By Marquita Quinones // @LatinLove729
Panthers 33 – Giants 31
“So close but yet so far” is my theme at this point in the season when watching the New York Giants play.
After a 27-22 win against the Houston Texans, I knew things were looking up. Unfortunately, that was overshadowed by the 33-18 loss to the New Orleans Saints which brought me back to reality.
However, Sunday brought new hope and confidence as the New York Giants faced off against the Carolina Panthers.
After exchanging opening-series punts, the Giants scored first after kicker Aldrick Rosas kicked a 42-yard field goal. The excitement was temporary as quarterback Cam Newton and the Panthers answered back with a 25-yard touchdown of their own.
Anticipating a quick response from the Panthers, the Giants quickly positioned themselves to re-take the lead. But, they turned the ball over on downs when receiver Odell Beckham Jr. dropped a fourth-down pass. At this point, I definitely had a feeling it would be a repeat of the New Orleans Saints game.
A special teams mix up didn’t help either. The Giants held the Panthers to a three and out. Then, the punt hit the leg of Beckham, who at the time was attempting to block a runner out of bounds. The ball was recovered in the end zone for a Carolina touchdown.
With just over six minutes remaining in the second quarter, quarterback Eli Manning dropped back, tossed the ball to Beckham, on a wide receiver screen play. Beckham turns unexpectedly and fires a pass to a wide-open running back Saquon Barkley, who took the ball 57 yards and the TOUCHDOWN.
— New York Giants (@Giants) October 7, 2018
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) October 7, 2018
Things begin to slow down as both teams exchanged field goals prior to halftime. Rosas had a career-long 57-yard kick, that made the game closer than it should have been at the time.
In the second half, things got weird. The Giants forced the Panthers to punt, but defensive end Kareem Martin was called for an offsides penalty that gave the Panthers an opportunity on fourth down, which they couldn’t convert. However, cornerback B.W. Webb was called for holding away from the play and promptly got into the face of the official, which drew a third consecutive penalty. The last thing the Giants needed.
But just when hope was beginning to fade, safety Curtis Riley gave the Giants new life. He undercut a route and came up with a game-changing interception. The excitement was short-lived as Eli Manning, already under a lot of criticism for not getting more balls to Beckham, threw an interception when he attempted to force a pass to Beckham.
A questionable penalty against safety Landon Collins helped extend the Panthers’ subsequent drive, which ended with an 18-yard touchdown, giving the Carolina Panthers a 27-16 lead midway through the fourth quarter.
Manning continued to appear unfocused and threw a second interception. The only positive from that was that Cam Newton also threw his second interception of the game, this one being hauled in by cornerback Janoris Jenkins, who returned the ball deep in Panthers territory.
Showing more confidence, Manning hurled the ball down the field on the team’s first play after the turnover and it glided into the waiting arms of Beckham for his first touchdown of the season. After converting on a two-point attempt, the Giants narrowed the lead to 27-24 with just over eight minutes remaining in the game
Following some continued back-and-forth, the Panthers added a field goal with just over two minutes remaining, setting Manning up for a possible redemption moment. And he made the most of it. With seconds left on the clock, the Giants are up 31-30 and the Panthers have the impossible task of making a 63yrd field goal. As Carolina Panthers kicker Graham Gano set up to kick the impossible, I begin to feel the joy of a winner.
That was short-lived as Gano DOES the impossible and makes the 63yrd field goal.
Carolina Panthers won 33-31…so close but yet so far.
Talk Giants with Marquita on Twitter @LatinLove729