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Time: 1:00 PM (ET)
Date: Sunday, December 27, 2009.
Location: Giants Stadium
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Lost amid the struggles of the Giants' defense and the team's uphill battle for a playoff spot is the fact that QB Eli Manning is having the finest season of his career. He has a career-high 26 touchdown passes and has thrown six TDs and no interceptions in his past two games. What makes Manning's season more impressive is that he has led the air assault despite being surrounded by young receivers who were expected to be a weak link on offense.
The Panthers have been eliminated from the playoffs but are trying to close out the season strong and indicate to ownership that a coaching change does not need to be made. Although John Fox is a respected head coach with a Super Bowl appearance on his resume, he may be nearing the end of the road in Charlotte, even after going 12-4 last season. Fox may have stuck too long this season with veteran QB Jake Delhomme, who passed the Panthers out of several games and appears to be on his last legs.
The Giants do not control their playoff destiny; they need to win their final two games and hope the Cowboys or Packers lose a game. The franchise has played in the postseason the past four years and expected to get there again this season.
This also will be the Giants' final regular-season home game at Giants Stadium, which will be demolished after this season and replaced by a new stadium. The Giants have called the place home since 1976, and they want to get a victory in the finale.