I’m Sorry Wilson: NY Giants Must Contain Kuechly

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before:

The 2013 Giants running game has been terrible.

You have?

Well luckily for the Giants – and their number one running back, David Wilson – their Week 3 opponent, the Carolina Panthers, have struggled to defend the run in the first two weeks of the season, allowing 109.5 yards per game on the ground, good for 19th in the National Football League.

Could this week three matchup finally be the week that everything comes together for Wilson on the ground?  It’s a possibility.

The only way for this to happen is for the Giants to contain the Panthers’ second-year Middle Linebacker Luke Kuechly.

Through two games, Kuechly has a NFL-leading 23 tackles[1], including an impressive 14 tackle-1 interception performance against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

If the offensive line is able to contain Kuechly – which is no easy task – Wilson, Brandon Jacobs, and Da’Rel Scott have a fighting chance at being able to put up respectable numbers as a unit this week.

Unfortunately, if the Panthers have been watching tape this week – and they probably have – they know all about the black hole that exists on the left side of the Giants offensive line in the form of Will Beatty and Kevin Boothe, two of the bigger swings-and-misses of Jerry Reese’s tenure as GM.

Now in his 5th year in the league, Beatty has shown signs of improvement, but hasn’t exactly progressed the way that one would expect when taking an offensive lineman with the 60th overall pick.

On the other hand, Boothe serves as a reminder of why you should avoid putting Ivy League players on your roster.

If the Giants so much as attempt to run the ball to the left side, they’re in trouble (see Week 2 vs. Denver Broncos), so runs to that side of the line will most likely have to come via sweeps and other east-west plays rather than the north-south running that has been the hallmark of the Giants rushing offense.

If the Giants can establish early on in the game that they can run the ball to both sides of the line of scrimmage they should be able to open up the offense and resemble the team that had the ability to put up 30+ points on the San Francisco 49ers last season.

I wouldn’t hold my breath, though.

Joe’s Prediction:

9 carries, 40 yards, 0 touchdowns, 0 catches, 0 yards, 0 touchdowns.

Going conservative this week.

Joe Vasile | Featured Columnist

Joe Vasile is the voice of Widener Pride football online and host of “Ball Four” on WTSR in Trenton.  Follow him on Twitter at @JoeVasilePBP.



[1] After Week 2.  Stats from Thursday night’s Eagles-Chiefs game were not included.

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