Monday, January 09, 2006

THE ELIMINATION OF GIANTS BY THE PANTHERS

It was the first time an NFL playoff team playing away from home held an opponent scoreless since the Los Angeles Rams beat Tampa Bay 9-0 in the 1980 National Football Conference championship. The Carolina Panthers defeated the New York Giants 23- 0 in a National Football League first-round playoff game, which was their first road shutout in the postseason in 26 years. The Panthers third-ranked high powered defense held the Giants fourth ranked offense to just 132 yards and intercepted Eli Manning three times at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Manning, in his first postseason game, finished 10-of-18 for 113 yards; he was sacked four times and dropped once to go along with his three interceptions. The Panthers also held Tiki Barber, the NFL's second-leading rusher during the regular season, to 41 yards on 19 carries. Smith put a 22-yard reception from Delhomme in the second quarter. A John Kasay field goal fortified Carolina's lead to 10-0 prior to halftime. DeShaun Foster had 151 yards on the ground and Nick Goings added 63 yards for Carolina as the Panthers held onto the ball for 42 minutes, 45 seconds, compared with 17:15 for the Giants (11-6). Delhomme completed 15 of 22 passes for 140 yards.

The Panthers had 223 rushing yards to win for the seventh time in eight road games. The Panthers advance to play the Chicago Bears in the second round of the NFC playoffs scheduled to be held Jan. 15. The Bears (11-5) had a first-round bye.

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