Manning, Barber put team back in the race
Eli Manning and Tiki Barber put the New York Giants back in playoff shape. Chris Weinke couldn’t revive Carolina’s sinking season.
Manning threw three touchdown passes and Barber ran for 112 yards as the Giants ended a four-game losing streak with a 27-13 win over the banged-up Panthers on Sunday.
The Giants (7-6) remained tied with Philadelphia and Atlanta for the NFC wild-card lead. The Panthers (6-7) lost their third straight and would lose tiebreakers to the Eagles and Giants.
Weinke, making his first start in more than four years in place of the injured Jake Delhomme, threw for a team-record 423 yards but had three second-half interceptions. He also was undone by drops and a nonexistent running game.
Though most of the attention was on Delhomme’s sprained right thumb that forced him to sit out his first game in four seasons, the Panthers’ injury-plagued defense proved to be no match for the Giants.
The win also took some pressure off beleaguered Coach Tom Coughlin, who had come under fire after a series of late-game collapses and player sniping.
“This is not just a relief for him, it’s a relief for all of us,” Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce said.
Barber went over 10,000 career yards rushing in the second quarter on the way to his fifth 100-yard game of the season.
Manning had his second solid outing in a row, throwing a two-yard touchdown pass to David Tyree midway through the third quarter to make it 27-10.
“Eli did a great job, directing us and leading us out there,” Barber said.
Weinke, who had thrown 13 passes in the last four seasons, had at least six different players drop passes. He surpassed Steve Beuerlein’s record of 373 yards passing against Green Bay in 1999, but it didn’t stop Carolina’s downward spiral.