Senior NFL Columnist

Giants love underdog role

CHARLOTTE, N.C -- New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin always has been a big believer in motivational signs in his locker room and meeting rooms.

Forget that. Just tell his team they are underdogs every week. Tell them they have too many injuries to overcome, that most think they can't win.

Then watch what happens.

It seems like the Giants of the Coughlin era feast on being told they won't or can't.

Then they do. That's how they won two Super Bowls.

We saw that grit again Thursday night as the Giants, hit hard by injuries, blew out the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium, jumping to a 20-0 halftime lead to up their record to 2-1.

The Giants were playing without star receiver Hakeem Nicks, top running back Ahmad Bradshaw and starting right tackle David Diehl. Big deal.

Their replacements owned the first half.

Andre Brown ran for 96 yards on 13 carries in the first half.

Ramses Barden, subbing for Nicks, had eight catches for 139 yards.

And William Beatty and Sean Locklear were solid at the tackles.

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