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THE NFL / 1996

Second Half Is Enough For Panthers

November 11, 1996|From Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Add the New York Giants to the growing list of teams discovering that it's not enough to play a strong first half against the Carolina Panthers at Ericsson Stadium.

"We want teams to know if they're going to come in here and win, it's going to take a special effort for the entire game, not just two quarters," Carolina safety Pat Terrell said after he helped rally the Panthers to a 27-17 victory over the Giants on Sunday night.

The Panthers (6-4) virtually shut down their opponent in the second half for the fifth time in as many games at their new $187-million stadium. In those five games--all Carolina victories--the Panthers have outscored their opponents, 143-50, and held them to 10 second-half points.

This time, Carolina set the tone by converting two third-quarter turnovers into a one-yard touchdown run by Anthony Johnson and a 28-yard field goal by John Kasay on the way to outscoring the Giants, 17-3, in the half.

"I know it's a cliche, but we really want to establish a tradition that this is our house and we're going to defend it aggressively," said Terrell, whose interception began Carolina's comeback.

The Panthers forced four second-half turnovers and broke a two-game losing streak.

"It feels good to battle back after a couple of tough weeks and a couple of tough losses," Carolina Coach Dom Capers said. "The strength of our team has really been how we've responded when our backs are to the wall. We talk a lot about keeping our poise and that things aren't always going to go the way we want them to go."

The Giants (4-6) had won two in a row and were trying to reach the .500 mark for the first time since 1994.

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