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Giants vs. Panthers final score: Daniel Jones carries Giants to 25-3 victory

Giants improve to 2-5 with first home victory of the season

NFL: Carolina Panthers at New York Giants Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Giants, with Daniel Jones carrying a wounded, struggling offense pretty much by himself in the second half, defeated the Carolina Panthers, 25-3, Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

After a half plus on third quarter drive that saw the Giants either fail to get anything done on offense or shoot themselves in the foot with penalties when they had opportunities, Jones finally took over the game in the third quarter.

Leading 5-3 Jones led the Giants on an 11-play, 75-yard drive to give them a 12-3 lead with :59 left in the third quarter.

The drive was highlighted by this spectacular one-handed catch by Jones off a pass from Dante Pettis:

That led yours truly to tweet this:

The pass to Jones was a play we have seen several team run successfully in recent years.

“(Quarterbacks Coach) Jerry Schuplinski pulled that out of the vault this week, but it wasn’t like he invented the play either. You can take it right off the reel of the Super Bowl against Philly when he was in New England as far as what they did,” head coach Joe Judge said. “Look, you don’t have to invent the wheel to drive the car fast. Sometimes, you’ve just got to take what works for you.”

Judge did say the Giants had some “tryouts on the field” to see who would make the throw when they installed that play this week.

“Dante comes from a baseball family [his dad, Gary, was major league player], so I’m sure he’s not going for Thanksgiving in the future if he doesn’t make that throw,” Judge said.

Jones completed the drive with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Dante Pettis. Jones also had passes of 15 yards to Darius Slayton and 16 yards to Pettis on the drive, along with a 7-yard run.

The Giants stretched the lead with fourth-quarter field goals of 53 and 44 yards by Graham Gano, and a 19-yard Devontae Booker touchdown run.

The Giants’ defense turned in its best performance of the season. They allowed a 45-yard Zane Gonzalez field goal on Carolina’s first possession, and that was all. James Bradberry had an interception, and the Giants 5 sacks of Sam Darnold and P.J. Walker. Rookie edge defender Azeez Ojulari had 2.5 sacks.

Stats

  • Jones finished 23 of 33 for 203 yards and a touchdown, had seven carries for 29 yards and one catch for 16 yards.
  • Darius Slayton had five catches for 63 yards. Pettis had five catches for 39 yards. Evan Engram had a team-high six receptions for 44 yards.
  • DeVontae Booker carried 14 times for 51 yards, much of that yardage on a 19-yard touchdown run.
  • In addition to his 2.5 sacks, Ojulari had three tackles for loss and four quarterback hits.
  • Leonard Williams had 1.5 sacks and three quarterback hits.
  • The Giants’ defense has now created a turnover in each of the first seven games, the first time a Giants’ defense has done that since 2011.

Halftime score

The Giants led by the baseball score of 5-3 at the half. They got a 49-yard Gano field goal and an intentional grounding by Carolina quarterback Sam Darnold for a safety. Carolina got a 45-yard Zane Gonzalez field goal.

Injury news

  • Outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter left the game in the second quarter with a left ankle injury. Carter did return before halftime.
  • Jabrill Peppers left the game in the third quarter with an ankle injury suffered on a punt return.
  • Left tackle Matt Peart left the game in the fourth quarter with a finger injury, but returned.

A little history

A 53-yard field goal by Graham Gano with 12:41 left in the game gave the Giants a 15-3 lead. It also made him the Giants’ all-time leader in field goals made from 50 or more yards, with 10. He had been tied with Joe Danelo.

Sorry, Sam!

With the Giants leading 15-3 and more than 12 minutes to play, Carolina coach Matt Rhule yanked quarterback Matt Rhule in favor of P.J. Walker. Darnold finished 16 of 25 for 111 yards and a crushing second-quarter interception in the red zone. So, Darnold’s return to MetLife Stadium after three seasons with the New York Jets did not go well.

David Sills debuts

The Giants signed Sills, a fan favorite for the past two training camps, to their active roster on Saturday. Kadarius Toney, Sterling Shepard and Kenny Golladay all missed the game on Sunday. Darius Slayton played after missing three straight games with a hamstring. John Ross had also entered the game as questionable with a recurring hamstring injury.

Sills, defensive tackle David Moa and linebacker Benardrick McKinney all made their Giants debuts on Sunday.

Sills dropped the first pass thrown to him, costing the Giants what should have been a first down inside the Carolina 30-yard line. That ended up being his only target.

Moa did not compile any stats.

McKinney had two tackles while playing sparingly.

Giants inactives

RB Saquon Barkley (ankle)
WR Kenny Golladay (knee)
WR Kadarius Toney (ankle)
WR Sterling Shepard (hamstring)
CB Josh Jackson
CB Sam Beal
DT Danny Shelton (pectoral)

The Giants’ wide receivers on Sunday were Darius Slayton, Dante Pettis, John Ross, Collin Johnson and David Sills.

What’s next?

A national audience gets to watch the Giants travel to Arrowhead Stadium to face the defending AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football in Week 8 (ESPN/8:15 p.m. ET).