The Giants have had two horrible losses this season, where it looked like they didn’t even show up. The Eagles and Redskins games were awful games in which the Giants offensive line failed mightily. The Giants must be prepared for a test in the trenches on Sunday against the best front seven on their schedule.
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The Carolina Panthers front seven is simply amazing. The two inside tackles Kawann Short and Star Lotulele are explosive and imposing. Guys like Charles Johnson, Jared Allen and Kony Ealy provide solid outside rush from the defensive end positions. Luke Kuechly may be the best linebacker in football, he certainly is the most athletic. Thomas Davis is also very good. The Panthers stack the tackle box with their front seven, they’re that good.
The Giants offensive line is kind of in a game of musical chairs. The season ending injury of Geoff Scwartz gave the Giants a pretty dire situation upfront. John Jerry is now playing next to Marshall Newhouse on the right side of the line. My confidence meter in Newhouse is never that high. Jerry is just competent but is nothing to right home about.
Football is won at the line of scrimmage. This is where the Panthers have a huge advantage over the Giants. Look for the Giants to use the short passing game as a solution. It is very unlikely that the Giants will get through the brick wall that is the Panthers front seven. Throwing around it seems to be the only possible solution.
This does not mean that the Giants should throw it relentlessly. They must run the football enough to keep the defense honest. They must also take enough deep shots so the Panthers don’t just sit on the short pass. This is where pass protection becomes very troubling.
There is no doubt that the Giants offensive line is at a disadvantage against the Panthers strong defensive front. If the Giants are to win this game, they must do it strategically and Manning must continue to be on fire.