By Paul Dottino
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Pick out any stat you’d like from the Giants’ embarrassing 38-0 loss to the Carolina Panthers. This game was ugly and, after an 0-3 start, it’s apparent that the team’s problems are worse than the coaching staff might have thought. The bottom line is simple — the Giants are getting beaten in the trenches on both sides of the ball.
The Giants have not been 0-3 since 1996. They have been blanked just three times since the start of the 1997 season — twice by Carolina. (Remember the playoff debacle after the 2005 season?) This also represented their worst shutout since a 35-0 whitewash by Dallas to open the 1995 season.
Offense: WR Rueben Randle — He caught only two passes for 40 yards, but showed bravery and heart when he held on for a 24-yard gain after the game was long out of reach in the fourth quarter. Randle took a powerful hit to the ribs from CB Josh Norman and was down for a few minutes. But Randle made the play and paid for it
Defense: S Ryan Mundy — He continues to prove that he’s a solid tackler (team-leading nine stops) and does not get caught in blown coverage.
Special Teams: P Steve Weatherford — He rebounded well from his worst game as a Giant. He punted six times for a 40.8 avg., including a solid 38.8 net avg. and two kicks inside the 20.
Offense: LT William Beatty — He can run a few extra rounds after the rest of the offensive line is done with their sprints. He got burned for two sacks during the Panthers’ six-sack first half. His most critical play was the holding penalty (grabbed DE Greg Hardy) that wiped out RB David Wilson’s 17-yard TD sprint around the left edge. The run would have made it 7-6, pending the extra point, with 13:46 left in the first half.
Defense: CB Aaron Ross — He played well in the first half, and even had an interception deep in Carolina territory that led to a failed scoring drive. But he then got turned around on WR Brandon LaFell’s 20-yard TD grab on a go-route in the third quarter. Ross also was burned for a 47-yard TD by WR Ted Ginn Jr. on a post-route in the fourth.
Special teams: PK Josh Brown — He capped the drive that should have included Wilson’s TD by pulling a 38-yard field-goal try far to the left. The miss provided a big momentum shift in the game. Carolina’s Graham Gano finished the ensuing drive with a 53-yard FG for a 10-0 edge.
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