Injuries and poor play on defense have hampered the New York Giants(2-5) this season. Due to injury, New York was without four of their top offensive weapons in Saquon Barkley, Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard, and Kadarius Toney against the Panthers on Sunday, but it was next man up for New York.
Wide receiver Dante Pettis stepped up and caught five passes for 39 yards and a touchdown. Running back Devontae Booker had 51 yards rushing and a touchdown, and the Giants’ defense kept the Panthers out of the end zone as New York snapped a two-game losing streak and defeated Carolina(3-4) 25-3 at MetLife Stadium.
Coming into this game against the Panthers, New York’s defense was ranked 26th, but on Sunday, they stepped up. Carolina finished with only 117 passing yards and 173 yards of total offense. The unit also forced a safety when they pressured Darnold in the second quarter. He threw a pass from the end zone that wasn’t near an eligible receiver, resulting in an intentional grounding penalty.
In addition, the Giants forced one turnover and sacked Darnold and P.J. Walker three times. Ultimately, Panthers head coach Matt Rhule benched Darnold in the fourth quarter.
Giants corner James Bradberry, who spent four seasons with the Panthers and had an interception on Sunday, believed the New York’s defense frustrated Carolina’s offense.
“I think their whole offense was getting frustrated,” he said. “I know that our front seven did a great job of rushing the passer and getting after the quarterback. I think that affected him today. As far as seeing another quarterback come in, I’m not sure, he’s just another quarterback to me, and I’m trying to get an interception. That’s what I was thinking when he got in. I figured we still have to make some plays to keep our offense ahead.”
Giants DE Leonard Williams, who had 1.5 sacks on Sunday, felt the defense had to step up and carry the team.
“As a unit, we kind of talked about putting the team on our back more and how our team is—what we think our team is built around the defense,” he said. “We take pride in being a defensive team, and you know, so far this year, we haven’t really been stepping up to the plate, and I think this was a really big game for us. We didn’t allow any touchdowns, and we’re putting our offense in some good field position, and we closed the game out like we wanted to.”
Giants quarterback Daniel Jones made the play of the game. The third-year quarterback, who was 23/33 for 203 yards and touchdown, made a one-handed grab for 16 yards in the third quarter after a throw by Pettis was a little high. The play helped set up New York’s first touchdown.
“Yeah, it was a pretty unathletic route getting out there, so he put it out there for me, and I just tried to pull it in,” Jones said. “Good play, good design, something we’d worked on all week. Good throw by (Wide Receiver) Dante (Pettis).”
Outstanding all-around performance by New York, and now they get ready to head to Kansas City to battle the Chiefs on Monday Night Football.
Watch below as Jones talks catch, and reacts to win over Panthers: