The Carolina Panthers are off to a pretty solid start to the 2018 NFL season. They split their first two games of the season, defeating the Dallas Cowboys 16-8 at home before losing to the Atlanta Falcons 31-24 on the road. However, they bounced back with a 31-21 home win over the Cincinnati Bengals before enjoying a bye in Week 4.
On Sunday, the Panthers host the New York Giants with a chance to run their home record to 3-0 and their overall mark to 3-1. But Carolina had better be careful not to take the Giants lightly.
Despite their 1-3 record, the Giants are still a dangerous team that has been competitive thus far. They lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars by five points in Week 1 and dropped a seven-point decision to the Cowboys in Week 2. After that, New York beat Houston 27-22 in Week 3 before falling 33-18 at the hands of the New Orleans Saints in Week 4.
So while the Panthers have the clear advantage on paper, the Giants have the potential to give them trouble. Veteran quarterback Eli Manning is capable of putting together a strong performance on any given Sunday, especially with the weapons he has to throw to. Plus, New York has one of the most talented young running backs in the NFL in second overall draft pick Saquon Barkley.
Not only that, but Panthers quarterback Cam Newton called the Giants the “best defense we’ve faced all year,” which could also go a long way toward determining the game’s outcome. Carolina simply can’t afford to overlook its opponents.
Here are three keys to a Panthers victory over the Giants in Week 5.
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