CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The New York Giants didn’t need a fourth-quarter comeback Thursday.
Quarterback Eli Manning, running back Andre Brown and the rest of the defending Super Bowl champions finished off the Carolina Panthers way before that.
Brown ran for a career-high 113 yards and two touchdowns in his first NFL start to help the Giants rout the Panthers, 36-7.
Four days after rallying from 14 points down to beat Tampa Bay, the Giants dominated the first half, scoring on their first four possessions to build a 20-0 lead.
The Giants (2-1), who lost their season opener at home to Dallas, were without three starters against Carolina, but it hardly mattered.
Brown — waived by five teams, including the Panthers since coming into the league as a fourth-round draft pick in 2009 — got his chance Thursday night when Ahmad Bradshaw sat out with a neck injury.
Brown said he thought about getting cut by the Panthers before the game — and it inspired him.
“I was walking into the stadium, and I have to go by the spot where I parked my car,” Brown said. “I felt a little fire, no doubt.”
Ramses Barden is hoping to ride that same wave.
Barden caught nine passes for a career-high 138 yards in his first NFL start. He played in place of Hakeem Nicks, out with a foot injury.
Of course it helps that the guy throwing the ball is named Manning. He was 27 -for-35 passing for 288 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions.
On the other side, second-year quarterback Cam Newton struggled and was pressured into three interceptions. The Panthers (1-2) had five turnovers, including two fumbles by kickoff and punt returner Joe Adams.
“If I was a fan of the Carolina Panthers, I would be holding my head down in shame at the product that was out there,” Newton said.
He said the Panthers’ problem was execution, not anything the Giants did.
“We have to fix it,” Newton said.