The Giants’ 2021 season is looking to be a lost cause. Can the 1-5 ballclub turn everything around against Carolina this Sunday?
The Giants are desperate for a victory.
I feel we say this every week, but it’s true.
The 1-5 New York squad is in the basement of the NFC East and it’s looking like it’ll take a miracle to turn it all around given its inconsistent offensive line, lack of healthy weapons, and struggling defense.
This is the NFL though — crazier things have happened.
Could the Giants begin to change the narrative this Sunday afternoon against the Panthers?
Carolina Panthers (3-3) @ New York Giants (1-5)
Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021 — 1:00 PM EDT
Notable Game Props
(Courtesy DraftKings Sportsbook)
- Giants Total Points: Over-20.5 (+100), Under-20.5 (-130)
- Panthers Total Points: Over-22.5 (-120), Under-22.5 (-110)
- First Team to Score: Giants (+100), Panthers (-130)
- Last Team to Score: Giants (-105), Panthers (-125)
- Giants Total TDs: Over-2.5 (+140), Under-2.5 (-180)
- Panthers Total TDs: Over-2.5 (-105), Under-2.5 (-135)
Player Prop Picks (Courtesy DraftKings Sportsbook)
Sterling Shepard Over-66.5 Receiving Yards (-115)
Kenny Golladay (knee) will not play. Neither will Kadarius Toney (ankle) or Saquon Barkley (ankle).
The Giants’ passing-game options are limited, and one of the remaining targets happens to be Sterling Shepard.
The injuries to the aforementioned weapons may lead to Daniel Jones looking to Shepard on the majority of passing downs, and Sterling racking up over 66.5 receiving yards won’t be impossible whatsoever.
Shepard has surpassed 66.5 yards through the air in three of the four games in which he’s been active this season.
Sam Darnold Over-1.5 TD Passes (+110)
The Giants secondary has taken a ton of heat in 2021 and you can credit that to coverage and pass-rush issues.
Having said that, it’s not crazy to say Sam Darnold will throw at least two touchdown passes on Sunday, which carries great value at +110.
The Giants have allowed 14 touchdown passes through six weeks and just let Matthew Stafford throw four touchdowns against Big Blue last Sunday.
Darnold has also thrown multiple touchdown passes in two different games this season.
Daniel Jones Over-232.5 Passing Yards (-115)
No Saquon Barkley means the Giants will likely look to throw the ball a significant amount, which should definitely lead to Daniel Jones hitting this passing-yard over.
The Giants won’t have Kenny Golladay or Kadarius Toney, but Jones could still benefit from Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, and John Ross, who are all expected to play.
Jones has surpassed 232.5 yards through the air in five of his six games this season; the only time he didn’t exceed that mark was in Week 5 when he exited the loss to Dallas early due to a head injury.
For what it’s worth, Jones didn’t have Golladay at all last week against the Rams while Toney left in the first quarter with his ankle injury, and the third-year quarterback still racked up 242 passing yards.
Players to Watch
OT Matthew Peart
Matthew Peart will assume the starting left tackle duties in the absence of Andrew Thomas, who landed on injured reserve with ankle and foot injuries this past week.
The second-year man will need to step up and prove he’s capable of starting in this league. Peart hasn’t developed as quickly as one may have hoped — Nate Solder outperformed him for the starting right tackle job to begin the year.
If Daniel Jones and the Giants offense (which is dealing with numerous injuries) are going to produce against a tough Carolina pass rush, the offensive line must put together a dominant performance.
The unit’s overall success will start at the most important spot: left tackle.
WR Sterling Shepard
Sterling Shepard needs to construct an impressive performance this week.
Why do I say this?
Well, most of the other top weapons are dealing with injuries. As we’ve mentioned numerous times already, Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, and Saquon Barkley won’t be playing. Darius Slayton is also coming off a three-game absence due to a hamstring injury.
The passing game will operate off the backs of Jones, the offensive line, and Sterling, who must come close to or surpass 100 receiving yards if the Giants want to have any consistent success through the air.
LB Tae Crowder
Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold has dual-threat capabilities and actually leads the team with five rushing touchdowns (of course, Christian McCaffrey is on injured reserve with a hamstring issue).
Darnold is the clear-cut leader of this offense and could produce in various ways, which is why Tae Crowder’s role will be so important this weekend.
Expect Crowder to potentially serve as a quarterback spy, but overall, the second-year player will need to be the leader of this defense.
He’s one of the quarterbacks of the unit in the absence of Blake Martinez and must round the entire struggling group together in order to stop a dynamic offense.
Wide Right Podcast Preview
On episode 94 of ESNY’s Wide Right Podcast, we preview the Giants-Panthers matchup. You can locate the episode below, on Apple here, or on Spotify here.
Follow Ryan Honey on Twitter: @RyanHoneyESNY