- The Washington Times - Monday, December 28, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. | Justin Tuck has been to the mountain with the New York Giants, winning an NFL title. The defensive end and the rest of the Giants tumbled into a deep valley in their final game at Giants Stadium.

It was a complete embarrassment.

Matt Moore and the Carolina Panthers (7-8) brought down the house, turning the Giants’ final game in the 34-year-old stadium into one of the ugliest moments in franchise history with a 41-9 rout that left New York left out of the playoffs.

“It’s tough,” Tuck said after the Giants (8-7) lost for the seventh time in 10 games. “Like you said, we had everything at stake playing a team that was only playing for pride, and I guess pride won today. We should have been playing with a little pride ourselves.”

The Giants, who started 5-0, knew what was at stake. They needed to win their final two games and hope that either Green Bay or Dallas lost one of their remaining two.

Giants fans were skeptical of their team’s hopes: After booing their defense most of the day, many left the stadium well before the game ended.

“For us to play the way we did today, there is obviously no excuse for it,” coach Tom Coughlin said after his team turned over the ball four times and allowed the Panthers to score on six of their first seven possessions.

After a holding penalty nullified a touchdown pass and a later fumble cost them the ball on their opening possession, the Giants played like a team going through the motions and the Panthers dominated.

Moore threw three touchdown passes, Jonathan Stewart rushed for a franchise-best 206 yards and the Panthers shredded New York’s defense for 416 yards, including 247 rushing.

“We had to come out here and play tough and play to win, regardless of what they had on the line,” said Moore, who completed 15 of 20 passes for 171 yards in his seventh NFL start.

Coming off a 45-12 throttling of Washington, the Giants came up with another weak effort after a big win, their trademark this season.

“I told someone on the sideline that exact quote, that we have been part of the highest of highs,” Tuck said. “But as far as my vantage point, this is the lowest I have been in a Giants uniform.”

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