Here are six things to watch as the 1-3 Giants try to get their season turned around.Barkley’s touchesComing off a game in which Saquon Barkley ran the ball a season-low 10 times we can likely expect to see a heavy dose of Eli Manning handing the ball to the rookie running back on Sunday. Provided Curtis Riley Jersey , of course, that the Giants are close enough on the scoreboard for the running game to matter.Barkley is averaging 14 rushing attempts per game, tied for ninth in the league in rushing attempts. In two games, though (Dallas, 11 and New Orleans, 10) the Giants have seemed to get away from the running game too quickly.After coach Pat Shurmur admitted during the week that Barkley should have gotten more carries vs. the Saints, don’t expect the same mistake vs. Carolina. The Giants need more big plays, and handing the ball to Barkley is one way to try and get them. Doing so might also help open up some avenues in the passing game.Big plays in the passing gameThrow ‘em short. Throw ‘em long. Throw ‘em somewhere in between. Doesn’t matter — at least according to coach Pat Shurmur and quarterback Eli Manning. Hit it right and you can generate big plays. Unfortunately for the Giants, they haven’t generated enough thus far. The Giants are 23rd in the league in passing plays of 20 yards or more, with just nine through four games. They are one of only three teams without a passing play of 40 yards or more. Superstar wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., the game’s highest paid wide receiver doesn’t have a touchdown and is averaging a career-worst 10.7 yards per catch. Thus far, Beckham has been a highly-paid possession receiver. Or even worse, a decoy.The Giants can talk about picking away at opposing defenses, staying ahead of the chains or on schedule on offense, but this is a team with two of the game’s great play-makers in Beckham and Barkley along with some quality ancillary options. They need to begin to find ways to get those explosive plays in the passing game.Defending the zone read Blake Bortles: 4 carries, 42 yards (a long run of 41 yards)Dak Prescott: 7 carries, 45 yards (a long run of 15 yards)Deshaun Watson: 5 carries, 36 yards (a long run of 10 yards)Taysom Hill: 4 carries, 28 yards (a long run of 19 yards)That’s 20 carries for 151 yards, an average of 7.55 yards per pop, by quarterbacks running against the Giants this season.Sunday, the Giants face Cam Newton, who could end his career as the most prolific rushing quarterback of all time. Newton needs 27 yards rushing to surpass Randall Cunningham (4,482) for most rushing yards by a quarterback with a single team. Only Michael Vick (6 Nate Solder Jersey ,109) and Cunningham (4,928) have more rushing yards than Newton (4,456) among quarterbacks.You can bet that the Panthers will use a heavy dose of the zone read, which has bedeviled the Giants all season, and other designed quarterback runs until — and unless — the Giants finally show they can handle it.Defensive coordinator James Bettcher knows what’s coming.“He [Newton] is a very physical, big guy who at times in the zone option scheme, will take the matchup. You will be in the right spot, you’ll have the guy that’s supposed to be on the quarterback on the quarterback, and he will take the matchup at times whether that’s just pulling the ball, or maybe that’s giving the ball and taking the matchup,” Bettcher said. “He’s really smart with those kinds of things and they do a nice job putting him in some of those kinds of situations.”The Giants really haven’t successfully defended the zone read yet. Can they figure out a way to do it against perhaps the best quarterback who has ever run it? That’s not fun to think about.Here is part of what Chris wrote about the Carolina offense earlier in the week:Which brings us to McCaffrey Back to more of what Chris wrote earlier in the week:After Newton, the second-year back is clearly Carolina’s most important offensive player. “One thing about him, when I turn the tape on, I see an explosive guy who’s not afraid. He’s shifty, he can do all those things in space, but he’s not afraid to put his foot down, lower his pads, and he’s going to try and run someone over,” Bettcher said. “Those are the kinds of backs that as a defensive coach you have a lot of respect for, that when it’s time to put your pads down and get those tough two yards, this is a guy who’s going to put his pads down and get the tough two yards.”Can Olivier Vernon make an impact?Vernon, who had 6.5 sacks a season ago and has 44 in six NFL seasons, could make his season debut Sunday. The Giants, 30th in the league in sack percentage at 3.65 and facing a prolific running quarterback like Newton Authentic Sterling Shepard Jersey , could use Vernon’s help.Vernon said this week he wants to be certain he can move well enough not to be a liability. Vernon is the team’s most talented EDGE player. His presence vs. the Panthers would be a huge plus.Oh, those negative playsManning, Shurmur and offensive coordinator Mike Shula all talked during the week about the need for the Giants to eliminate negative plays. That seems obvious, of course. Just how many negative plays have the Giants had on offense? Here’s how many:15 sacks (fourth-most in the league)14 runs for negative yardage (fifth-most)Four passes for negative yardage (that’s unofficial, by my count having gone through every play)Sixteen accepted offensive penaltiesThat is 49 negative plays in 279 potential offensive