The Carolina Panthers began Week 2 in midseason form as they watched their own Chuba Hubbard fumble the opening kickoff from the New York Giants Graham Gano. The Giants started the first offensive drive of the game inside the Panthers 30, but were held to just three plays and a field goal by a surprisingly stout Panthers defense. That defensive stand was keyed by a Donte Jackson tackle for loss.
The following Panthers drive began with a five yard hand off to Christian McCaffrey (followed by a second carry and a first down-generating face mask penalty) as they opened this week with an emphasis on establishing the run. Unfortunately, the rest of that drive was derailed by another deflected pass and penalties before ultimately ending with a Robbie Anderson fumble that was recovered by the Giants. Back-to-back sacks to bring up fourth and goal limit that turnover's yield to only a field goal for the Giants once again.
The first quarter ended on a successful fourth down conversion for the Panthers on a McCaffrey run play. The Giants led 6-0 and Baker Mayfield posted a 3/5 for 8 yards stat line for the quarter. Both of his incompletions were balls batted down at the line of scrimmage.
That extended drive became the first points of the day for the Panthers as a 31-yard field goal by Eddie Piñeiro with 12:15 left in the second quarter. The rest of the quarter settled into traded punts until the Panthers were able to string together a field goal drive that effectively ended the half with both teams tied at 6-6.
The third quarter opened like it was a whole new game. The Panthers defense capped off a three and out with a Brian Burns sack. Their offense had a 29-yard pass to DJ Moore, a 17-yard scramble by Mayfield, and finished the drive with a 16-yard strike from Mayfield to Moore for the touchdown. Fan may be forgiven their confusion over the competence that radiated from both units to start the second half.
The Giants struck back immediately with an eight play, 75 yard touchdown drive to tie it back up at 13-13. That marked all of the fireworks in the third quarter as the teams traded punts to remain tied entering the fourth.
The teams then went on to trade field goals again to re-tie the game at 16-16. The Giants mostly found their success through the air while the Panthers have been leaning heavily on Christian McCaffrey.
The fourth quarter is where things got spicy. And by spicy, I mean traditional for Matt Rhule’s Carolina Panthers. The Giants took a 19-16 lead on a 56-yard field goal. The Panthers responded with a short punt to give the Giants the ball back with 2:06 on the clock. The Giants were able to grind that out to secure the Panthers ninth loss in a row and second loss of this young season.