The New York Giants trail the Carolina Panthers 20-13 after Sunday’s first half.
For the first time this season the Giants got the ball to start the game, but the change did nothing to spark the offense. The team did try to look down the field some in the passing game after being heavily criticized for their conservatism against New Orleans. Unfortunately the pass protection was once again spotty at best, with Manning getting time on some passes, but too often having to dodge rushers in the backfield. Meanwhile, the running game was a disaster, with Saquon Barkley barely moving the ball until he broke a 20-yard gain on a terrific jump cut. Even counting that play, he only had 19 yards on 8 carries.
Later that drive, Barkley caught a 56-yard touchdown pass from Odell Beckham Jr. on a trick play.
Meanwhile, the Giants’ defense struggled mightily with tackling, rarely able to wrap up and bring any of the Panthers’ ball carriers down on initial contact. The team also largely failed to get any pressure on Cam Newton in the pass rush. Still, the defense has once again kept the offense in the game.
After the team’s longest punt return of the season to start the game by Odell Beckham and field goals of 42 and 53 yards by Aldrick Rosas, the Giants’ special teams was a liability. The low-light being a muffed punt by Beckham, which was recovered by the Panthers in the end zone for a touchdown.
All told, it was an ugly, sloppy, embarrassing half for the Giants on offense and defense. Hopefully the team will be able to make some kind of adjustment at the half. The Giants only trail the Panthers by a touchdown at the half, and still might be able to mount a comeback.
The Panthers will get the ball to start the second half.