It was also prime time for the Panthers to go into “Cardiac Cats” mode to steal a win at home against a hapless (but hungry) Giants squad. Cam Newton showed poise, late in the second half, shaking off two interceptions to set up Graham Gano’s record setting 63 yard game winning field goal.
Here are five winners and three losers from Week Four.
Mike Adams: During a stretch between the third and fourth quarter, the Panthers and Giants threw four interceptions in five possessions. Adams picked off the two for Carolina, including one that set up the Christian McCaffrey touchdown to give the Panthers an 11 point lead with a little over 11 minutes remaining in the game.
Special Teams: The Panthers’ special teams unit was huge early in the second quarter when Safety Colin Jones recovered a botched return in the end zone for a 14-3 Carolina lead.
James Bradberry: The Panthers’ secondary has long been considered as one of the team’s weaknesses. However, Bradberry gave as good as he got in his high profile match-up. He prevented an Odell Beckham Jr. touchdown in the first half by breaking up two passes.
Puts some respect on James Bradberry’s name.— Matt Harris (@MHarrisWSOC9) October 7, 2018
Prevents the OBJ TD reception, forces Giants to settle for a FG.
Panthers lead 20-16 with 7:34 left in the 3rd.
Curtis Samuel: Samuel returned to action after missing three games due to a medical procedure on his heart, and made his presence felt on his first reception of the season. The 5’11 speedster hauled in a catch from Cam Newton and scampered to the end zone and through a stunning number of missed tackles for a 25 yard touchdown,
Graham Gano: After the game, Newton said that Graham put the team on his back (or toe) today. Before today’s game winner, Gano’s longest career field goal was 53 yards. With 11 seconds remaining and yards short of field goal range, Gano fired a 63 yard field goal through the uprights to seal the game for Carolina.
Who was the biggest winner?
This poll is closed
Panthers coaches: Offensively, the play calling was a bit inconsistent. During the first half, the willingness to take risks was a very welcome sight. DJ Moore’s end around that set up the Panthers’ first touchdown was an awesome deviation from the predictable run or short pass to McCaffrey. In the second half, the play calling grew predictable and too conservative.
Instead of taking shots downfield, the offense settled for short and intermediate passes. When the Panthers did go deep, the shorter pass ended up being the better option. For instance, with 4:22 remaining in the third quarter, Cam Newton had Christian McCaffrey wide open on a check down that would have ended up moving the chains and extending the down. Instead, the Panthers couldn’t capitalize on a drive that was rife with Giants’ penalties.
Donte Jackson: Giants receiver Sterling Shepard caught the rookie defensive back slipping late in the fourth quarter, beating him for what officials first thought to be a go ahead touchdown to give New York the lead. Jackson in fact touched Shepard before he advanced to the end zone, which only delayed the inevitable. Saquon Barkley scored the go ahead touchdown instead.
Panthers Secondary: Granted, Bradberry and Adams came up clutch in different sequences of the game. However it still doesn’t change the fact that the unit is one of the team’s weaknesses for a reason, and why the team signed Eric Reid during the bye. The unit surrendered 382 passing yards, including a trick play that resulted in Beckham-to-Barkley 57 yard touchdown. The Giants would have accumulated more yards and even a score if it were not for a few penalties.
Who was the biggest loser?
This poll is closed
Panthers fans, who were you winners and losers this week? Let us know in the comments.