Thursday afternoon, ESPN reported NFL brass warned head coaches it will throw the gauntlet down on any team or player that engages in abhorrent behavior toward replacement officials like many did this past week.
In impressive fashion, the Giants marched into Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte and deposited a 36-7 win that will make Panthers coaches cringe in the film room.
Even without the services of running back Ahmad Bradshaw (neck), offensive tackle David Diehl (knee) and wide receivers Domenik Hixon (concussion) and Hakeem Nicks (foot), the Giants owned Carolina in every phase of this game.
While many of the Giants deserve recognition in this lopsided affair, five studs stood well above and beyond the rest.
Last week, the Giants' offensive line lost David Diehl to a knee injury.
No worries. With a few adjustments, the G-men absolutely dominated Carolina’s defensive line in the trenches.
Will Beatty, Sean Locklear, Kevin Boothe, James Brewer and others protected Eli Manning to the tee. The same offensive line that gave up zero sacks last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers nearly topped its performance against Carolina.
Manning was able to read a book, drink some herbal tea and watch his favorite sitcom in the pocket against a defense that sacked him just once all night.
Rarely able to get any pressure, Manning picked Carolina’s defense apart all night long. By the time the dust settled, Manning completed 27 of 35 passes for 288 yards and a touchdown: good for a quarterback rating of 110.2.
Seven different receivers received a pigskin telegram from Manning.
King Ramses struck gold time and time against a bewildered Carolina defense that looked over-matched against this 6’6”, 224 pound receiver.
Sitting in the zone, Barden torched the Panthers for seven catches and 123 yards (17.5 yards a catch)…in the first half!
On the night, Barden garnered nine catches for 138 yards (15.3 average).
Also, not so well noticed, Barden made some terrific blocks downfield to help the Giants' physical rushing attack.
Giants running back Andre Brown is an interesting story.
Drafted by the Giants in the fourth round of the 2009 NFL draft, Brown was waived by G-Men in 2010.
After stints with the Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts, Carolina Panthers and Washington Redskins, the Giants re-signed Brown in February. Filling in for an injured Bradshaw, Brown earned his first 100-yard rushing game of his career.
Most of these yards came in the first half (13 carries for 96 yards and a TD), and Brown finished the game with 113 yards on 20 carries and two TDs (5.7 yard average).
The 25-year-old also had three catches for 17 yards.
Cam Newton is going to have nightmares of Giants cornerback Jayron Hosley.
A third-round pick in the 2012 NFL draft, Hosley used mad speed and smarts to harass Cameron on several occasions. Hosley also made a sweet pick late in the first half in coverage of Brandon LaFell.
Newton made a sidearm throw to LaFell, who inadvertently tipped the pass backwards. Hosley made a nice catch and darted downfield the other way. It was Hosley’s third interception in as many games.
Blend Hosley’s play with a dominant performance by Osi Umenyiora, Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck and this game had all the makings of a beatdown.
Michael Boley also deserves some love. Like Hosley, the linebacker also plucked his third pick of the year in the contest.
Per the NFL Network, Boley is the first Giants linebacker since 1978 to have three picks in the first three games.
Great franchises have great special teams.
Applied to the Giants, Lawrence Tynes has cemented himself as a stud kicker this season.
Coming into the game, Tynes was 5-for-5 in field goals. Tynes doubled his season output in one night, thumping five footballs through the uprights for the Giants.
Tynes made his mark on a Giants team loaded with weapons, proving the G-men all the more dangerous going forward.