If it makes anyone feel better, once that ill-fated injury report was released yesterday morning, nearly all the experts were converting their Giants picks to the Cam-olina Panthers. We, too, were one of the many, blinded by Newton's white teeth and the statistic floating around that Hakeem Nicks and Ahmad Bradshaw participated in 65% of the Giants yards from scrimmage since 2009. What we forgot was that Eli Manning participated in 100% of those yards.
About half way through the first quarter, when I was done kicking myself for not picking up RB Andre Brown off waivers in my fantasy league, and Marco was done berating our stupidity for calling the late audible on our Giants pick, we both just sat back and marveled at Manning's remarkable ability to turn Subs into Superstars. He looked like he was leading them against their practice squad with Tom Coughlin on the sideline telling the boys in silver and blue to take it easy on Andre Brown and WR Ramses Barden.
Cam Newton was no Superman last night - not even a passable Clark Kent - but Jason Pierre-Paul was the best damn Lex Luther I've ever seen. And the rest of the players at the Hall of Justice were all hiding on the Giants second string offense.
This was supposed to be the Carolina Panther's coming out party, their chance to show the world on prime time television that they were a team ready to play .500 ball, maybe sneak into the playoffs as a wild card. Instead it was the Ringling Brothers Barden (9 receptions, 138 yards) and Brown (113 yards on 20 carries) Circus. Who? And who? I know.
I know it might seem unreasonable, but I still want to blame Jay Cutler. Does everyone remember what a jerk he is? I'm still having a hard time with the fact that we picked the Bears this week. But we gamble with our wallets not our hearts.
Newton doesn't inspire venom in me like Cutler. He was just outplayed and out-defended. He also seemed constrained by the offense, lingering in the pocket too long. He didn't seem himself. My only gripe was when he broke out the Superman dance in the end zone with his team still trailing by two scores half way through the third quarter. Why do players think that's cool? If you're losing and losing big, you don't get to celebrate big tackles or nice catches or one yard leaps for your first score in 40 minutes. You just don't. Put the ball down and go line up for the next play. Time's a wasting and you're the one wasting it. Seriously.
"Don't worry. Three quick scores and something that remotely resembles defense and we're right back in this."
Not cool, Cam.
Once again, we have some bad news and some good news.
The Bad News: starting the week 0-1 and having to wait two and half days for more football.
The Good News: knowing this is exactly how we started last week before rattling off 11 of 15.
Keep the faith, peeps. Not every team has an ELIte QB like the Giants.
Vinny and Marco