The New York Giants’ 34-28 overtime win over Carolina was an absolutely tremendous game if you didn’t care who won. Since most of you did, though, let me list what I thought were the biggest problems in the Panthers’ first loss of December. I’ll do the 5 by the numbers this time:
301 – That’s the number of rushing yards the Giants put up on Carolina – not a franchise worst for the Panthers, although it seemed like it. The Giants basically did to the Panthers what Carolina did to Tampa Bay in that Monday night game. Don’t blame that all on the absence of Maake Kemoeatu, either. Derrick Ward had 215 yards rushing – the most the Panthers have ever given up to a single back. That’s ridiculous.
Why did it happen? You won't learn much more from John Fox's postgame press conference, where he explained those 301 yards by saying: "It's hard to say without looking at tape. I don't think we executed as well as we could."
Oh, OK -- now I get it.
0 – Number of catches that Steve Smith had in the second half and overtime. Plus, Smith had a key (and correct) holding penalty in the fourth quarter.
0 – Touches DeAngelo Williams got in overtime (the Panthers had one possession, which was three-and-out). You’ve absolutely got to go with your No.1 back there, especially given that he’s already scored FOUR touchdowns.
50 – Total passing yards for the Panthers in the second half and in overtime.
3 – Runs in a row by DeAngelo with Carolina facing a first down from the New York Giants’ 40 with 1:11 left in regulation. Yes, that's a Carolina strength. But not even one pass to try and get John Kasay closer than 50 yards for that game-winner? I know Kasay came close to making it, but c’mon.