Panthers survive furious comeback, stay undefeated


After building a 35-7 lead, the Panthers (14-0) were forced to sweat out a 38-35 win over the New York Giants (6-8) to stay undefeated. Here's what we learned:

Every game, all season

1. The Panthers typically close well. This was not a typical game. A blocked field goal, fumbled handoff and a streak of three-and-outs let the Giants come back in the game. Give the Giants a ton of credit for not giving up in a seemingly hopeless situation. Eli Manning often does his best work in the hurry up.

2. After 28 unanswered points by the Giants, Cam Newton calmly led a game-winning field goal drive after getting the ball back with less than two minutes left. The drive featured the best of Newton: Bullets on throws up the seams, and two massive first-down runs by Newton. Cam threw for 340 yards with five scores and ran for another 100 yards. (No player has ever done that before.) Just hand him the MVP now.

3. Josh Norman and Odell Beckham's matchup turned into a sideshow. Beckham was lucky not to get kicked out of the game for going after Norman following the whistle throughout the matchup. Most notably, Beckham hit Norman with a blindside helmet-to-helmet hit after one play. Norman was lucky not to be concussed and we'll be surprised if Beckham isn't fined. Norman had his share of fighting back, but Beckham got a pair of personal foul penalties. While Beckham had 76 yards and a score, keying the Giants' tying drive, he also had a crucial drop early that would have been a long touchdown.

4. The Panthers missed Jonathan Stewart. Backup Cameron Artis-Payne fumbled the ball in the fourth quarter and Carolina's running backs struggled to find room all afternoon. They were held to 71 rushing yards on 21 carries. This victory was all about Newton's running and ability to fit passes into tight windows.

5. The Giants aren't out of the NFC East race at 6-8 yet, but they need help. They would have a solid chance to win the division if they finish 8-8. Then again, there's a reason why they've only won two consecutive games once all season. The defense is dreadful.

6. Jason Pierre-Paul continued to show up in this game with a big sack and a pass deflection made with his trademark club. He's helping his free-agent value.

7. Ted Ginn had 11 touchdowns as a receiver in his career before this season. He now has 10 receiving TDs after two more Sunday.