Giants Finally Score 30, but a 63-Yard Field Goal Does Them In

Giants Finally Score 30, but a 63-Yard Field Goal Does Them In

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Maybe Panthers Coach Ron Rivera should allow his special teams to run out of the tunnel more often for pregame introductions.

Graham Gano connected on all four of his field-goal attempts, including a career-long 63-yarder with 1 second remaining, and Carolina recovered a muffed punt in the end zone for a touchdown to beat the Giants, 33-31, on Sunday.

“Piece of cake,” Rivera joked after Gano’s winning kick, which tied for the second-longest field goal in N.F.L. history.

Gano’s heroics came after the Giants erased an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit. Eli Manning combined with the rookie running back Saquon Barkley on a 15-yard touchdown pass down the right sideline — Barkley made a long leap into the end zone — to put the Giants in front, 31-30, with 1 minute 8 seconds remaining.

The touchdown allowed the Giants to end the N.F.L.’s longest streak of games (36) without scoring at least 30 points. The last time they had done so was Jan. 3, 2016. That game was also a loss, 35-30, to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Gano’s previous career long was 59 yards. He has now made 35 in a row at home dating to 2016.

He said running out of the smoky tunnel before the game for the first time in his career was “pretty special” and made him feel like quarterback Cam Newton. But the winning kick was even better.

After Gano converted the kick, he said his main goal was seeking safety from the rest of his teammates running after him.

“I just tried to hit a good ball, and the rest was craziness and madness,” he said.

It is the second year in a row that the Giants (1-4) have been beaten by a monster field goal at the end. In the third game last season, Jake Elliott of the Eagles kicked a 61-yarder for a 27-24 win.

Newton threw for 237 yards and had two touchdowns and two interceptions and helped get the Panthers (3-1) into field-goal range with a 20-yard completion to D. J. Moore and a 9-yarder to Christian McCaffrey on the final drive.

Newton called it a “subpar” game on his part, but he was thrilled that Gano helped bail him out.

“A wise man told me once that a great quarterback is only as good as his kicker,” Newton said. “Graham put the whole team on his back today. Well, on his toe today.”

Manning finished 22 of 36 for 326 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions (both by the Panthers’ 37-year-old safety, Mike Adams).

Odell Beckham Jr., had a big game as a receiver and a passer. He had eight catches for 131 yards and a touchdown and also threw a 57-yarder to Barkley for the Giants’ first touchdown.

“I’m proud of everything we showed today,” Beckham said. “We just came up short.”

Beckham had one big mistake in the first half, though.

Instead of fielding Michael Palardy’s punt at his 5, Beckham went to block a Carolina player. The ball hit off Beckham’s leg, and two other Giants had a chance to recover the loose ball before the eight-year veteran special-teams player Colin Jones recovered in the end zone for his first career score and a 14-3 Carolina lead.

Beckham said he addressed his teammates before the game about comments he made about Manning and the offense this past week. He said things had built up inside of him for several weeks and that his comments “came out the wrong way.”

Giants right tackle Chad Wheeler left in the fourth quarter with a hand injury and did not return. Panthers wide receiver Devin Funchess was evaluated for a concussion in the fourth quarter after a helmet-to-helmet hit by Giants defensive back Michael Thomas, but returned to the game.

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