NFC Showdown: Experts Picking the Giants to Beat Panthers

Pro Football NYCSenior Writer IDecember 18, 2008

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The Giants are coming into Sunday’s NFC Showdown against the Carolina Panthers sporting a two-game losing streak. In their losses to the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles, the Giants have managed just one offensive touchdown, and that came in "garbage time" in their lopsided loss to Philly.

Meanwhile, the Panthers have been running roughshod over their opponents the past month or so, winning their last three and four of their last five.

The general mindset is that the Panthers will roll over the Giants this Sunday. I say, not so fast.

Many prognosticators and pundits are still picking New York to win this Sunday. Las Vegas has made the Giants a three-point favorite, and if you look at the numbers, you can see why.

  • The Panthers (11-3) are 8-0 at home but only 3-3 on the road.
  • Their three losses were against winning teams; all three wins were against losing teams.
  • Their average losing margin in those games was 17. Their average margin of victory was just under six.
  • They are also 0-2 on artificial turf.

On Showtime’s Inside the NFL, all three experts—Phil Simms, Warren Sapp, and Cris Collinsworth—refused to drink the Carolina Kool-Aid and picked the Giants to win. May I add, they rarely agree on anything.

I am also picking the Giants. This is the first meaningful game—the first game with any consequence—since the Super Bowl. With Brandon Jacobs returning (and hopefully Fred Robbins), the Giants should have enough to stave off the Panthers and win that top seed that they rightfully deserve.