If history has any bearing, the New York Giants have nothing to worry about regarding their 0-2 start to the season.
The Giants are in familiar territory with their winless mark and last started 0-2 in 2007, when they won the next six games and ended up knocking off an 18-0 New England Patriots squad to win Super Bowl XLII.
New York is hoping that run starts Sunday on the road against Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. The Giants started the season with a 36-31 loss to the rival Dallas Cowboys and committed six turnovers. In last Sunday's Manning Bowl III, big brother Peyton handed his little brother, Eli, a 41-23 loss and the New York defense allowed 31 points to Denver in the second half.
Eli Manning still has hope the Giants will turn it around.
"I think we have hope just because I feel like we're doing some decent things. We've got to get better, but I think we will," Manning said. "I think we have great character guys. The season is very early. All you can worry about is this next game. We've got to go to Carolina. They've played a couple of close games. They seem to be playing good defense, so we've got to go in there and play better football and find a way to get a win."
Manning needs to limit the interceptions and has been picked off seven times already, including a four-pick performance last week versus the Broncos. Manning, who threw for 450 yards against Dallas, has thrown for 812 yards in the first two games, the highest two-game total of his career. He has the weapons for an aerial assault and four receivers already have more than 100 yards with Victor Cruz leading the way with 236 yards and three touchdowns.
The Giants will try to pass their way to victory Sunday against the Panthers since the running game hasn't produced much in two games. It's still early, but there's already controversy in the backfield with Brandon Jacobs back with his former team and David Wilson struggling to hold on to the ball and produce on the ground. Jacobs had a touchdown in his first game back, while Wilson leads the team with just 36 rushing yards.
"We've got to get the running game, we've got to be more balanced and I think that will help things out," Manning said.
New York, which ranks first in the NFL by netting 390.5 passing yards per game and is last in rushing, is playing three of its first four games on the road.
As Manning previously stated, the Panthers have suffered close losses to start the season and could easily be 2-0. It was an offensive struggle in a 12-7 loss in Week 1 versus Seattle and Carolina dropped a 24-23 decision Sunday against Buffalo.
The Panthers' defense watched Bills rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel engineer a nine-play, 80-yard drove, which was capped by his two-yard touchdown pass to Stevie Johnson. The Panthers have struggled on defense this season and are allowing 109.5 rushing yards, 293.5 passing yards and 403.0 total yards. The secondary has been nicked up, so the Panthers brought back veteran cornerback Drayton Florence.
Florence was released in the team's final roster cutdown, but now is back and ready to play against the Giants. When Carolina signed him in March, Panthers GM Dave Gettleman was excited.
"He still has his speed, he's still explosive. He's a heavy-hitter when he tackles and he has the skills we were looking for," said Gettleman, a longtime Giants director of pro personnel. "He's a mature guy and he's going to help our young defensive backs learn."