The New York Giants fell to 1-4 after Carolina Panthers kicker Graham Gano kicked a game-winning 63-yard field goal to seal the victory as time expired.
The Giants offense came up short but their offense took a huge step in the right direction.
They broke an ugly streak of 37 games in a row where they failed to score 30 points. Eli Manning had completions down the field for 28, 33, and 40 yards which have been hard for him to do in 2018. The 40-yard completion is Manning’s longest of the season and came in a two-minute drill at the end of the game when it was needed most.
Odell Beckham Jr.‘s first touchdown of the season was another step in the right direction. Beckham will need to be a key component if the Giants are to have success. The offense showed some creativity by faking a screen to Beckham and having him throw down the field to Saquon Barkley for a 57-yard score.
The new offense appears to be clicking and the offensive line allowed Manning to get the ball down the field. The O-line also protected Manning’s backside as he was only sacked once in the game.
Manning threw two interceptions and both were head-scratching decisions.
The Giants were approaching the red zone in the third quarter when Manning threw his first pick, attempting to hit a double-covered Beckham. The second interception came on the Giants’ next series. It was a very inaccurate throw where the intended receiver, Sterling Shepard, had no chance of making a play. Safety Mike Adams made both interceptions.
The Giants couldn’t establish a consistent running game with just 50 yards as on 16 attempts.
The Giants defense had a handful of missed tackles, leading to extra yardage for the Panthers and a touchdown to Curtis Samuel to take a 7-3 lead early in the game. The pass-rush didn’t make much of an impact on the game, they only sacked Cam Newton once and didn’t apply much pressure throughout the game.
Multiple defenders failed to wrap Samuel on the Panthers’ first touchdown. The play would have ended at the 20-yard line proper technique was executed.
Beckham hurt the Giants with two huge mistakes. He dropped a pass on fourth down near midfield on the series after Samuel’s touchdown run. Beckham had the opportunity to keep the Giants’ momentum going but didn’t secure the ball.
He also did too much on punt return duty by blocking a punt team gunner to let the punt roll into the end zone for a touchback. He didn’t keep track of where the ball was going and it grazed his leg, becoming a live ball. Janoris Jenkins had a chance to pick the ball up but lost it. The ball eventually bounced into the end zone before it was recovered by Colin Jones for a Panther touchdown, giving them a 14-3 lead early in the second quarter.
The offense was atrocious on third down, going 0-for-7 even in short-yardage situations.
Another miscue by the defense led to an easy touchdown by Christian McCaffrey in the fourth quarter. All three Carolina touchdowns were a result of the Giants making game-changing mistakes. The defense also gave up a crucial 20-yard completion on the Panthers’ final drive that helped set up Gano’s game-winning field goal.
– Christian Morell is a Contributor for Full Press Coverage and covers the NFL and the New York Giants. Please like and follow on Facebook and Twitter. Christian can be followed on Twitter @CMorellNFL.