2008_12_eli120.jpgYes, the Giants have looked awful these past two weeks. And yes, the Giants have not won a home game in December since 2005. But before you completely jump off the bandwagon and proclaim the season doomed, look at this week’s opponent.

The Carolina Panthers have the exact same record as the Giants (11-3), but how they go there is instructive. The Panthers went 8-0 at home and are only 3-3 on the road. Of those three road wins, none of them are against a team that currently has a winning record. Carolina’s strength on offense is its running game, something the Giants are good at stopping.

Add the fact that the Giants know that this is it. Win the game and they are the #1 seed in the NFC. Lose the game and they head to Minnesota where they will probably need to win to even get a bye in the playoffs. Yes, they are hurt and yes they have looked bad recently, but they will figure out a way to win this game.

Photograph of Eli Manning during last week's loss to the Dallas Cowboys by LM Otero/AP