snaps, including the 16 plays that didn’t count because of penalties. That means that 17.5 percent of the time the Giants have gone backwards. You just can’t overcome that high volume of bad plays, especially when you are running an offense that is trying to minimize risk. Why do it?Nike has touched off a furor by wading into football's national anthem debate with an ad featuring Colin Kaepernick, the former 49ers quarterback who was the first athlete to kneel during "The Star-Spangled Banner" to protest police brutality against blacks and hasn't played a game since 2016.The ad copy reads: "Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything."The ad, part of Nike's 30th anniversary "Just Do it" campaign, has outraged many. Online, people threatened boycotts and posted videos and photos of shoes set on fire, Nike gear thrown in the trash, and swoosh logos cut out of products.Most big corporations steer clear of politics, and marketing experts disagreed Tuesday over whether the Kaepernick campaign is good business.But some noted approvingly that it made a big splash and set Nike apart. And they said it could solidify Nike's bond with athletes, especially black ones, an important consideration for a company that relies heavily on sports stars to endorse its products.Brian Gordon, CEO of Engine Shop, a sports and entertainment marketing agency, said the ad is provocative but "authentic to who they are and the communities they represent and speak to," including the athletes."Even in the face of potential backlash, they support their athlete partners, and that's an incredibly powerful statement to the athlete community," Gordon said.Other athletes in the campaign include tennis star Serena Williams Youth Kareem Martin Jersey , New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and Shaquem Griffin, a linebacker whose left hand was amputated when he was 4. But the Kaepernick ad struck a nerve, timed just before the NFL season kicks off on Thursday.Nike did not return a request for comment about its strategy. Its stock closed down more than 3 percent Tuesday.Neil Saunders, managing director of the data and analytics firm GlobalData, called the Kaepernick strategy "commercially imprudent.""Nike's campaign will generate both attention and discussion which is, arguably, one of its central aims," he said. "However, it is also a risky strategy in that it addresses, and appears to take sides on, a highly politicized issue. This means it could ultimately alienate and lose customers, which is not the purpose of a marketing campaign."But other experts think the strength of Nike's brand will help it weather the storm and perhaps benefit from it, too. Nike is one of the world's largest sports apparel companies, with $34.5 billion in revenue last year."What you stand for is almost as important as what you make," said Allen Adamson, co-founder of marketing firm Metaforce. "It's a polarized marketplace. No matter what you do, you offend some people. They're focused on what they stand for, and if that upsets some users, so be it."Robert Passikoff, founder of marketing consultancy Brand Keys, said an ad like Nike's will divide people, but the outrage won't last."My guess is that the audience that is reacting so badly to this aren't buying a lot of Nikes anyway," he said. "They'll move on to the next thing. Welcome to the 21st century."Nike, based in Beaverton Youth Ray-Ray Armstrong Jersey , Oregon, has made waves before. An ad for the company's sport hijab went viral in 2017. And a 2010 commercial featuring a voiceover by Tiger Woods' late father when the golfer was trying to recover from a sex scandal drew mixed reviews.In August, Nike made news when the French Open banned Williams' Nike-branded black catsuit. Nike responded by posting an image of her on social media with the line "You can take the superhero out of her costume, but you can never take away her superpowers."Brands run the risk of a backlash in taking a political stand in their advertising.Starbucks was mocked in 2015 for trying to start a discussion about race by writing the slogan "Race Together" on its cups. Pepsi ended up pulling a commercial that showed Kendall Jenner giving a Pepsi to a police officer; some said the ad trivialized the "Black Lives Matter" protests.John Sweeney, sports communication professor at the University of North Carolina, said the Kaepernick ad was created to provoke people, and in that respect, it succeeded."You may have a negative reaction or a positive reaction, but you have a reaction," he said. "They wanted something that would stop the presses and stop people in their places."For some, the ad has made them bigger fans of the brand."I think what Nike did was a tremendous step in fighting against the people who misunderstand the protests by Kaep and players," said Seth Buchwalter, of Portland, Oregon, a lifelong Nike customer.But Wesley Callaway, of Omaha, Nebraska, said he doesn't agree with kneeling during the national anthem and thinks it is unfortunate Nike is featuring Kaepernick, though he said he doesn't buy many Nike products and won't make any changes in his shopping habits."I don't mind them protesting brutality," he said. "I just wish they wouldn't do it during the anthem."AP Business Writer Josh Funk contributed to this report from Omaha, Nebraska.This article has been corrected to give the correct title for Allen Adamson. It's co-founder of marketing firm Metaforce, not BrandSimple marketing consultant.