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Panthers vs Giants: Five questions with Big Blue View

Old friends return for what promises to be an unpredictable game.

NFL: New York Giants at Carolina Panthers Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Panthers are hoping to put an end to their three-game losing streak with a relatively soft match-up against the New York Giants in Week 7. To get the modern take on Dave Gettleman’s team, I spoke with Ed Valentine over at Big Blue View. He’ll walk you through the fan’s eye view of quarterback Daniel Jones, the Giant’s injury luck, and what their defensive priorities should be this week.

Is Daniel Jones the guy in New York or will the Carolina Panthers trade for him, too, this offseason?

Well, I “think” Daniel Jones is the guy in New York, but I don’t think that’s a slam dunk. Aside from last Sunday vs. the Rams, Jones has played fairly well this year. He has actually played fairly well since the middle of the 2020 season. The Giants still aren’t putting up a ton of points, but that has more to do with the personnel around him, injuries, maybe the play-calling, than it does with Jones. If the Giants could ever get to a point where they weren’t missing so many front-line players on offense, we would have a better chance to see what Jones can really do.

The Panthers are known for a lightning fast defensive front that can be, at times, bullied by meatier offensive lines. Are the Giants capable of playing a physical game up front or do you expect the Panthers speed to have the edge this week?

I honestly don’t know if the Giants can hold up to the Carolina defensive front. Three starting offensive linemen — center Nick Gates, left guard Shane Lemieux and left tackle Andrew Thomas are all on IR. Thomas had been playing exceptionally well. I would expect the Giants to max protect a lot. To chip the edges. To try and run the ball the best they can. But, they don’t have Saquon Barkley, either. I don’t expect the Giants to light up the scoreboard, let’s put it that way.

At 1-5, the Giants are in the middle of a bad season. How would you assign the blame for that between coaching, initial roster construction, and injuries?

I think there is blame in all three of those areas. Some head-scratching coaching decisions have been costly. There are a lot of highly-paid, key players on this team who are not playing up to expectations. They have also been deluged with injuries. The linemen and Barkley as I mentioned above. Also Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, Sterling Sehpard, Darius Slayton and John Ross have all missed time. Blake Martinez is out for the year. It’s borderline ridiculous. The Giants should be better than 1-5, the Week 2 and 3 games against Washington and Atlanta should have been victories. But, they are what they are.

Speaking of injuries, the Giant’s injury report for this game seems to feature the team’s entire depth chart at wide receiver and a healthy smattering of every other offensive skill position. Who, exactly, are the Panthers trying to defend against this week?

I wish I knew. Jones will play. Devontae Booker will be the primary running back. Golladay, Barkley and Toney won’t play. Andrew Thomas won’t play. Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram, maybe Darius Slayton will be the primary receivers. With the offensive line also unsettled it is going to be interesting to see what Jason Garrett cooks up.

Panthers fans are well aware of how their team loses a game, but how do the Giants win? Not turnover luck or opponent implosion, what intentional successes could lead to a New York upset (and can we still call a Panthers loss an upset with an active three-game losing streak)?

Well, the Giants are absolutely aware of Matt Rhule saying that the Panthers want to run 30-35 times. So, defend the run and make Sam Darnold win with his arm. Then, play better pass defense than they have thus far. Offensively, avoid the big mistakes. Whether it’s offense, defense or special teams create a couple of game-changing plays.