Quick Take: Panthers could make statement

NFL.com and NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport has his thoughts on the game:

Why this game is intriguing: The Thursday nighter is a good one, with the suddenly surging Panthers taking on the defending champions. It doesn't promise much off-the-field intrigue, unless you consider that a team that has guaranteed a Super Bowl is taking on the team that just won one. Panthers-Giants will just be a good game. Tom Coughlin's bunch is coming off a stirring come-from-behind win that was impressive and telling. Eli Manning kept turning it over, but when he stopped, the Giants rolled. As explosive as the Panthers' offense can be, the G-Men can't turn the ball over that many times and come out with a win this week. Carolina did solid work last Sunday in taking down the Saints; beating the Giants would make a loud statement to the league.

What to watch:Cam Newton can break down a defense, and this will stretch the Giants in a lot of ways. Do the G-Men take a defender out of their scheme and have him spy the quarterback? Do the Panthers become the run-first team they hope to be with three healthy, productive backs? It's actually an odd matchup for the Giants' defense, one that will be intriguing to pick apart. An aggressive pass-rushing team can hurt itself by forcing Newton to flee the pocket. Perhaps an in-your-face run game from Carolina keeps New York honest and takes away its key strength. A lot to look for.

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