It took a late field goal by rookie kicker Cade York for the Cleveland Browns to take down the Carolina Panthers in Week 1. Quarterback Baker Mayfield's team debut was ruined, but he'll have another chance to earn a win on Sunday. The Panthers square off against the New York Giants in Week 2.
The Panthers are slated as 2.5-point road underdogs versus the Giants, according to FanDuel Sportsbook's NFL odds. It's a position head coach Matt Rhule's team has become accustomed to being in, though. Let's take a look at three reasons Carolina will be able to pull off the upset here.
Panthers vs Giants Week 2
1. The Deep Ball
The Panthers were down 23-14 against the Browns with about six minutes to go in the fourth quarter. They needed a spark on offense and wide receiver Robbie Anderson provided that spark. He got loose behind the secondary and hauled in a 75-yard touchdown pass. Carolina should be looking to rely on the deep ball in Week 2 considering the Giants allowed a whopping 13.3 yards per completion in Week 1. That tied for the highest mark in the NFL. Keep in mind the New York also allowed 266.0 passing yards per game in 2021 (No. 23 in NFL). This team is beatable through the air.
2. Christian McCaffrey
The return of Christian McCaffrey makes a huge difference for this Panthers offense. He didn't see too many carries in Week 1 (10), but that was due to the fact that Carolina was trailing for most of the contest. It is the 26-year-old's receiving abilities that make him stick out. McCaffrey posted 24 yards on 4 receptions against the Browns and has now racked up 3,039 receiving yards over the course of his career (59 games). That is not good news for a Giants team that got torched by running back Dontrell Hilliard in Week 1. Hilliard logged 61 yards and 2 touchdowns on 3 receptions out of the backfield. Expect McCaffrey to have similar success.
3. Daniel Jones' Turnover Issues
Quarterback Daniel Jones played well enough to guide the Giants to a season-opening win, but he still threw an ugly interception and was strip sacked as well. It's worth noting that the pick was thrown in the end zone, costing his team a perfect scoring opportunity. Turnover issues are nothing new for Jones, either. The fourth-year pro has thrown 30 interceptions and lost 37 fumbles across 39 career games. If the Panthers' defense can take advantage of Jones' poor decisions, they'll be able to set up the offense with good field position. That'll give them the inside track on winning the game.
Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.