The Giants have made a habit of getting off to slow starts in recent seasons, but they’ve avoided that fate this year.
Graham Gano kicked four field goals, including a 56-yarder with 3:34 to play that broke a 16-16 tie and represented the final margin of victory. The 19-16 win over the Panthers lifts the Giants to 2-0 on the young season.
The winning kick came after a drive that saw Saquon Barkley and Gary Brightwell come up with big runs and a five-yard pass to Sterling Shepard that came after a holding penalty briefly knocked the Giants out of field goal range. That completion was typical of a quiet game for Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, but he avoided crippling turnovers along with highlight reel throws and the Giants will usually take that trade from their quarterback.
It looked like the Giants might run away with the game after a pair of early Panthers fumbles, but they could only turn them into six points and the game was tied at halftime. The two teams traded 10 more points before Gano’s final kick. The Panthers drove near midfield, but Julian Love sacked Baker Mayfield and the Panthers never got the ball back after punting it away.
Barkley had 21 carries for 72 yards and Christian McCaffrey paced the Panthers offense with 102 yards, but Baker Mayfield was just 14-of-29 for 145 yards as the Panthers failed to take advantage of the chances that came their way.
They’ll look for their first win against the Saints next Sunday while the Giants will try to extend their winning streak against the Cowboys on Monday night.