Brandon Jacobs is supposed to be the tone-setter for the Giants' offense. He was limited by the play-calling, as the team played out of the shotgun from behind, and by a knee injury that sent him to the X-ray room, but on six carries, he managed just 1 rushing yard. Eli Manning was 29-for-43 for 296 yards but threw two interceptions and lost one fumble. Manning was also sacked four times behind an offensive line that was missing two starters. The Giants found the end zone only once, and by then, it was too late.
Imagine what DeAngelo Williams would have done! Jonathan Stewart ran for 206 yards on 28 carries and even fullback Brad Hoover was able to run the ball for 37 yards on nine carries against a defense that seemed to refuse to tackle. The Panthers had 247 net rushing yards. The Giants' pass rush, which was invigorated after last week against the Redskins, had just one sack against the Panthers. The Panthers had six plays 20 yards or more, and three of their longest plays were runs.
SPECIAL TEAMS: D
The Giants needed a spark from their return game and didn't get anything. On eight kickoff returns, the Giants started outside their own 30 only once. Lawrence Tynes kicked a 40-yard field goal but did not even attempt the extra point after the Giants' only touchdown thanks to a bad snap and hold. Jeff Feagles, the holder, could only try to throw the ball away. Feagles punted three times, mostly from deep in his own territory, but did not put any of his kicks inside the 20.
Tom Coughlin was befuddled by the performance, saying that the meetings and practices were not a precursor to the disaster on the field. Bill Sheridan likely coached his last home game as the Giants' defensive coordinator having given up 40 points for the fourth time this season. And though the offense was handcuffed by the score, it seemed to allow an early mistake to derail it emotionally.