1. There are some mental battles you have to fight in order to beat a team twice in such a short period of time. Ask the Pats (best team in history) last year about their inability to beat the Giants.
2. Sitting people against NO could have hurt us. Teams of the past like the Colts always used to sit their players for games that "aren't meaningful" and they would lose. The year they didn't sit people....Super Bowl
3. False sense of confidence that will be formed for the Gmen. Sure they ran all over us...Derrick Ward had a career night...but that was without our best run stopper. If we play them again they are going to come in and think they can do it again but will run into Kemo and Lewis. It just won't happen again.
4. If we can beat NO we still get a bye and there is a chance that NY loses in the playoffs shifting homefield to us.
5. We lost a game that the players know we could have and maybe should have won. We had picks get batted away by teammates, bad pass interference calls, and ZERO Dline depth, all of which could have effected the outcome.
1. I'm not sure how big an impact this loss will have on the team, but I agree that it's better to have a tough loss that you can learn from than to cruise through the regular season and be touted as unstoppable. That's what caught up to New England last season. Unfortunately, none of our opponents in the NFC or AFC are exactly "cruising" through to the playoffs.
2. I agree. Keeping the players on their toes and working for every win is much better in the long run than allowing them to take a few off. Not only does it keep them motivated, but it helps them to realize that they aren't unstoppable or guaranteed a win. That is a formula for success with the Panthers.
3. This is where I disagree. The Giants aren't going to take lightly a team that nearly beat them at home. Had this been a win for us, they would have only identified their weaknesses and our strengths before squeezing us in the second confrontation. At this point, we aren't even sure there will be a second confrontation. Let's look at other results for positive motivation.
4. True (with regard to the Giants losing early), but not entirely likely. I'd rather Carolina struggle and fall away in the playoffs, if at all, than dodge bullets all the way to another blown Super Bowl.
5. This is probably the most significant outcome. Players and fans that watched last night's game know that the Panthers came a botched play or two away from giving the Giants their third straight loss, and they will earn more respect throughout the league despite a heartbreaking loss. With all eyes on the Panthers going into the playoffs, Carolina will step up and work to fix the team's problems.