Sunday’s game between the New York Giants and Carolina Panthers was one fun football game to watch, but unfortunately for the Giants it did not completely an improable comeback.
Early on the Giants missed many opportunities to take control of the game, and then made mistakes that allowed the Panthers to steamroll their way to a 14 point lead by the end of the first half.
The Panthers were able to score 14 unanswered points to end the half courtesy of a fumble by Giants running back Rashad Jennings that Carolina turned into a Cam Newton 37 yard touchdown pass to Greg Olsen. Carolina scored another touchdown on Newton’s third touchdown of the first half, that this time went to wide out Devin Funchess.
“I really did think that before the half was where the damage was most inflicted because of the fumble and then the failure to convert on a third and one, which they scored in that particular drive as well,” said Giants head coach Tom Coughlin. “You had a game that was very, very tight, it ended up being 21-7 at the half.”
To start the second half, the Giants let the Panthers continue their momentum from the first half and before you know it, the Panthers had a 35-7 lead going into the fourth quarter.
That’s where the Giants made their valiant comeback.
Big Blue's offense began to run the football effectively down the field on the Carolina defense and scored two quick touchdowns to make it a 14 point game once again.
The Giants special teams, which has been doing all year, made a big play by blocking a Panther field goal to keep it a two score game.
After Dominique Rogers-Cromartie blocked the field goal, the Giants would avoid a disaster after a Eli Manning interception in the end zone and score two more touchdowns to tie the game.
But once again the Giants defense would fail to stop an opponent to score on them in final minutes and Panthers kicker Graham Gano would hit a 43 yard field goal to win the game.
“To tie it up that way being down 35-7 and come back to tie it up, that’s an outstanding tribute to our team, to our players, to our coaches,” Coughlin said. “Unfortunately it wasn’t enough.”
Coughlin in the big picture had a nice game in the coaching spectrum. Again though he failed to manage the game correctly at the end when the Panthers drove down the field to attempt the game winning field goal. He should have used the Giants three timeouts and that could have possibly got the Giants the ball back with a chance to tie the game, or even those timeouts could have helped the Giants defense talk over some things that could have stop Carolina from getting in field goal range.
The biggest mistake though that Coughlin made was the handing of his star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Beckham actions for the first three quarters were unexcusable and Coughlin should have taken him out of the game or at least try to calm him down. Instead Coughlin his wide receiver coach handle it and by doing that, it cost the Giants three unsportsmanlike penalties. Coughlin is know has an old-school, disciplinarian type of football coach and the fact that he didn’t try to do anything was unbelievable.
"Because I wanted him to play the game," remarked Coughlin of his rationale for leaving Beckham in the game. "He had to learn. He’s got to learn at some point how to deal with some things on the field."
Coughlin prepared and coached his team up well for a chance to knock off the undefeated Panthers. Again though he came up short at the end and for his handling of the Beckham situation, Coughlin could have sealed his fate on the chopping block by early January.