In the NFL, there’s no rest or sympathy for the weary.
Coming off an uplifting yet taxing 41-34 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home on Sunday, the 1-1 Giants are in Charlotte, N.C., to take on the electrifying quarterback Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers tonight (Thursday) with only three days of recovery time behind them.
While the 1-1 Panthers also played on Sunday, besting the winless New Orleans Saints by 35-27, they did so in their own stadium. Thus, the Panthers have been in the comfortable confines of Charlotte for the past 11 days, providing them with a decided advantage in their preparation for the Giants.
Nevertheless, Corey Webster, arguably the Giants’ most capable cornerback, views the circumstances somewhat differently. Webster, who will probably draw the assignment of covering the Panthers’ dynamic wide receiver Steve Smith on most snaps, believes both teams enter their matchup at a slight deficit.
“We’re not going to get in a lot of preparation that we normally get, meaning the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of practice that we normally get in,” said Webster on Monday. “But I think both teams are going through the same situation, so I think that kind of equals it out. We have to go to the drawing board and just practice hard and get all of the stuff that we can get in.
“Get a lot of mental reps in, film work, being very technically sound, going back and watching what we did against them in previous games, meaning when we played against them last year … hopefully that could help us out and we can get the W in the short week.”
Having limited hours to devise a game plan to combat Newton could have disastrous results. The 2011-12 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year engineered the greatest statistical season for a first-year quarterback in the history of the National Football League and one of the best ever for period. Newton’s 4,051 passing yards broke Peyton Manning’s single-season rookie record of 3,739, and he became the first player with at least 4,000 yards passing and 500 yards rushing, including 14 rushing touchdowns, also a new NFL record for QBs.