2022 Week 2 Game Recap: Giants 19, Panthers 16 (by Ross Jacobs)
This morning I got my car rear ended and that was the second worst thing I've had to endure today after watching this abomination of a game. Seriously, if you are a Giants or Panthers fan...why? And yet when Carolina inevitably hires a new offensive minded coach next spring all the lemmings will be out telling me how this new coach is really going to turn things around. He's the answer to all their problems. It was that no good Matt Rhule that ruined us, we never wanted him anyways...
The Panthers set the tone for this game by fumbling the opening kickoff which gave the Giants the ball on the Carolina 20. What did the Giants do with this gift? Screw it up and settle for a FG because they are a terrible offense. The rest of the first half was a mixture of penalties, bad play calling, even worse quarterbacking, and a rash of field goals that left the score tied 6-6 at the half.
The second half got a little better. The Panthers finally figured out that Christian McCaffrey and DJ Moore (and not Shi Smith) were their best players and both guys got fed on an easy first drive for a TD. I sat up in my seat. They did the same thing last week, made some good adjustments at halftime and looked much better in the second half. Could this be an uptick for Carolina.
Apparently that drive was far too successful for Rhule because he completely abandoned the plan and Moore barely saw another target the rest of the game. The Panthers went right back to shooting themselves in the face (not the foot, that's too benign) and the Giants put together a couple of “good enough” drives to escape with a win on the back of their best player, kicker Graham Gano.
Well the Giants are 2-0 and everything is fixed in New York, yep, don't you know it, Brian Daboll is as good as advertised and this team is making the playoffs and probably going to win 2 or 3 Superbowls over the next few years...
Give me a break. I've got beachfront property in Arizona to sell anyone that believes these media narratives. The Giants have won two games against two of the worst teams in the league and needed a lot of luck to do so. Their schedule this year is so stupidly easy that they are going to win a decent amount of games, but don't think for a second that the issues have all disappeared. 2023 is going to be brutal for this team unless they dump Daniel Jones and draft an entirely new offensive line.
The Panthers are not so lucky with their schedule and are going to get their doors blown off most likely. There's no chance Matt Rhule makes it until the end of the season. This team is a dumpster fire and going down in flames. Of course it will mostly get blamed on Baker Mayfield (again) because he's the QB and an easy target but the issues are much deeper than that. The game plans and coaching are abysmal, the blocking is horrific, the receivers can't separate and keep dropping the ball when they do get a pass on the occasional play where Baker has time to throw it, and the team is beating themselves with dumb penalties and turnovers. But yeah sure it's the QBs fault...
Neither defense is particularly good but of the two I would take the Panthers. Burns is good for a few sacks and Chinn and Horn are going to get some turnovers at some point. The Giants don't really have anyone like that. The one thing that's going to keep them from getting absolutely killed on defense is that they play a bunch of terrible offenses all year. Matchups alone might make them stream-able every now and then.
Fantasy Player Notes:
– You got all hyped up expecting a monster week from Saquon Barkley and this is what you get. The math was simple in people's minds. Carolina got run over by Cleveland and Barkley led the league in rushing week 1 therefore...PROFIT!
Sorry but it's just not that simple. Cleveland is going to run over a lot of teams and if you read my recap of them week 1 you would have known that Carolina held them down really well for a large chunk of the game but simply got worn down by the end. The Giants don't have the offensive line to do that and they don't have another back to hammer away while the starter is out like Cleveland has with Hunt.
Barkley will be fine this year. He's going to catch a lot of passes and he'll break the occasional big run to pump his averages, the same as he did his rookie year. He is the center of the offense, make no mistake. But there will be ups and downs behind this bad offensive line, that's just the nature of the game.
