Thud on Thursday Night
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Eli Manning didn’t need a scintillating fourth-quarter comeback Thursday night.
The two-time Super Bowl champion quarterback, running back Andre Brown and the rest of the New York Giants were too good for the first three quarters to need one.
Brown ran for a career-high 113 yards and two touchdowns in his first NFL start and the Giants routed the Carolina Panthers 36-7.
Four days after rallying from 14 points down to beat Tampa Bay, the Giants dominated the first half, scoring on their first four possessions to build a 20-0 lead.
The defending champion Giants (2-1) were without three starters but it hardly mattered.
Brown got the start in place of Ahmad Bradshaw, who sat out with a neck injury. Ramses Barden caught nine passes for a career-high 138 yards in his first NFL start in place of Hakeem Nicks.
Manning completed 27 of 35 passes for 288 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions.
Cam Newton struggled all night and was pressured into three interceptions. The Panthers (1-2) had five turnovers, including two by returner Joe Adams.
Mixing run and pass, the Giants dominated the opening half, outgaining the Panthers 303-125.
Manning completed 19 of 25 passes for 208 yards in the first half, including a 14-yard touchdown pass to Martellus Bennett to cap the Giants’ game-opening drive and set the tone.