POSTED 9:08 a.m. EST, January 9, 2006

One of the unintended casualties of the Giants' 23-0 shutout loss at home on Sunday could be the chances of defensive coordinator Tim Lewis to become a head coach in 2006. Indeed, there's talk in some league circles that Lewis now will not be viewed as a serious candidate for any of the vacancies this season in light of his unit's poor performance on Sunday.

If the Giants had won, Lewis would have spent a maximum of two hours each with the Rams, Lions, and Packers. Instead, Lewis has all the time in the world to meet with these three teams.

And Lewis might need that much time to 'splain away those 223 yards of rushing that were surrendered to Carolina.

We're told that the Giants feared getting burned by receiver Steve Smith, so they kept seven in the box for most of the game. And the Panthers capitalized, with DeShaun Foster rushing for 151 yards and Nick Goings adding 63.

But just as the Giants never adjusted on the offensive side of the balll to efforts to bottle up Tiki Barber, the New York defense never made the changes necessary to stop the Carolina running game.

In hindsight, it probably was a smart move. If the Giants had snuck an eighth man into the box, the final score on Sunday might well have been much worse than 23-0.