The New York Giants made it interesting on Sunday against the unbeaten Panthers, but they ultimately fell to 6-8 on the season and one game behind the first-place Washington Redskins in the NFC East race.
That means, with two games remaining, the Giants pretty much have to win out to give themselves a legitimate chance at winning the division and sneaking into the playoffs.
But they'll most likely be without their best player in dynamic wide receiver Odell Beckham, who lost his marbles on Sunday in a game that ended up being upstaged by the personal battle between Beckham and Panthers shutdown corner Josh Norman.
Beckham was shut down by Norman for much of the game and the time he beat him he dropped a sure touchdown on a long bomb from Eli Manning, which had to be frustrating. Beckham then let that frustration show. He threw a punch, incurred three unnecessary roughness penalties against Norman and in an inexplicable moment took a diving lunge at Norman's head with his helmet.
Somehow, he avoided ejection, but media reports Monday morning suggest he's very likely to be suspended for one game — Sunday's game against the upstart Minnesota Vikings, a game in which the Giants would definitely need him.
It's a shame to see such a transcendent talent act such a fool, but that's what Beckham did on Sunday, and it could ultimately cost his team a playoff spot.