An inside take a look at Sunday’s Giants-Panthers Week 2 matchup at MetLife Stadium.
Panthers WR D.J. Moore vs. Giants CB Adoree’ Jackson
Yes, we all know Robbie Anderson had a giant day within the season-opener — a 75-yard touchdown reception doesn’t hurt — but Moore is the foremost threat here. He had a career-high 93 receptions in 2021, and in 2020 he averaged 18.1 yards per catch.
Will Jackson shadow Moore all game? This might be a battle of former first-round draft picks.
Jackson is coming off a fantastic opening game, showing physical play as a tackler that isn’t at all times an element of his approach.
D.J. Moore and Adoree’ JacksonUSA TODAY Sports; AP
The Giants did an excellent job containing Derrick Henry in Week 1, but Christian McCaffrey is far more of a receiving threat and the Titans did rating two touchdowns when a running back broke free within the secondary. How long can this defense get by without injured pass rushers Kayvon Thibodeaux and Azeez Ojulari? Possibly Saquon Barkley might be the difference, again.
Giants 24, Panthers 22
Bully pulpit: Teammates were pumped seeing LB Tae Crowder send Derrick Henry to the bottom with a punishing hit last week. “Hit a bully, what I’m saying?’’ defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence told The Post. Next up: Christian McCaffrey. Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale likened Henry to Jim Brown and McCaffrey to Barry Sanders.
“He’s slippery,’’ Lawrence said of McCaffrey. “He avoids the bully. For me, a running back is a running back. McCaffery is just a bit of more shifty in how he does it, he can get out and catch the ball also. It’s the identical plan, getting 11 to the ball, stopping him before he gets going and controlling the road of scrimmage. That’s the way you type of contain a running back.’’
Recent QB on the scene: Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield didn’t come out on top last week in an emotional game against the Browns, the team that made him the No. 1-overall pick within the 2018 draft — and traded him away earlier this 12 months. Mayfield struggled early in his Panthers debut. He knows Martindale’s defense from their years together within the AFC North, when Martindale was with the Ravens.
“I said before when he first got here out, playing against him, he’s a gunslinger,’’ Martindale said. “Who did they at all times call gunslinger? Brett Favre. Right? And what did Brett Favre do? He left Atlanta, went to Green Bay, and he took off. Is likely to be the identical thing here for Baker.’’
And now for the encore: An excellent heavier workload for Saquon Barkley? He launched into his contract 12 months with a superb performance, rushing for 164 yards and a touchdown, catching a team-high six passes and scoring the winning points on a 2-point conversion shovel pass. The Panthers were shredded on the bottom within the season-opening loss to the Browns, allowing 217 rushing yards — 141 by Nick Chubb. The Titans last week didn’t load up the box on defense to stop Barkley. The Panthers might.
“I feel you propose for it,’’ offensive coordinator Mike Kafka said. “I don’t know exactly what they’re going to do. I feel you propose for those things and also you’ve got to have answers throughout the scheme and throughout the game plan.’’
Cornering the market: Cornerback Aaron Robinson was considered one of the largest query marks within the Giants’ starting lineup heading into this season. He held up fantastic against the Titans, but is out after having his appendix removed. That makes an already thin position darn-near emaciated. Rookie Cor’Dale Flott is one option. Justin Layne, who spent three years with the Steelers, is one other. Probably the most experienced option is Fabian Moreau, 28. He began 16 games for the Falcons in 2021 and will go from the practice squad to a starting spot.
“He knows this league and the receivers on this league and easy methods to play,’’ defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson said. “He’s a superb add for us.’’