The League

Doug Farrar
Writer

Doug Farrar

A FootballOutsiders.com staff writer

The Giants Need it Most

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The Giants have to find a way to beat the Panthers at the Meadowlands, because the Panthers are doing what the Giants did last year. A power running game, an efficient-enough quarterback, and a defense that's peaking at the right time. Without Brandon Jacobs last week, New York found its offense in tatters against Dallas. The Cowboys pinned their ears back and set after Eli Manning with no mercy -- they didn't have to respect the run or Manning's play fakes at all. Eight sacks were the result.

If Carolina wins, they take home field throughout the playoffs away from the defending champs, and this Giants team doesn't strike me as the same group of road warriors that couldn't be beaten in adverse conditions last season. The loss of Plaxico Burress has taken away any semblance of a deep threat that requires defenses to adjust, and if Jacobs isn't 100 percent, defenses don't have any single playmaker to watch at all.

The Titans and Steelers are also going at it this Sunday for control of the AFC playoffs, but either team is better suited for the road. At this point, no elite team needs home cooking more than New York.

By Doug Farrar  |  December 19, 2008; 12:01 PM ET  | Category:  Carolina Panthers , Doug Farrar , New York Giants , Pittsburgh Steelers , Tennessee Titans Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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