Looking at the coach's tape, I have the following observations:
1. The running game struggled because of ILB run-throughs. The Panthers sat in a 3-4 Okie front (nose and DE's in 5 techniques. On zone plays, the backside guard and center are responsible to scoop the nose and backside LB. The backside LB, on run plays was shooting behind the guard. This blew up a whole bunch of run plays. Run-throughs also blew up some pin and pull schemes on the front side.
2. Mark Glowinski, and the other guards are getting manhandled. Glowinski has been surprisingly bad.
3. Carolina sat in zone almost exclusively, and were sitting on the short throws. The Giants didn't have good pass plays called. They ran a lot of man-beaters like mesh which are good for 3-4 yards against zone. There were quite a few plays where there were no receivers open, or the only open receiver was a 4 yard whip, crosser or hitch that were quickly tackled after the catch. The Giants need to start calling downfield zone beaters like sails and deep crossers when the defense sits in zone on the short stuff.
4. Pass protection wasn't quite as bad as the PFF numbers. DJ had time to throw on many passes.
5. There were some opportunities in the passing game. DJ overthrew a wide open sluggo route that was an easy TD. In the red zone, he had the TE wide open splitting the safeties in cover 2 for a TD and didn't see it. The pass interference call on the deep crosser was BS. The DB ran into one of the Giants receivers. It wasn't a pick.
6. On 4-5 plays, the Giants had half-field routes called, with each half designed to beat a different coverage and DJ picked the wrong side. (ex: the 2 receiver side has a cover 2 beater, and the 3 receiver side has a cover 4 beater). The other side of the field had open receivers. Which side to read is a pre-snap decision. Is this coaching, or is DJ making bad decisions? Carolina did a good job of disguising coverages. More missed opportunities.
7. DJ was accurate. I only saw 2 badly thrown balls - a bounce pass to the TE, and the near interception.
Carolina has a pretty good defense, and had an excellent game plan. The offense got outplayed and outcoached. Daboll and Kafka need to start stretching the field vertically and throwing behind the 2nd level defenders. The problem is, the interior pass protection is getting manhandled, and there aren't any schemes to combat it. RBs and TEs can chip edge rushers, but there's not a lot of help that can be given to centers and guards. The Giants can keep the RB in to help, but do you want to keep Barkley in to pass-block when he's such a matchup problem as a receiver?