The Carolina Panthers will travel to face the New York Giants in Week 7 of the 2021 NFL season. It was all smiles for the Panthers in the first three weeks of the season as they held a 3-0 record. But in the past three weeks, Carolina has lost three consecutive games while Sam Darnold has been playing like the New York Jets version of himself.
On the other hand, the New York Giants have been dreadful this season as they’ve fallen to 1-5 following a blowout loss to the Los Angeles Rams in Week 6. New York has been an absolute mess this season as injuries have played a part in their demise each week.
Ahead of Sunday’s matchup, here are five reasons why the Panthers will defeat the Giants in Week 7.
Sam Darnold In Prime Spot To Bounce Back
Darnold has been downright dreadful for the Panthers in the past three weeks. In the first three weeks of the season, Darnold was completing 68.2% of his passes for 888 yards, three touchdowns, and only one interception while scoring three rushing touchdowns. However, in the past three weeks, Darnold is completing just 54.7% of his attempts for 685 yards, four touchdowns, and six interceptions while scoring two rushing touchdowns.
The good news for Darnold is that the Giants have the No. 22 ranked pass defense in DVOA, putting him in a prime spot to bounce back.
New York’s Run Defense Is Abysmal
The Panthers are going to be without Christian McCaffrey for at least a couple more weeks. But with Chuba Hubbard filling in for McCaffrey, Carolina can still take advantage of a weak run defense like New York’s. The Giants boast the 27th ranked run defense in DVOA in the first six weeks.
In the four games in relief of McCaffrey, Hubbard has scampered for 271 yards and a touchdown on 64 attempts. He’s also caught 11 passes for 78 yards. With the Panthers being favorites on the road, and with them wanting to ease some pressure off of Darnold, Hubbard could be in for his best game of the season against the Giants in Week 7.
Carolina’s Defense Could Force Daniel Jones To Make Mistakes
Daniel Jones looked like a serviceable quarterback in the NFL to begin the season. While injuries have definitely not made things easier on him, Jones has been trending downward in recent weeks. Just this past week, Jones tossed three interceptions versus the Rams while also losing a fumble.
The defense of the Panthers has only forced six takeaways this season, but this is a perfect week to get those numbers up. Also, Carolina has sacked the quarterback 16 times (seventh-most in the NFL), so there are opportunities for strip-sacks on Sunday.
Giants Are Shorthanded On Offense
Jones himself was in the concussion protocol this season, but he failed to miss a game for the Giants. The same can’t be said for Kenny Golladay, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, or Kadarius Toney. While Shepard is back on the field, all four of the other guys named are either questionable or already ruled out for Week 7.
Not to mention, Andrew Thomas was placed on injured reserve, which means that Nate Solder may be moved to left tackle. The Panthers have an up-and-coming defense that could easily stifle the shorthanded offense of the Giants this Sunday.
New York Is Trending Downward
Yes, the Panthers haven’t looked great in recent weeks, losing three straight games. For the most part, it’s been due to crucial mistakes by Darnold at the quarterback position. While Carolina has declined in recent weeks, New York is an absolute mess.
Besides the injuries on offense, the Giants are having trouble repeating their success from a season ago on defense and Jones’ performance under center is deteriorating. For a Panthers team that has the talent to make some noise in the NFC, getting a chance to face a dreadful team like the Giants is a perfect remedy for their recent skid.