The NFC road to the Super Bowl will run through the Meadowlands because the New York Giants did what you have to do in bad weather -- run the ball.
Derrick Ward ran for career-best 215 yards and set up Brandon Jacobs' winning 2-yard touchdown run with 9:57 left in overtime and the Super Bowl champion Giants clinched the NFC's top seed for the postseason with a 34-28 comeback victory over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday night.
The final score warmed the hearts of the fans, who braved blustery wind and snow packed under their seats to see New York pull off the dramatic win. They tossed snowballs on to the field earlier and threw it like confetti when Jacobs won the game.
New York (12-3) forced the overtime when Jacobs plowed into the end zone from a yard out, and Eli Manning hit Domenik Hixon on a slant pattern for the tying 2-point conversion with 3:21 to play.
Jacobs finished with three short touchdown runs, and Manning and Kevin Boss combined on a 4-yard touchdown pass as the Giants found the cold and wind to their liking in snapping a two-game losing streak.
New York clinched a first-round bye earlier in the day when Atlanta beat Minnesota, but added the icing on this frosty night by beating Carolina (11-4) in the winner-take-all game for the NFC's top seed.
The loss spoiled record-tying four-touchdown performance by Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams, who gave Carolina a 28-20 lead with a 30-yard TD run 2 minutes into the final quarter. He also scored on runs of 13, 5 and 1 yards.
The Panthers, who have qualified for the playoffs, can clinch the NFC South and the No. 2 seed with a win at New Orleans next weekend.