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Revenge on mind of slumping Giants

By Mike Cranston

Associated Press

CHARLOTTE — Carolina Panthers safety Mike Minter expects the New York Giants to be fired up Sunday. Not only have they lost four straight games and desperately need a win to help their playoff chances, but they have revenge of their minds.

Carolina blanked the Giants 23-0 in the first round of last season’s playoffs, limiting the league’s third-ranked offense to 132 yards.

“Guaranteed. I promise you they are thinking about it,” Minter said. “They are going to want come back and right their wrongs from last year’s game.”

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BASANEZ READY: If Jake Delhomme can’t play Sunday because of his thumb injury and Chris Weinke gets the start, the Panthers would likely have to make a roster move.

The Panthers have only two quarterbacks on the active roster, meaning rookie Brett Basanez would probably be promoted from the practice squad.

Basanez, last year’s Big Ten player of the year at Northwestern, has spent most of the season running the scout team at practice and has limited time working with the first team.

“It’s reps by osmosis, I guess,” Basanez said. “I’m trying to watch Jake and watch Weinke and see the reads they’re making. Obviously we’re watching film in there every day. So you have to mentally go through it in your mind and say, ‘OK, when I’m in there, what would I do differently.’ ”

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TIPPED OFF: After intercepting Delhomme in the end zone in the final minute Monday, Philadelphia cornerback Lito Sheppard said they knew the fade route to Keyshawn Johnson was coming.

Sheppard said they saw film of previous games that Delhomme pats himself on the backside before throwing that pass.

Delhomme downplayed the significance of it, saying they ran the same play to Johnson for a touchdown late in the first half.

“I did it on the touchdown,” Delhomme said. “That doesn’t say what route we’re running, or if it’s even a pass. I kind of do that throughout the game. I don’t know. I think the ball just kind of fell into him if you ask me.”

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