Tonight the big tent rolls into Charlotte. The Super Bowl champs (and my current least favorite team of all time) the New York Giants coming off an incredibly emotional comeback over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take a deep breath and dive back into the waters of the NFC South to face the Panthers.
Only tonight they do it without no. 1 receiver Hakeem Nicks and no. 1 rusher Ahmad Bradshaw.
Despite Eli's 500-yard game and recent claims by supporters that he walks on water, I remain unsold on his ability to maintain a consistently high level of play. Especially when his two most potent weapons are at home catching up on recent episodes of Honey Boo Boo and Chandler Bing's new show.
Last week my horribly inaccurate crystal ball showed me a smoky future where the Bears and the Packers went up and down the field for hundreds of actual points and thousands of fantasy points. Turns out the smoke wasn't a vision, it was my crystal ball getting high. So high.
It wasn't that I thought the Pack would lose, I just thought they'd win in a tight, high-scoring affair. The complete dismantling of the Bears' offense was surprising to say the least. But that's what happens when your coach game plans for the Titans when he's playing the Packers.
Since we're still very early in the season I'm not yet completely gun shy about making outrageous claims. So here goes: Even with a 35-point win over the struggling Saints, it feels like the Panthers haven't really opened up the offense yet. I'd bench both defenses and look for some big plays on both sides of the ball. Victor Cruz no longer has to share the spotlight with Nicks, but the Panthers no longer have to leave him in single coverage. He'll probably have a good day, but I'm not expecting him to push the 200 yard mark no matter what kind of deficit the Giants have to overcome in the 4th. Basically I'm looking for a Giants hangover from Sunday's game and for the Panthers to be amped up. Feels like it's time for DeAngelo's numbers to get right, and for, Mike Tolbert and Brandon LaFell to step up. I don't own Williams, but I'm starting LaFell (Probably a sure sign he'll break a kneecap).
Bottom line: If this game turns into a slowed down, field position game and the fantasy scores are in the single digits I'm going to start calling this pregame column The Thursday Mush and you can just count on reading my words and then having the opposite happen.Which, by the way, you're welcome.
*For those not familiar with the term, in gambling parlance a "Mush" is a gambler who does nothing but lose. Kinda like William H. Macy in the movie "The Cooler," he'd walk up to a table and suck the life out of it. In the world of sports betting the last thing you want is a mush to get on board your bet with you. Even the biggest lock can get easily mushed by a gambler who just can't win. Well, folks, when it comes to gambling, I'm a huge mush. I've had success with fantasy only because it's not so zero-sum based. But the second I start predicting how games are going to play out, just head the other direction and you'll be very successful. Remember, bad advice is just as good as good advice if you can spot it.