Graham Gano provided the winning points with a 56-yard field goal to snap a 16-16 tie with 3:34 to play. The kick ended an 11-play, 37-yard, 7:12 drive.
Gano felt confident before the kick.
“I knew it going out there. Dabes [Giants HC Brian Daboll] looked at me and kind of just pointed and said ‘Go out’ and said ‘Hey, can you make this’? and I looked over and said ‘Yeah’ and laughed and then I got out there and I was like ‘Man, this is a long one. The wind is blowing our way,’” Gano said. “But yeah, you just try to hit it the same and make sure you hit it pure. Those guys did a great job [the Giants special teams]. It’s like I was saying earlier, it takes a lot more; it takes good blocking, a good snap and a good hold.”
Gano went 4 of 4 on field goals Sunday, including 56 and 51-yard kicks.
“I’m happy for the guys,” said head coach Brian Daboll. “Graham made all his kicks, some big kicks there at the end for us. DJ led the team down to get some extra points there, is a huge difference. Our defense played well, started out fast. Wish we could have gotten more points on the board early on after those two turnovers. But all in all, good team win.”
Carolina (0-2) had a chance to tie or go ahead, but a blitzing Julian Love sacked Carolina quarterback Baker Mayfield on third-and-5 to force a punt with 2:06 to play. The Giants were able to run out the clock, keyed by an 11-yard run by quarterback Daniel Jones on a third-and-2 that sealed the victory.
“A situation like that, we get outside the pocket and obviously you want to throw a completion, stay in bounds or run the ball to keep the clock moving,” Jones said of the game-clinching third-down conversion. “I thought they matched Saquon [Barkley] in the flat, saw a lane to run so I stepped up and run. Obviously, I wanted to protect the ball but I think it was a great call in a situation like that – you want to give yourself options to do both things and I think that was the idea there. I thought it was a good call and I thought the guys executed well.”
Daniel Jones completed 22 of 34 passes for 176 yards and one touchdown.
Saquon Barkley ran 20 times for 68 yards.
Richie James caught five passes for 51 yards.
Julian Love led the Giants with seven tackles, one for loss, and a sack.
- Defensive lineman Leonard Williams left the game in the third quarter. He went to the locker room and was quickly ruled out with a knee injury.
- Daniel Bellinger’s 16-yard touchdown catch-and-run in the third quarter was both the first reception and first touchdown of the fourth-round pick’s NFL career.
What is Bellinger’s plan for the ball?
“I’m not sure yet, but I’ll tell you what, I’m keeping it close to me tonight,” he said. “I’m holding onto it tonight.”
- Dane Belton’s first NFL play was a big one, as he recovered a Chuba Hubbard fumble on the opening kickoff to set up the Giants’ first points of the game.
The Giants had two early opportunities. Carolina fumbled on both the opening kickoff and their first possession, giving the Giants the ball at the Carolina 22 and 40-yard lines. The Giants could only convert those into 36- and 33-yard Graham Gano field goals.
A pair of second quarter Eddy Piniero field goals knotted the score 6-6 at halftime.
The Giants introduced the offensive starters individually on Sunday. Not surprisingly, Saquon Barkley was introduced last and got the biggest ovation.
OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux (Knee)
WR Wan’Dale Robinson (Knee)
DB Jason Pinnock (Shoulder)
DB Aaron Robinson (Appendicitis)
DB Nick McCloud (Hamstring)
OLB Azeez Ojulari (Calf)
OT Tyre Phillips
The Giants will host the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football in Week 3. The Giants will induct long-time trainer Ronnie Barnes, running back Ottis Anderson, running back Rodney Hampton, defensive end Leonard Marshall, running back Joe Morris, defensive back Jimmy Patton and wide receiver Kyle Rote into the team’s Ring of Honor during a halftime ceremony.