Friday, September 21, 2012

NFL WEEK 3 - THURSDAY NIGHT T&R


NEW YORK GIANTS @ CAROLINA
No doubt fantasy players will leap on Thursday night's performance by Giants RB Andre Brown and feel he's reached the big time.  I'm not ready to go there yet, especially since in fantasy you're looking for consistency.  Brown racked up113 yards and two rushing touchdowns against a Carolina rush defense giving up over 140 yards per game coming into Thursday night’s meeting.  When Ahmad Bradshaw returns does anyone think Brown, who was cut many times prior to this opportunity, will replace him?  At best it’s a platoon.  At worse, he’s given about 66 percent less carries.  Give the Giants credit that they attempted to run Brown on Thursday, especially since the Giants have been a terrible rushing team and they were missing offensive lineman David Diehl.  However, in the aggregate, this is a pass first team, and it’s likely they’ll stay that way for most of the year.  The player that I’m aiming for now is Ramses Barden.  Domenik Hixon has speed, but he lacks the prototypical size that Barden has.  Barden has taken awhile to get this far, but he has very good speed and hands, and I think will climb the depth chart to be a worthy third wide out on the Giants.  The Giants would probably prefer to run Victor Cruz out of the slot, leaving Barden on the outside to use his size, much like Hakeem Nicks does.  As for Carolina, Cam Newton is struggling to get this offense going.  He threw three interceptions, and already has five for the year versus two passing touchdowns.  Sure Cam can always use his feet, but he may be feeling the pressure after last year to do too much.  When you consider the Giants’ secondary is beaten up to begin with, and they lost Antrel Rolle in the second half as well, the Panthers should have been able to muster some offense.  Their loan spark was TE Greg Olsen, who grabbed seven of his 14 targets for 98 yards.  Steve Smith managed just four catches but was kept out of the end zone.   Jonathan Stewart was out for this game, and DeAngelo Williams and Mike Tolbert just couldn’t get it going.  Really it was more that the Carolina offensive line had no answer for the Giants front four of Jason Pierre-Paul, Linval Joseph, Rocky Bernard and Justin Tuck.  Those guys beat Carolina to the punch repeatedly and Pierre-Paul had five sacks of his own.  Each team gets 10 days to clear their heads and prepare for Week Four where both teams will be on the road.  The Giants travel to division rival Philadelphia, while Carolina seeks out division rival Atlanta.