In a surprising turn of events, both the Carolina Panthers and the New York Giants have exactly zero wins as they head into their Week 3 matchup from Bank of America Stadium.
Eli Manning and the Giants lost a heart-breaker to the Dallas Cowboys before Eli was embarrassed by his older brother and the Denver Broncos in Week 2.
Things actually have not been as ugly for Cam Newton and the Panthers. The Panthers played the Seattle Seahawks tough in Week 1 before doing the same thing in Week 2 against the Buffalo Bills.
Here is everything fans need to know about the matchup featuring winless teams.
Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
When: 1:00 PM ET, September 22, 2013
Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket, Game Rewind
Giants Player to Watch: David Wilson
David Wilson was a first-round pick a year ago and at this point was expected to be making serious contributions. Instead, Wilson fumbled twice in the opener against the Cowboys and has seen all of seven rushing attempts in both games so far this year.
That’s going to change against the Panthers as the Giants need to take pressure off Manning and Wilson is the best option. Whether or not Wilson can hold on to the football, not to mention actually produce big numbers, may ultimately decide the game for both teams.
Panthers Player to Watch: Cam Newton
It sounds cheap to list the biggest name in this matchup as a player to watch, but it makes too much sense. These teams met last year and the Giants frustrated Newton to no end and he wound up throwing three interceptions and costing his team the game.
This year Newton has struggled to get things going while once again not being surrounded by quality talent. New York does not have the best defense in the world, but neither does Carolina. If this turns into a shootout, Newton needs to be on top of his game.
Matchup to Watch: Giants Receivers vs. Panthers Secondary
It’s hard to even name a player in the Panthers’ secondary, and that’s especially the case with so many injuries hitting the unit. It is easy to name the weapons Manning has to throw to—especially Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz.
Cruz has been one of the NFL’s best receivers through two games and will sink the Panthers in a hurry if the woeful secondary does not step up in a big way. We’ll see if the group is up to the challenge.
In a must-win game, it’s unwise to bet against a Manning. While Eli has thrown a ridiculous amount of interceptions this year, he has a chance to get back on track here against a horrific secondary.
There’s always big-play potential from Newton and the Panthers have an outstanding group of linebackers, but at the end of the day Cruz and other weapons on the New York offense will simply be too much to handle.
Giants 24, Panthers 21