Blogger debate: Panthers vs. Giants
Posted 17 December 2008 - 02:03 PM
Have the Panthers surpassed the Giants as the best rushing team in the league?
MM: It's remarkable how even these teams are in the running game. They both average a little over 30 attempts per game and they gain 4.8 yards per carry. The Giants still hold a slight edge in total rushing yards, but it's almost too close to call. The loss of Brandon Jacobs hurts the Giants far more than Plaxico Burress, although both players make a difference. Jacobs is a huge part of this team's identity. Derrick Ward and Ahmad Bradshaw are capable backups, but Jacobs sets the tone. The Panthers are a little bit more explosive in the running game. Both DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart can take it to the house, as evidenced by the fact that the Panthers lead the league with six carries of 40 yards or more. The Giants have only two. For some reason, Tom Coughlin doesn't trust Bradshaw enough to give him meaningful carries. That's the guy who needs to touch the ball more. He's a game-changing player who touches the ball about three or four times a game. Makes no sense to me.
PY: Carolina's running game is clicking at the right time and coach John Fox has the kind of offense he hasn't truly had since the 2003 Super Bowl season. Williams and Stewart are a great mix of speed and power, but they're not the real reason this running game has suddenly become the best in the NFL. The real reason is the offensive line. After Jordan Gross, Jeff Otah and Ryan Kalil each missed some time early in the season with injuries, Carolina has had its "real" line intact for most of the last four games and it's shown. The Panthers have been dominant up front and people are only just starting to realize how good this offensive line is. Gross made the Pro Bowl this year and Otah and Kalil might be only a year away.
Posted 17 December 2008 - 02:46 PM
Posted 17 December 2008 - 03:14 PM
Posted 17 December 2008 - 03:41 PM
Posted 17 December 2008 - 04:28 PM
Posted 17 December 2008 - 06:21 PM