Week 3 of the 2012 NFL Season kicks off as the New York Giants and Carolina Panthers square off on Thursday Night Football.
The contest is set to get underway at 8:20 p.m. ET at Bank of America Stadium. The game will be broadcast nationally on NFL Network. If you can’t get to a TV or don’t have the channel, you can watch the contest live online for free at nfl.com. The Web site will provide live look-ins throughout the whole game.
It won’t be easy for the Giants to leave North Carolina with a victory. They enter the game extremely banged up, and have gone from 2.5-point favorites to 2.5-point underdogs in just a few days.
New York will be without some of their best offensive players.
Hakeem Nicks won’t suit up with a foot injury. The wide receiver might have been able to go if the games were being played on Sunday, but the short rest didn’t allow him time to recover. The wide out caught 10 passes for 199 yards and a touchdown last week.
Wide receiver Domenik Hixon is out with a concussion. Ramses Barden, Jerrel Jernigan and rookie Rueben Randle will see more playing time, as a result. The three have combined for just one catch this season.
Running back Ahmad Bradshaw and offensive tackle David Diehl won’t start either. Both left Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay with injuries. Andre Brown is expected to get the bulk of the carries. He ran the ball 13 times when Bradshaw left the previous game.
The Giants could be in trouble if they have a hard time scoring points. Cam Newton will look to exploit their secondary, which has struggled through the first two weeks. The Panthers signal caller has a 100.8 quarterback rating in 2012.
Steve Smith is fifth in the NFL this season with 210 receiving yards. Wide receiver Brandon LaFell is on the verge of having a breakout year, with 155 yards through two games.
The Panthers could also be somewhat short-handed on offense. Jonathan Stewart is questionable to play. Running back DeAngelo Williams will start at tailback.
Prediction: The Giants pass defense has struggled this year, so they’d have to put up a lot of points to go on the road and win. With all of their injuries on offense, it will be tough for them to beat the Panthers in Carolina. Look for Cam Newton to have a big game.
Predicted Score: Carolina 30, New York 24