Friday, December 19, 2008

Injuries/weather for Panthers game

Some interesting news on the injury front that could benefit the Giants:

Giants DT Robbins returned to practice yesterday and looks like he has a good chance to play.

Panthers DT Keomeatu, one of the big beefy guys in the middle of the Panthers defense is nursing an injured ankle, has not practiced and probably will be out for the game. He is listed as questionable and Darwin Walker will probably start in his place. Panthers are giving up some talent and about 50 lbs. with this change. If the weather is bad on Sunday night, which it looks like it will be, this could be an important advantage for the Giants.

Panthers db-field is not great. Ken Lucas is one starter at CB and Chris Gamble starts on the other side. Both are good players but after those 2, Panthers are pretty average. In passing plays, Giants should try to go after their lesser DB's which means that Boss and Steve Smith could be important players in this game. Maybe even Manningham and Moss, who returned to practice, could show up. Manningham may be a good option this week, because in bad weather, his added size could be beneficial.

Giants should look to get the RBs in the passing game and Bradshaw could be a big weapon this weekend, if he actually gets into the game. In bad weather, a short swing pass could be a big play - you throw a relatively high percentage pass and get an elusive guy out on the edge in space.

Derrick Ward also returned to practice and - most important - so did Hixon.

The weather forecast is 100% chance of precipitation with winds from the west at 20MPH. This is actually bad for the Giants, because the Giants have a better passing game. Eli has had some good games in bad weather (conference championship last year v Packers) but some bad ones also (Redskins and Bills games last year). It's wind that hurts a qb more than precipitation or cold. Delhomme and Eli both grew up as warm weather qb's, we can hope or project that Eli has gotten more accustomed to the elements playing for the Giants in the northeast that Delhomme has in playing with the Panthers in the south.

When the Panthers gained 300 yards rushing against the Bucs 2 weeks ago, it was less a result of great OL play than it was elusiveness by the RBs and a ton of missed tackles by the Bucs secondary. Ronde Barber missed 4 or 5 tackles himself. Panthers do not run inside alot and like to get to the edge, which gives them the opportunity to challenge DBs to make tackles. Giants db-field is generally very good at tackling. They miss an occasional tackle, but overall, seem like pretty sure tacklers. In fact the entire defense is like that. Cowboys made them miss a few times last week, but it is important that the LBs and DBs especially, really wrap up this week.

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