptions for 969 yards, 6 TD

 

Results of the previous 3 meetings:

 

September 22, 2013: (AWAY) Giants loss 38-0

September 20, 2012: (AWAY) Giants win 36-7

September 12, 2010: (HOME) Giants win 31-18

 

 

Key Matchups:

 

Panthers cornerback Josh Norman vs. Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham jr.

 

Not only is this likely the best matchup of the game, it is one of the best of the year. Everyone knows that OBJ is the top target on the Giants, and this week will be a huge challenge for him. Josh Norman has been shutting down elite wide receivers all year long. If OBJ is unable to make plays for the offense, the Giants could have big issues against this very good Panthers defense.

 

Panthers QB Cam Newton vs. Giants defensive line

 

If the Giants can get after Cam Newton and force him into bad decisions, they can hope to capitalize on the pressure. Newton has been making winning plays all year for the Panthers. With Jonathan Stewart likely out, and Greg Olsen banged up, Newton will have even more pressure than before to make plays. With limited targets, if JPP and company can apply pressure throughout the game, it could help them try to hand the Panthers their first loss.

 

Interesting Notes and Key Facts:

 

Both teams have been very strong on winning the turnover battle. The Carolina Panthers lead the league with a turnover differential of +18. The New York Giants are +9, which lands them third in the league.

 

In his first 25 games, Beckham jr. has more receptions and yards than anyone else in NFL history.

 

Josh Norman has been an absolute stud this season. When he was in coverage against some of the best receivers in the league he has done very well. Here are some of his numbers when in coverage against these very good receivers: DeAndre Hopkins (3 catches for 35 yards), Mike Evans (0 catches for 0 yards), T.Y. Hilton (1 catch for 15 yards), Dez Bryant (1 catch for 6 yards) and Julio Jones (4 catches for 33 yards). Is OBJ next, or will he ruin the trend?

 

Jonathan Stewart is going to be a big loss for the Panthers. He is fourth in the NFL in rushing yards, and has had double digit carries in every game this season. Without him, the Panthers will look to Fozzy Whitaker, Cameron Artis-Payne and Mike Tolbert to try to replace his production. 

 

The Panthers defense might be their calling card, but their offense is superb as well. They lead the league in scoring at 31.6 points per game.

 

 

 

 

 


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