Panthers @ Giants
Final Score: Giants 25, Panthers 3
Writer: Ryan Radel (@RadelFF on Twitter)
It was during the third quarter of this lovely matchup where I caught myself asking “what sport am I watching again?” as I looked up at the TV and saw a score of 5-3. Now I can finally retire that joke since I put it in writing. There wasn’t much to write about here for the Panthers, if the final score wasn’t enough of an indicator. The Giants had some very noteworthy plays as well as some old, familiar faces from NFL seasons past. With both teams missing important playmakers, the Giants were ultimately able to overcome.
Sam Darnold: 16/25, 111 yards, INT, 3 Sacks
P.J. Walker: 3/14, 33 yards, 3 Sacks | 1 carry, 13 yards
It started ugly and never really got better for Sam Darnold. Matt Rhule saw enough and eventually benched Darnold for former Temple QB, P.J. Walker, who also struggled mightily against the Giants’ formidable pass rush. Losing someone as important as Christian McCaffrey doesn’t help any team, but the Panthers’ roster is simply not constructed to withstand the loss of their unquestionable best player. Darnold was looking good to start the season but has since crumbled. The Panthers in general look like they do not have an identity without McCaffrey on the field. Head coach Matt Rhule has already stated that Sam Darnold is the quarterback moving forward, and he put Walker in to try to spark something in the offense late in the game. Hopefully you didn’t start Darnold this week.
Chuba Hubbard: 12 carries, 28 yards | 5 targets, 4 receptions, 28 yards
Royce Freeman: 3 carries, 18 yards | 2 targets, 1 reception, 1 yard
The Panthers are using the “next man up” approach commonly found in locker rooms across the NFL. It’s really hard to follow that mantra when the man you are replacing is someone as talented as Christian McCaffrey, but Chuba Hubbard is trying his best. He continues to be the most involved guy on the offense, just like McCaffrey was, but he isn’t getting the yardage to extend drives and ultimately help the team score like McCaffrey was. The Panthers continue to feed him the rock, but you need more than 3.3 YPC and 56 total rushing yards from your backfield. The team is clearly missing their superstar in this aspect of the game.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
D.J. Moore: 10 targets, 6 receptions, 73 yards
Keith Kirkwood: 5 targets, 3 receptions, 16 yards
Robby Anderson: 9 targets, 3 receptions, 14 yards
Tommy Tremble: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 12 yards
Colin Thompson: 1 target
Ian Thomas: 2 targets
Shi Smith: 2 targets
With how bad Darnold and Walker looked, there wasn’t much opportunity for the pass catchers here. I do not have data on how many of these targets were catchable, but the eye test tells me it’s not going to be that many. D.J. Moore continues to be the focal point of the passing game (73 targets on the season) but will have a low fantasy ceiling until Darnold figures his stuff out. Robby Anderson has not lived up to his pre-draft expectations, and that trend continued today even with double-digit targets coming his way. Like I said previously, not a lot to write about on this side of the ball. Tough game for the Panthers.
New York Giants
Daniel Jones: 23/33, 203 yards, TD, 2 Sacks | 8 carries, 28 yards | 1 target, 1 reception (and boy was it a beauty,) 16 yards
The best part of Daniel Jones‘ day wasn’t winning the game, or the touchdown. It wasn’t throwing for over 200 yards on 70% completion either. It was during a trick play where Jones fully extended for a one-handed sideline catch from Dante Pettis before absorbing a big hit and still securing the catch. I’ve seen receivers give less effort. I’ll give Danny Dimes one thing, and that’s that this guy has heart. It’s tough to play in New York, but he might be able to shoulder it after all. Other than the catch, it was a very average day for Jones. With the score how it was, you would’ve liked more production, but it was still a victory for the Giants.
DANIEL JONES JUST WENT FULL OBJ. pic.twitter.com/PMTr4MgOyr
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) October 24, 2021
Devontae Booker: 14 carries, 51 yards, TD | 3 targets, 2 receptions, 15 yards
Elijhaa Penny: 9 carries, 24 yards
While the Panthers have struggled to fill in for their missing running back, the Giants may have found something in Devontae Booker. The former Denver Bronco has been filling in admirably for Saquan Barkley. While he is no world-beater, he’s been reliable enough for the Giants to trust him and has also rewarded fantasy managers with three scores so far this season. The Giants used the run game to run the clock out and let the Panthers beat themselves. Unfortunately, there was not a lot of opportunity for big numbers outside of this nice touchdown run from Booker:
TO THE HOUSE 🏠
— New York Giants (@Giants) October 24, 2021
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Darius Slayton: 9 targets, 5 receptions, 63 yards
Evan Engram: 8 targets, 6 receptions, 44 yards
Dante Pettis: 5 targets, 5 receptions, 39 yards, TD
John Ross: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 27 yards
Kyle Rudolph: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 8 yards
Colin Johnson: 2 targets, 1 reception, 7 yards
Another position group struck by injuries but still finding ways to succeed, Darius Slayton and co. stepped up to the plate. You could tell Slayton and Daniel Jones have the most chemistry as it showed by the nine targets sent his way. Evan Engram continues to underwhelm even with an abundance of targets and I am not sure what the Giants can do to fix the situation. You want more than 44 yards out of six receptions, especially with someone as physically gifted as Engram. Dante Pettis received a little help from the defense on his touchdown grab as he rolled over the defender at the one yard line and fell into the end zone. If the tackle was just a hair sooner, it could’ve set up Devontae Booker for a big day.
Retweet for DJ, Like for DJ pic.twitter.com/GbrCnZAgKi
— New York Giants (@Giants) October 25, 2021
— Ryan Radel (@RadelFF on Twitter)