Thursday night, a pair of teams that are 1-1 on the season will go head-to-head in Charlotte, N.C. Regardless of who wins this one, it’s unlikely to have any bearing on how either of the teams finish the season.
After all, the New York Giants are historically slow starters while the Cam Newton-led Carolina Panthers are yet to reach the post-season anyway.
However, even if one of these teams teams was 0-2, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. The NFL reported this week that 0-2 teams advance to the playoffs more often than people might expect. Since the current playoff system was established in 1990, 22 teams that started the season 0-2 still made it to the post-season.
In fact, the 1993 Dallas Cowboys started 0-2 before winning Super Bowl XXVIII. In 1996, the New England Patriots started 0-2 and went on to play in Super Bowl XXXI, and in 2001, the 0-2 Patriots won Super Bowl XXXVI. And back in 2007, the New York Giants (some of them are still on the team that will play on Thursday night) started 0-2 before winning Super Bowl XLII.
So it’s Week 3. No need to panic yet. And that goes for The Coach and Dr. Football.
The Doc was once again dismal (word of the week for the second week in a row) last week going 8-8 (15-17) straight up and 6-10 (9-23) against the spread. The Coach, meanwhile, went 9-7 straight up (18-14) and 8-8 (13-19) against the spread. The Coach isn’t necessarily a smart guy, but right now, he’s the smartest guy on this page.
Thursday night, it’s the Giants and Panthers and I like our chances. As usual, The Doc writes our rationalizations while The Coach makes snarky remarks.
New York Giants (1-1) at Carolina Panthers (1-1)
Line: Panthers by 2 ½.
The Giants struggled last week but were able to put it together in the second half to beat Tampa Bay, looking nothing like a defending Super Bowl team should. Cam Newton and company are looking like a playoff team after blasting out the Saints last week at home. The question is after looking so “blah” at home during their first 2 games, how will the Giants respond being on the road on a short week? Go with the home team. The Coach says: “Cam Newton will run the overly-aggressive Giants front seven into the ground. Expect either 80-100 yards from Newton, or a big Giants win.”
THE DOC: PANTHERS TO WIN AND COVER.
THE COACH: PANTHERS TO WIN AND COVER.