– The outlook isn't so rosy for Kadarius Toney. He was involved a little more early on this week. He took a sweep on the 2nd play and got a few targets here and there but after he dropped an easy one in the flat he was yanked from the game and benched again. At some point this year Toney is going to break out in a big way. He's too talented not to. But the week it happens he's going to be sitting on our bench or on waivers and then he'll disappear or get hurt the next week. If you have space in deep roster leagues go ahead and stash him if you want, but please don't try and chase this right now. He's still in the doghouse and it's impossible to tell when that might change.
The only WR you can start on this team right now is Sterling Shepard. He's the go to man and strangely not on the short slot stuff the way we expected. He is catching some short passes but they are also using him as the deep man. He was wide open here for an easy long TD but Daniel Dimes did not in fact throw a dime and missed him by about 6 yards. Shepard is a WR2, the NFC version of Brandin Cooks.
After Shepard it's Richie James in the slot. He's going to get all the short work that Jones loves so much. Not bad but this passing game is so low functioning that it's not worth much.
You know how buried Toney is? He had the same number of targets as Tanner Hudson and one less than Davis Sills. Don't know who those guys are? Exactly. But hey at least Toney has a pulse, unlike the $20 million corpse that is Kenny Golladay. He's essentially not on the team any more but they can't cut him because it would create a lot of dead money (which is an apt term in this particular case).
– Rookie TE Daniel Bellinger caught a TD! Next Travis Kelce! I'm just kidding. That was his only target and he was wide open because the Carolina defense basically ignored him. Nothing to see here.
– I guess we'll start on the Panthers with everybody's favorite punching bag, Baker Mayfield. He's really not a bad QB all things considered. Just watch him play (or don't, this team sucks). When he actually has time to drop back and a WR gets open he can move the ball, but he almost never has time to throw (even with all of New York's top edge rushers out) because the offensive line is so bad. Rookie Ikem Ekwonu was supposed to fix all that but he's a complete joke as a pass blocker. He's almost certainly going to be moved to guard in the future.
– A lot of people are worried about Christian McCaffrey because he hasn't scored 30 points yet...please just chill out people. He's averaging 16.3 points per game in ppr leagues and only has 25 carries and 10 targets through two games. He's going to be fine. The game plan has been crap so far from Ben McAdoo but the most likely scenario is they get it figured out and his numbers pick up a little. If they don't then you're still sitting on an RB1, he just won't be the elite guy from three years ago. That's not a bad outcome considering the state of the position.
– I had high hopes for DJ Moore this year, and this game in particular, and that first drive after halftime showed how nice it could be. Unfortunately, Moore had the exact same number of targets as Shi Smith because McAdoo comes from the Arthur Smith camp of NOT GIVING THEIR BEST PLAYERS THE BALL. It's not a hard concept, just look at Mike McDaniel in Miami. Moore should pick up a little as the season goes on but he's a WR2 at best and possibly worse if this team turns on Mayfield.
Robby Anderson is the #2 and like I warned last week, he's nothing to chase. He's going to catch the occasional bomb TD but that's all he's really good for.
Apparently Shi Smith is the new #3 (or #1...) because they sure looked for him a lot and he delivered big by catching 1 pass out of 6. I liked him coming out of college but this was a disaster. Hopefully he can fix whatever his issue is because I do not recall a drops problem at South Carolina.
Ian Thomas is still the lead TE over Tommy Tremble and he was doing his best Shi Smith impression...
– Not sure what's gotten into Frankie Luvu but he looks fantastic. Aggressive, good instincts, fast...he's playing good football right now and is averaging 8 tackles per game so far.
– Brian Burns had himself a nice 2 sack game. As I mentioned last year, he's one of the most underrated pass rushers in the league because he plays for a garbage team. He looks better than I've ever seen him and is going to be near the top of the sack leaderboard this year.
Snap Counts of Interest:
67 = Sills (don't get suckered into this, he's just a warm body)
64 = Shepard
31 = James
28 = Toney
47 = Bellinger
27 = Hudson
61 = Barkley
56 = Moore
54 = Anderson
41 = Shi
53 = McCaffrey
43 = Thomas
10 = Tremble