East Rutherford, N.J. —There shouldn’t be any doubts about who should get the game ball against the Carolina Panthers. Gano, Gano, and Gano.
Graham Gano kicked a 56-yard field goal with 3:34 to play in the game, the Giants figured out a way to slide past the Carolina Panthers 19-16 on Sunday at MetLife Stadium in front of an announced crowd of 73,843.
The G-men improved to 2-0 for the first time since 2016, it was the Panthers’ ninth straight loss.
“Whether you score a lot or not, it’s important to figure out ways to win games,” Daboll said. “You can win a game a variety of ways, and also lose it a lot of ways. Again, the object of the game is to have one more point and to give yourself a chance in the fourth quarter.”
The Giants have a little pinch of good luck in the first two weeks with beating Tennessee and now the Panthers.
Daniel Jones was able to get in the end zone only once, on his third-quarter pass to rookie tight end Daniel Bellinger to knot the game at 13. Gano went 4-for-4 on field goals, and in the fourth quarter booted the ball from 51 yards to give NY a 16-13 lead and from 56 yards with 3:34 remaining for the win.
The Panthers (0-2) are doing the opposite. They dropped a 26-24 decision to Cleveland on a late field goal last week. On Sunday, they spotted the Giants six points early and allowed New York to come through late.
The Giants needed to amp it up on defense to seal the game and they got it when safety Julian Love blitzed up the middle and tackled Baker Mayfield for a 9-yard loss, forcing Carolina to punt. The G-Men got the ball at 2:06 remaining and closed it out with a first down.
“We prepare our (tails) off,” said Baker Mayfield, who was 14 of 29 for 145 yards and a touchdown. “We work during the week. There’s no question about that. We’re ready to go. We just have to come out and execute.”
The Giants possessed the football for 35:57 to Carolina’s 24:03; the Panthers had 10 more total yards of offense than G-Men.
Gano was a gamer, he drilled FG’s from 51, 36, and 33 yards and Jones found tight end Daniel Bellinger on a crossing route for a 16-yard touchdown as the Giants responded in the second half after the game was tied 6-6 at halftime. I’m sure the boo’s helped their offense get going.
Mayfield hit DJ Moore on a little corner route for a 16-yard touchdown and a 13-6 lead early in the second half. Eddy Pineiro kicked field goals of 31, 32, and 38 yards for the Panthers, the last one tying the game at 16-all with 10:40 to play in the contest.
Saquon Barkley who started slow rushed for 72 yards on 21 carries for the contest, had runs of 10 and 8 yards as the Giants responded with an 11-play, 37-yard drive to take the lead. You knew when Barkley got it going it was going to be a Big Blue Sunday.
“It’s exciting, it’s hard to win in the league, but we got to treat it like a loss when we watch the film,” Barkley said. “We have to be our biggest critics and see what we can do better. These last two wins we didn’t come out fast. We can’t do that but our defense made plays for us.”
Christian McCaffrey led Carolina with 15 carries for 102 yards.
The Panthers got the ball back after Gano’s go-ahead kick, gained a parsley 12 yards and were forced to punt after Love sacked Mayfield on third down.
The Giants took over and Jones (22 of 34 for 176 yards) closed out the game after he scrambled for a first down on third-and-6 and on naked boot.
“That’s two games in a row where we came down to the end with a chance to win the game and come up short both times,” Rhule said. “I take full responsibility for that. That’s my job. That falls on me. I have to help these guys find a way to make one more play and win the game.”
NY Giants will play the Cowboys on Monday, September 26, for a 8:15 PM at MetLife Stadium