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Friday, September 21, 2012
Opening drive declaws Panthers

By Stan Olson

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It has to be the first possession of the game, which the Giants took 80 yards in 8 plays covering 3 minutes 22 seconds. Usually it's tough for the tide to turn one way or the other that early, but this became a tidal wave.

The Giants' touchdown marked the third straight game that Carolina had yielded a first-drive score to its opponent, and New York made this one look particularly easy. Manning popped a 12-yard completion to Victor Cruz on the game's first play from scrimmage and took it from there.

By the time he hooked up with TE Martellus Bennett on the 14-yard score -- Bennett lined up almost in the slot on the left side, broke inside his man and caught the ball on the "R" in "CAROLINA" in the end zone -- Manning had completed 4 of 5 for 42 yards.

But The Play of The Drive has to belong to fill-in RB Andre Brown. On 2nd-and-10 from the New York 47, he broke left and escaped the grasp of Carolina LB Jon Beason, rumbling 33 yards before being pushed out of bounds.