Here's what I take away from New Jersey:
Giants are by far the best team the Panthers have played this season, and the Panthers played by far their best road game. I get the usual email after a loss: Jake must go, Fox must go, Panthers gave the game away, etc. Those emailers and I saw different games. Fox did become conservative with his play calling as the game wore on. Some of you contend that's because he doesn't believe in his quarterback. Not true. He didn't want to risk a turnover. He didn't want to risk giving the game away. He wanted to force the Giants to take it. They did.
New York's offensive line is exceptional. Despite Carolina's three sacks, Eli Manning rarely was pressured.
Maake Kemoateu might not be thin, but Carolina's defensive line is. I know there were injuries. I also know it was a shock to see pass-rushing specialist Charles Johnson playing tackle on third down.
I reread what I write about the Panthers and feel like a hopeless optimist, and I've never been that way about this team. But if I believe it, I might as well say it. If I'm wrong, I'll admit it.
Left Newark Liberty International Airport this morning. Near the gate was Dick Clark's American Bandstand, "a truly rocking' grill" with drinks such as the Purple Haze and burgers such as the Chart Topper. Eating breakfast there were Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick. I'd made a joke about six degrees of separation but I can't think of any.