The New York Football Giants are 2-0! That feels good to say. It wasn’t pretty, but the Giants got the job done on Sunday afternoon, defeating the Carolina Panthers 19-16. In what might signal a changing in tides for the Giants franchise, it was a frustrating afternoon of football, but the Giants found a way to pull out a win, something the franchise has not been able to do over the course of the past decade.
The Giants offense was rather unspectacular, recording just 289 yards of offense. After the Giants defense forced their second turnover of the first quarter, the Giants offense stalled in the red-zone and had to settle for their second field goal of the quarter, to take a 6-0 lead. Upset with the poor red-zone execution of his offense, Brian Daboll blew a gasket on the sideline, screaming at his entire offensive unit.
Daboll’s public frustration fired his team up, as his offense, and especially his quarterback, executed much more efficiently in the second half. While there were not many highlight-reel plays or standout performers, four Giants were integral in the team securing the win. Here are four New York Giants players who helped the G-Men sneak by the Panthers in Week 2.
4. Graham Gano
Graham Gano has been the Giants most valuable player for much of the past two seasons, and he came through yet again vs. Carolina. After delivering one of the most painful gut-punch losses Giants fans have experienced when he nailed a game-winning 63-yard field goal as the Panthers kicker in 2018 to beat the Giants, he decided to turn the tables and give his old team a gut punch on Sunday afternoon.
Gano drilled two chip shot field goals, a 36-yard field goal and 33-yard field goal to put the Giants up 6-0 in the first quarter. When the game mattered most in the fourth quarter, Gano drilled a 51 yard field goal with just over 12 minutes left to give the Giants the lead for the first time in the second half, and than with 3:34 to go, the kicker nailed a mammoth 56-yard field goal that turned out to be the game-winner.
Gano has been one of the NFL’s most reliable kickers since joining the Giants in 2020, and provides quite the insurance policy for the offense. As soon as the Giants offense crosses the opposing 40, they are in Gano’s range. With four made field goals today, including two late ones from 50+, Gano was the Giants Week 2 MVP.