At the end of three quarters it looked as though this game would be remembered for Odell Beckham jr.’s antics with the Carolina Panthers secondary, specifically Josh Norman. The game looked decided between the Giants and the undefeated Carolina Panthers. The score was 35-14, and nothing was going right for the Giants.
"Yeah. Just told him, “Let’s get back to playing football," said Manning about what he said to an emotional Beckham in the huddle. "Play football and play the game. Don’t get caught up in this.” I think he was able to dial back in and make some big plays for us."
Then, they scored, they blocked a field goal attempt, and before the Panthers had a chance to breath, it was 35-35 after an OBJ touchdown with 1:46 remaining. Following the fourth quarter surge, the likely MVP of the league Cam Newton lead his team
down the field for the game-winning field goal as time expired dealing the Giants a crippling loss.
The Giants pass defense is statistically the worst in the NFL, and they did nothing to prove otherwise against the Panthers. Cam Newton strengthened his argument for MVP as he finished the day with 340 yards through the air with 5 passing touchdowns along with 100 yards on the ground. On the other sideline, Eli Manning played a fine game, against a very good defense, and put the team in a position to win.
Manning did most of his work in the second half, where he threw 3 of his 4 touchdowns. His lone interception occurred in the fourth quarter when he threw the ball up for Hakeem Nicks who slipped and fell on the play. The throw still wasn’t the best idea, given they were in scoring position at the Oakland 12 yard line down two scores on 2nd and 2. Manning's performance was solid and he gave them a chance to come back at the end, but it wasn’t enough to get the victory.
"No, just went through my progression," Manning said about whether he was eyeing Beckham from the get-go. "I had Odell moving out there, they were playing man, which they didn’t play much all day. So I finally got him one on one and we got him a little double-move and we were able to get the touchdown."
Additionally, Manning could have easily had another touchdown had OBJ come down with a pass early in the first quarter as he dropped an almost sure touchdown. In no way did Manning play incredible, but he played fine against a defense much better than his own.
The loss hurts even worse knowing that the Redskins victory today allows them to control their own destiny. An Eagles loss will help the Giants, but they need help from other teams in order to make the playoffs.