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Knockout: Panthers Punched in the Mouth by Giants in 36-7 Beating

What was that?

The Panthers, just four days removed from a stirring comeback win over the Saints, played maybe the worst game of the Ron Rivera era on Thursday night, getting pounded by the Super Bowl champion Giants 36-7 in Charlotte.

Being beaten by the defending Super Bowl champs isn’t anything to be ashamed about. Usually. For the Panthers, they first were playing a short-handed Giants team, and it seemed from the word go they were totally unprepared.

It was the first prime-time game at home since 2009 for the now 1-2 Panthers, and for whatever reason they clearly were not ready for the G-Men, who were coming off a comeback win of their own against the Bucs Sunday.

They gave up a huge night to backup running back Andre Brown, who got the start in place of Ahmad Bradshaw. Backup WR Ramses Barden caught nine passes for a career-high 138 yards in his first NFL start in place of Hakeem Nicks.

Brown ran for a career-high 113 yards and two touchdowns.

The Panthers problems started under center, as Cam Newton played a game to forget. He completed 16 of 30 passes for 242 yards, and finished with a passer rating of 40.6, the worst of his career.

The Panthers had five turnovers, including three interceptions by Newton. They still have never won a game in which Newton has thrown an interception, falling to 0-11.

Giants QB Eli Manning on the other hand – 27 of 35 passes for 288 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. It was clearly a night that the cats were not ready for.

The Giants put the game away early, as they went up 10-0, and by the half were up 20-0. New York outgained the Panthers 303-125 in the first half, one that put the crowd to sleep after they were into the game at the start.

Hoping to get back into the game ended seconds into the second half, when rookie returner Joe Adams fumbled the opening kickoff resulting in another field goal for Lawrence Tynes to put the Giants up 23-0.

The only Panthers score came on a TD dive by Cam Newton midway through the third quarter. Other than that, this was a game the Panthers would rather tear up and throw away.

The loss will linger, as the Panthers have 10 days to prepare for a huge NFC South game at Atlanta on September 30th.

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