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Giants Pound Panthers 34-28 in OT

On a cold, blustery evening at Giants Stadium, the Carolina Panthers fell to the New York Giants, 34-28, in overtime. The Panthers put up a valiant effort, but they just could not stop New York’s vaunted running game, especially without mauler Ma’ake Kemoeatu to clog up the middle.

The Giants scored on their first drive, with a John Carney field goal, but Carolina quickly answered back with a DeAngelo Williams touchdown. New York scored their own TD in the second quarter, and Carolina again fired back with a Williams score. The Giants went 3 and out on their ensuing drive, handing the ball back over to Carolina, with third-year vet Williams finding the endzone again. New York gained another Carney field goal, with Carolina going into the half with a 21-13 lead.

Sounds pretty good for the Panthers, right? Not so much.

Carolina did not score again until the fourth quarter, with New York getting seven points in the third to make it 21-20. Panthers running back Williams scored his fourth touchdown, but the Giants came back with some big plays and managed to tie the game with a two-point conversion, with 3:24 left in regulation. Carolina faced some adversity on their last drive: a fumble by QB Delhomme, a holding penalty on Steve Smith; they were hoping to win the game with a 50-yard John Kasay field goal, but that wind would just not allow it, so the game went into overtime.

New York won the coin toss, but did nothing on their first drive; and Carolina had nothing to show for their first possession, either.
The Giants found their groove on their next series, though, and running back Derrick Ward rushed 17 yards to set up the winning 2-yard Brandon Jacobs run.

Game over, simple as that. New York now has the top seed and home field advantage for the NFC. But it’s not over by a long shot, folks. This may be just the kind of adversity that our Panthers need, to carry them through the postseason; they typically fare much better when the spotlight’s not on them. Don Banks of Sports Illustrated wrote in a piece last week that basically the No.1 seed is tantamount to a “road to nowhere”… that the last three Super Bowl winners were not the top seeds at all; moreover, they were No. 5, 3, and 6, respectively. Furthermore, our friend Mr. Banks makes also reminds us that “seven times in the first eight seasons of this decade, a No. 1 seed has lost the Super Bowl.”

Well, I don’t know about you, but that helps me sleep a little bit better tonight, after such a heartbreaking loss… perhaps this one will propel the Panthers to the Big One…not so unlike the champs of last year.

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