Giants-Panthers: Battle of the Running Tandems

joseph eastmondContributor IDecember 21, 2008

The Giants opened the game with a 32-yard field goal by John Carney, only to have the Panthers march down and score on a 13-yard TD run by DeAngelo Williams.

Early into the second quarter, Brandon Jacobs rushed for a two-yard touchdown, only to have DeAngelo Williams score on two straight drives with five and one-yard touchdowns. 

The Panthers scored on all three of their first half meaningful possessions and the Giants had to settle for another field goal at the end of the second quarter. Panthers lead 21-13 at the half.

The second half was a change of pace for the New York Giants. In the very dawning of the third quarter, Kevin Boss caught a four-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning, which brought the Giants within one point, as they settled for a John Carney extra point.

In the fourth quarter, the Carolina panthers started off with DeAngelo Williams scoring on a 30 yard touchdown run. Then, with only three minutes left, Brandon Jacobs rushed up the middle for a one-yard touchdown, and the two-point conversion was converted by Manning with a pass to Domenik Hixon which made the score 28-28.

In the final seconds, Kasay would miss a potential game winning 50-yard field goal, which was right down the middle, only to have the swirling winds of The Meadowlands push it to the left by a mere two feet.

In overtime, The Giants won the toss and both teams suffered a three-and-out.

Insert Derrick Ward.

Ward rushed for 85 yards on the final drive, opening it with a 51-yard run and two more big runs to set the Giants up with first-and-goal from the two. Jacobs rushed up the middle for a touchdown and the unthinkable would yet again happen as the Giants won 34-28.

Derrick Ward rushed for 215 yards and became the Week 16 rushing leader. Brandon Jacobs rushed for only 87 yards, but his touchdowns prevailed and the Giants came away with the victory. Manning completed 17 of 27 passes for 181 yards and one TD and had the crucial game tying two-point conversion.

The win locked up home-field advantage for the Giants. The Giants' running game was out there to prove a point—that they are the best team in the NFC. Maybe the best team in football at the moment.