This One Is Gonna Hurt For A While


What is there to say after a game like the one we witnessed Sunday night?  The Carolina Panthers had their chances and looked like a lock to win home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Something happened.  Whatever it was leaves a result that will hurt fans for a long time.

If you want a key play, try this one – 1:39 to play in the first half, New York at their own 45 yard line.  A draw play to Derrick Ward takes the ball to the Carolina 21.  What resulted was a field goal that would cut the Panthers lead to 21-10 going to the half.

That one play changed the complexion of the game and allowed the Giants to remain close enough to eventually go for a two-point conversion late in the game to tie it up.

There was no answer for Derrick Ward especially in the second half and overtime.

Frankly, this entry will likely be cut short considering the very thought of this one nearly causes nausea…literally.

I have one question that I’m sure many Panthers fans have – where was DeAngelo Williams in overtime?  Jonathan Stewart is a solid running back, yes, but Williams is the guy who has been making plays all season and had continued his level of excellence in this one.  That one is baffling.  He does have 20 touchdowns on the season after all.

Let’s go to the random thoughts on this game before I become physically ill:

  • DeAngelo Williams reached a huge milestone tonight with 20 touchdowns on the season including 3 in the first half in the Meadowlands.
  • Jake Delhomme was 7 of 9 in the first half for 135 but was only 4 of 10 for 50 yards in the second half.
  • Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Ward combined for 302 yards on the night.  Suddenly, the Carolina defense looked like the Bucs.
  • Third down was the achilles heel of the Carolina defense allowing the Giants to convert on 9 of 16 and especially had trouble late in the game.
  • Carolina will likely have to defeat the Saints in New Orleans next Sunday to clinch the division title and the second seed in the playoffs.  If Atlanta wins and Carolina loses, the Falcons will win the NFC South.
  • Eli Manning was 8 of 13 for 88 yards in the first half and hit on 9 of 14 for 93 yards in the second half.