Perhaps the only positive the Panthers could pull from this preseason game was the play of the running backs and offensive line. Against the Giants' starting defense, the Panthers had no problems moving the ball. Credit the Giants' defense for stepping up and creating turnovers, as that was the reason they won the game. The Panthers had a decent night rushing the ball, averaging 5.2 yards per carry and rushing for 171 yards total. Starting RB DeShaun Foster ran well, gaining 39 yards on 11 carries for a 3.5 average. Foster would have had more, had the Panthers not selected to run the ball straight up the middle on several occasions for no gain. Fosters' forte is clearly running it to the outside. Eric Shelton and Jamal Robertson looked very good, gaining 27 and 37 yards respectively, each having 5 carries. Robertson had one run of 16 yards that was jaw-dropping. After taking the hand-off from Weinke, Robertson bursted forward while bowling-through and spinning-around Giants defenders in a play that some people would swear was straight out of EA Sports' Madden 06 video game.
The Panthers QBs didn't fair so well. Chris Weinke, who's looked solid the last two preseasons, had his worst game in a while. Weinke was 7 of 18 for 63 yards and an interception, finishing with a 25.9 QB rating. Rookie Stefan LeFors finished the night 5 of 9 for 40 yards, 1 touchdown and an interception that ended the Panthers late comeback effort. Delhomme had an off night. Although he completed 15 of 19 passes for 146 yards and a touchdown to TE Mike Seidman, he also threw 2 interceptions that led to Giants touchdowns. The Panthers ended the night with a combined QB average of 51.8.
In total, the Panthers had 6 turnovers; 4 interceptions and two lost fumbles. In an uncharacteristic play, Steve Smith had one Delhomme pass stolen out of his arms by Rookie Corey Webster. Delhomme had two interceptions on the night. One was a third down play with the Panthers in scoring position. Delhomme was looking for Ricky Proehl to cut inwards towards the middle of the field; Proehl stopped and turned, cutting the route short, resulting in an easy pick for Will Allen. Later, Delhomme put a little too much mustard on a screen pass to Rod Smart, ricocheting off of Smart and into the hands of Rookie Justin Tuck. Although he completed 15 of 19 passes, Delhomme's accuracy seemed off all night. Receivers had to make leaping grabs on many of the passes, as they were far over their heads.
"There aren't too many times in this League where you're going to beat anybody when you're minus four in the turnover ratio," Panthers coach John Fox said after the game. "That's why we have the preseason is so we can work on those things."