Things to watch – Giants at Panthers

The Giants visit Bank of America Stadium this evening to take on the Carolina Panthers in both teams’ preseason opener. With the abbreviated offseason, the Panthers have a big disadvantage due to their coaching staff overhaul.

– which QB will emerge? This is the predominant storyline this preseason, with Cam Newton and Jimmy Clausen battling for the starting QB position. Clausen will get the first crack, but expect he and Newton to alternate with the starters for much of the game. Ron Rivera wants to make it a fair competition between the two, and this is the way to do it.

– expect the defense to get burned. With over half of the defensive starters more than likely not playing any snaps, the second and third team players will get a lot of snaps, which means more of an opportunity for them to get worn down in the Charlotte heat. With both Munnerlyn and Gamble looking like they’ll both be out, cornerback is a particular concern.

– kick returner has never been more irrelevant. The majority of kickoffs thus far in the preseason have been touchbacks. That’s the reason why K Rhys Lloyd is out of a job.

– expect a lot of passes to the TE. This is a theme for the entire season. When defenses blitz the Panthers’ inexperienced QBs, they will use the TEs as outlets. With the talent the Panthers have at that position, that might not be a bad thing.