After starting the season winning all 3 games the Carolina Panthers have come back down to earth and now sit at 3-3 coming into this matchup against a 1-5 Giants who are badly hit by injuries at the moment. The spread line sees the Panthers as Field goal favorite and it’s another low total of just 43. Let’s see the NFL odds.
Carolina Panthers vs. New York Giants
Sunday, October 24, 2021 – 1:00 PM EDT at Metlife Stadium
Is Darnold the Answer?
The Panthers made the move to bring in Sam Darnold over the summer at the expense of Teddy Bridgewater and through September that move seemed fine (although Teddy was also 3-0 for the month) but as the fixtures turned from cupcakes into actual matches, Darnold has shown a lot of the bad things he had at the Jets.
After completing 66% of his passes over the first month of the season, the last couple of games against the Eagles and Vikings have been atrocious for Darnold, last week especially he finished with 17 from 41 attempts, 1 TD, and 1 INT, although there were a lot of drops and he did lead them down the field to tie the game at the end, it’s not a good look for him.
It doesn’t help that he’s only really got one target at the moment in the form of DJ Moore who’s started the season very well with 440 yards through their first 6 games. He’s the go-to guy and he’s showing how good he can be, he’s not getting a lot of support from Robby Anderson on the other side though who just doesn’t seem to have the connection with Darnold they had in NY, highlighted by catching just 3 of 11 targets this past week.
They are without Christian McCaffrey which might explain their downturn in a form better than blaming it on Darnold. When you lose one of the best players in the league it’s going to be tough filling that spot and they have made a mess of his treatment by trying to get him ready for games, and he’s now had to go to IR for another 2 games at least. Rookie Chuba Hubbard has had to step in and looks ok, scoring for the first time in his career this week, but he’ll never be CMC.
Will the Giants Have Any Pass-Catchers?
That’s the key question for this game. In recent weeks they’ve been missing most of the WR corps, with Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, and Kenny Golladay all out or a combination of the missing games.
Which was fine while rookie Kararius Toney was playing and looking impressive in his little time in the league but it looks like he’ll now miss a few games as well after leaving early last week with an injury after just 6 snaps where he caught 3 passes.
They did actually welcome back Sterling Shepard at the weekend and he led the team in receptions and yards, but behind him now is very thin. Dante Pettis is the next most utilized player, you’ve got to hope Evan Engram shows his talent otherwise it could be another long night for Daniel Jones.
Jones finished their game against the Rams with 3 interceptions as he returned probably too quickly from a horrible-looking concussion suffered the week before. I get that teams want and need to win, but what was shown last weekend surely proves he should have taken the week off?
The injuries don’t stop there for them though as they’re also without Saquon Barkley so it’s Devontae Booker leading the running back room. He finished with 41 yards from 12 carries and 7 yards per reception when used there.
Who Gets the Dub Here Then?
Without knowing any further injury information I have to assume that Golladay and Toney once again miss out, I’m fairly sure Barkley will be absent as well so there’s no possible way I can take the Giants to put up enough points to win.
The Panthers' defense has actually been very good this year and they’ve been strengthening it through trades as the season has gone on, it should be enough to slow Daniel Jones and his backup WRs. Once more I’m between spread and total, but I think the Panthers have enough to cover.
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