Panthers De-Clawed: New York Giants Get Revenge in Opener

Rachel MarcusCorrespondent ISeptember 12, 2010

Eli Manning leads the huddle against the Panthers.
Eli Manning leads the huddle against the Panthers.Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Last season, a promising 5-0 start by the New York Giants quickly turned into an injury-filled 8-8 campaign. And to top it off, the Carolina Panthers mauled the G-Men in the last game at the old Giants Stadium.

But flash forward to today. New season, fresh legs, expectations abound. 

With a chance at redemption, (and not to mention a 1-0 start to the season), the Giants, despite several ugly plays, whooped the Panthers 31-18. What a great way to open up the New Meadowlands Stadium.

Payback stinks, doesn't it, Panthers?

Eli Manning found Hakeem Nicks in the end zone three times, and the Giants pass rushers attacked Panthers quarterback Matt Moore on what seemed like every possession.

Football is back, and the Giants look much more for real than they did in their 5-0 start last season. 

They've got guys back from injury. Key weapon Kenny Phillips is back, and Justin Tuck looked impressive in the win today.

Last season, the Giants beat the Raiders 44-7 to reach 5-0. It seemed like they had recovered quickly from their disappointing playoff loss the previous season. 

But that game was against the Raiders, not the Saints, and their 5-0 start proved to be misleading.

This season, the team appears to be for real. All the talk in New York seems to be surrounding their brash, trash-talking neighbors with who they share their stadium with—the Jets.

So be it. That is fine. Let the Giants fly under the radar. They perform better when they do (see 2007) rather than when they are favorites (2008, 2009).

And although they are expected to have a turnaround this season, it has only been one game—a game that had many mistakes, which I'm confident the team will sort out. Plus, it was against the Panthers and Matt Moore. No all-star team there.

But this first game was a good start in their brand new stadium. And it also stuck it in the face of the Panthers. 

Carolina may have ruined the finale of the old Giants Stadium last year, but this year, the Giants weren't about to let them crash the premiere of the New Meadowlands Stadium.

And with that, we have a 1-0 start. Let the games begin.