I hear from people who contend that fans as well as the media made too much of Carolina’s victory last week. They claim the score had less to do with the Panthers’ good work than with their opponent’s ineptitude.

They’re right in that the New York Giants were and probably still are terrible. But the Panthers shut them out. They shut out a team that perpetually playing from behind came in averaging 24 points a game. Even Jacksonville has scored the past three Sundays. The shutout was the first in the NFL this season.

Carolina’s front seven was overpowering the secondary impressive. The quarterback ran effectively and because he did New York had to change the way it played him. Blockers blocked runners ran and receivers torched whatever defense the Giants applied. Brandon LaFell freed himself for his first touchdown with a stutter step worthy of a poster.