The New York Giants improved to 2-0 for the first time since 2016 following a 19-16 victory over the Carolina Panthers in Week 2. It’s also the first time they’ve won their home opener since 2016.
It wasn’t pretty but winning ugly is welcomed after years of losing ugly. There’s obviously a lot the Giants need to work on headed into Week 3, especially on the offensive side of the ball.
But whose stock is up and whose is down after Week 2? Let’s take a look.
Stock up: Wink Martindale
AP Photo/John Munson
The Giants have one of the best defenses in football over the first two weeks, and have dominated on third down and in the red zone. That’s a testament to Wink Martindale, who got the job done again on Sunday sans Kayvon Thibodeaux and Azeez Ojulari, and Leonard Williams (knee) leaving in the third quarter.
Imagine what Martindale will be able to do with a full deck?
Stock down: Cor'Dale Flott
AP Photo/Noah K. Murray
In his first career start, Cor’Dale Flott struggled. He gave up several big plays to Panthers wide receiver D.J. Moore, including a touchdown, and recorded just a single tackle on Sunday.
The Giants eventually pulled Flott from the game and replaced him with Fabian Moreau.
But there’s no reason to panic just yet. It was a tough matchup for a rookie in a spot start against an electric receiver.
Stock up: Dexter Lawrence
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Dexter Lawrence isn’t going to light up the box score but turn on the film and see his value for yourself. He’s playing at an All-Pro level through two weeks and is a major part of the Giants’ defensive success.
On Sunday, Lawrence recorded five tackles and one QB hit, but his impact went well beyond that. He chased down Baker Mayfield on a third down to force a punt, which came in a key moment.
Stock down: Kenny Golladay
AP Photo/Adam Hunger
Kenny Golladay logged just two offensive snaps on Sunday and drew zero targets. He did help clear a defender out on Daniel Bellinger’s touchdown, which is worth noting, but the Giants need a lot more from their $72 million man.
Head coach Brian Daboll said Golladay’s lack of targets were planned, but he emptied his locker and left the stadium within 15 minutes of the game ending on Sunday. Trouble in paradise or much ado about nothing?
Stock up: Julian Love
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Julian Love led the Giants with eight tackles (two for a loss) on Sunday, and added one QB hit and one huge sack — the first full sack of his career — that helped secure the game.
It doesn’t matter where Love plays, he excels. He’s an ideal fit for Martindale’s defense and when it came time to change the game, he came up big.
Stock down: Jon Feliciano
AP Photo/John Munson
Jon Feliciano is dealing with a life-changing personal tragedy and for that reason, it’s hard to list him here. The mental aspect of the game is important and when you’re dealing with real-world problems, it’s hard to worry about a game.
With all of that having been said, Feliciano has struggled in each of the first two weeks and he’d be the first to tell you that. He’s got to step up as a veteran leader and reroute the course of this offensive line.