If you were paying attention all week to the national Media and what they were saying about Sunday Night's game, then you would be left wondering how they could get it so wrong.
Two teams heading in different directions met Sunday night in the frigid Meadow lands. The New York Giants were reeling, they had lost two strait, and were seemingly headed in a downward spiral after the loss of Plaxico Burress. The Panthers arrived in the Meadow Lands absolutely on fire. They had won seven out of eight, with their run game looking unstoppable at times.
The focus of Sunday Night's game was clearly the well-anticipated return of Brandon Jacobs. The bruising back, when healthy, runs through defenders and he helps soften up the defense for Ahmad Bradshaw and Derrick Ward as well. That couldn't have rang any more true on Sunday.
Sunday Night played host to more than the biggest game of the year.
It was Derrick Ward's coming out party.
Ward ran for a career high 215 yards and set up Brandon Jacobs' game winning two yard touchdown run in overtime. Snowballs flew as Jacobs broke the plain of the endzone with 9:57 left in overtime. With the score, New York reclaimed their position atop the NFC.
It took a two point conversion, a career best 215 rushing yards from Derrick Ward, a resilient comeback, and over time, but the Giants left New Jersey as the best team in the NFC. What they should be, what they've been all year.
Derrick Ward averaged a staggering 14.3 yards per carry, with a long of 51.
Ward said of his performance: "We've had our doubters, that we hit our peak in the past. We knew that we could run the ball. That's what the New York Giants are. We run the ball."
With the win, New York locks up the number one seed in the NFC, a first round bye, and home field advantage throughout the playoffs.