Panthers-Giants: NFC Powerhouses Fight for Home-Field

Chris BrooksCorrespondent IDecember 21, 2008

Tonight's game between the Carolina Panthers and New York Giants might just be the biggest game of the regular season. Whoever wins will get clinch home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.

The Giants (11-3) have lost two in a row, both coming to NFC East rivals (Philadelphia and Dallas) and are looking to get a win in East Rutherford to seal the No. 1 slot in the playoffs.
Brandon Jacobs has been out but is listed as questionable. He is expected to play tonight. Plaxico Burress is out indefinitely after accidentally shooting himself in a NY club.
The Panthers (11-3) have won seven of their last eight, and are outscoring their opponents by an average 29.5 to 20.9. The Carolina rushing attack has been absolutely incredible and vital to their success.

DeAngelo Williams and rookie Jonathan Stewart have rushed for a combined 1,980 yards this season, including a 300 yard rushing performance two weeks ago against Tampa on MNF.
The run game is averaging 146.1 yards per game, ranking them fourth in the NFL.
With a win, they will clinch the NFC South, get a first-round bye, and clinch home-field throughout the NFC Playoffs. If the G-men lose and Minnesota defeats Atlanta today, the Giants must win at Minnesota next Sunday to get a first-round bye.

In the last two meeting at Giants Stadium, Carolina has left winners, including a 23-0 victory in the 2006 Wild Card round.
The game will be nationally televised on NBC Sunday Night Football. Kickoff is set for 8:15 PM from East Rutherford. John Madden and Al Michaels will call the game for NBC.

Scenario: Win, get home-field advantage...pretty simple, huh?