Giants and Panthers meet for top seed in NFC Print
Written by Admin   
Thursday, 18 December 2008 11:31
NFL Headline News

 EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -Fifteen games into the season, the New York Giants and Carolina Panthers are going to play for a nice prize: the NFC's No. 1 seed, home-field advantage for the playoffs and a first-round bye.
Sound important? It is, but hardly a guarantee for success.
It didn't do the Dallas Cowboys any good last year, when the Giants beat America's Team in a conference semifinal en route to a Super Bowl title.
Consider this, too: Through the last decade, the 1999 St. Louis Rams are the only top-seeded NFC team to walk away with the Lombardi Trophy.
So what's the value to the Panthers (11-3) and Giants (11-3) of earning the top seed in Sunday night's game?
It's getting to the Super Bowl. Six NFC top seeds have gone to the title game in the last decade, with three others making it to the conference championship contest. Dallas was the only team to lose in an NFC semifinal.
ts this season.
Carolina finished 8-0 at Bank of America Stadium. New York is 6-1 at Giants Stadium heading into its final regular-season home game.
``We want the bye, we want home-field advantage, we want the No. 1 overall seed, and one game gets all of that for us,'' Giants middle linebacker Antonio Pierce said. ``Same goes for the Carolina Panthers, so I think both teams will go into the game focused and understanding what is at stake.''
Both teams also are experienced in playing in the big game. New York went to the Super Bowl last February, of course, and stunned the unbeaten New England Patriots. Carolina's roster still has nine players who represented the Panthers in the title game in February 2004.
The Panthers and Giants enter Sunday night's game at Giants Stadium heading in different directions.
Carolina has won three straight and six of seven, posting impressive wins the past two weeks over Tampa Bay in a Monday night NFC South first-place showdown, and following that last weekend with a win over the AFC West-leading Denver Broncos.
, because if we're going to do what we want to do, we need to do well in these types of games.''
The Super Bowl champion Giants were offensively challenged the last two weeks, losing 20-14 to Philadelphia and 20-8 to Dallas. Eli Manning and company scored one meaningless touchdown in the two contests.
``We have to put everything behind us and bounce back,'' Manning said. ``This is a big game. We can't have our heads down and pouting and thinking about the last two weeks. This is the game that is important now. You can't get a bigger one than this. We have to be excited about our opportunity.''
Just as important as the No.1 seed is the first-round bye. The loser of the game will still be in the running for the No. 2 seed.
``Coaches just grind away anyway, but I think that is helpful on players as far as you get an extra week off,'' Panthers coach John Fox said. ``As far as what it means, it is slightly off because if you get in lane four or five it doesn't mean you are going to win the gold medal.''
The showdown will match teams that mirror each other. Both want to use the running game to open the passing game. The Panthers have done that very well, gaining at least 400 yards in three of their past four games with Jake Delhomme running the show.
es with nine touchdowns rushing. Receiver Steve Smith has gone over 100 yards in each of his last four games.
``I anticipated we were going to be good, but I didn't anticipate that we were going to have the yards that we put up this year,'' Williams said.
New York, which still leads the league in rushing, was limited to a season-low 211 yards in its loss to Philadelphia, then held to 218 last weekend against Dallas in a game in which Manning was sacked eight times.
The key for New York this week is halfback Brandon Jacobs is expected back in the starting lineup after missing the last six quarters (left knee).
``We have a lot of appreciation for what Brandon gives us, which is a very physical style of running,'' offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said. ``It has been the hallmark of what we do as an offense. We're a very physical, tough football team and certainly he is a big contributor to that.''
The other problem for the Giants has been making plays downfield since Plaxico Burress was suspended for the rest of the season following a nightclub shooting.
Opposing teams have dropped a safety closer to the line of scrimmage and that has hurt the running game and put New York in way too many third-and-long situations.
through some ups and downs and you just kind of have to find your groove again and that's what we're trying to find.''
For the team that finds itself on Sunday night, the prize will be knowing the NFC road to the Super Bowl will go through either East Rutherford or Charlotte.
``I think it is very important because it dictates the playoff picture for you,'' said Giants placekicker John Carney, who at 44 is the NFL's oldest player. ``Everybody wants to be playing at home. You have an advantage at home, and the bye week is a big deal, too. It is a very pivotal game for both teams.''
 

NFL Team Pages

Recent NFL Discussions

by Blade
Jul-21-14 9:58 am
by Blade
Jul-20-14 9:00 pm
by Blade
Jul-20-14 9:10 am

Top NFL Public Bets

#1 480 Kansas City Chiefs 87%
#2 491 San Diego Chargers 76%
#3 463 New Orleans Saints 75%
#4 485 San Francisco 49ers 71%
#5 468 Pittsburgh Steelers 67%
#6 488 Denver Broncos 67%
#7 490 Detroit Lions 65%
#8 481 New England Patriots 65%
#9 484 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 64%
#10 472 New York Jets 61%
View All: NFL |  NBA |  NCAAF |  NCAAB |  MLB |  NHL

NFL Futures

NFL TEAM CONFERENCE ODDS CURRENT
DENVER BRONCOS 9/4
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 3/1
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS 17/4
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS 9/2
GREEN BAY PACKERS 6/1
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS 6/1
CHICAGO BEARS 15/2
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 15/2
PITTSBURGH STEELERS 12/1
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 14/1
View All

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Contact Us | Advertising | 888-99-SPREAD

THIS IS NOT A GAMBLING SITE – If you think you have a gambling problem click here.

Disclaimer: This site is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Individual users are responsible for the laws regarding accessing gambling information from their jurisdictions. Many countries around the world prohibit gambling, please check the laws in your location. Any use of this information that may violate any federal, state, local or international law is strictly prohibited.

Copyright: The information contained on TheSpread.com website is protected by international copyright and may not be reproduced, or redistributed in any way without expressed written consent.

About: TheSpread.com is the largest sports betting news site in the United States. We provide point spread news, odds, statistics and information to over 199 countries around the world each year. Our coverage includes all North American College and Professional Sports as well as entertainment, political and proposition wagering news.

©1999-2013 TheSpread.com