The Carolina Panthers’ losing streak dating back to last season hit nine games on Sunday, after dropping a 19-16 decision to the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.
For the second straight week, a long game-winning field goal did the Panthers in, as former Carolina kicker Graham Gano boomed a 56-yarder into the uprights with 3:38 to go in the fourth quarter.
Carolina’s defense kept them in the game as long as they could as both the special teams and offense gave the ball back New York in succeeding drives to open the game. Chuba Hubbard fumbled the opening kickoff, and Robbie Anderson failed to secure the ball on a third-down catch, resulting in a pair of turnovers. The Panthers held the Giants to field goals on those drives, and notched two of their own to go into the halftime break on even terms.
The offense for the Panthers once again struggled throughout the day, but one bright spot was the Panthers’ run game. Christian McCaffrey notched his 34th 100-yard game, but still touched the ball only 19 times. Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo has stressed a desire to get new quarterback Baker Mayfield going, but the early reviews on the new signal-caller have come back murky at best.
Mayfield managed just 145 yards through the air on 14-of-29 passing, hurling his team’s only touchdown on a 16-yard pass to DJ Moore in the third quarter. That score gave the Panthers a 13-6 lead, but the joy did not last for long.
The Giants took the ensuing drive 75 yards down the field, breaking down a Panthers defense that failed to get off the field on third down. New York converted one of its six third downs on that drive, capped by a 16-yard touchdown pass to Daniel Bellinger.
After the teams traded field goals to begin the fourth quarter, the Giants converted another two third downs to extend the drive that ultimately won the game. Despite a holding penalty that put the Giants back at the Carolina 43 yard line, Daniel Jones found Sterling Shepard for a five-yard gain to get New York close enough for the kick from Gano to seal it.
Carolina has held a lead in 17 of the last 19 contests, but fell to 5-12 in those instances. They also have a 1-25 record under Matt Rhule in games where they allow 17 or more points.
With the fire squarely under Matt Rhule’s seat, the Panthers return home for three consecutive games at Bank of America Stadium, a place where they have yet to win in more than year. Carolina’s last home win came in Week 2 of last season, a 26-7 victory over the New Orleans Saints on September 19, 2021.
The Panthers (0-2) face that same Saints (1-1) opponent again on Sunday at 1 PM. WFNZ will have coverage from the Jack Daniels DogHouse and the Audi Charlotte Studios with Chris McClain & Kyle Bailey starting at 10 AM. Will Palaszczuk will have the postgame coverage as well from the DogHouse following the contest.
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