AT A GLANCE: The New York Giants spoke all week about establishing a winning culture at MetLife Stadium, and they did just that with a 19-16 victory over the Carolina Panthers in their home opener. Following a Week 1 win in Tennessee, the Giants started 2-0 for the first time since 2016.
UP NEXT: The Giants, who are in the middle of a three-game homestand, host the defending NFC East champion Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football in Week 3. During a special ceremony, they will formally induct seven new members into the Ring of Honor: Joe Morris, Ottis Anderson, Rodney Hampton, Leonard Marshall, Ronnie Barnes, Jimmy Patton, and Kyle Rote.
View photos from the Giants' Week 2 game vs. the Carolina Panthers at MetLife Stadium.
WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT THE OFFENSE
*A week after Brian Daboll's gutsy two-point conversion call, the head coach kept the offense on the field for their first fourth down situation on Sunday. Needing one yard, quarterback Daniel Jones scrambled for two to keep alive the opening drive, which ended in a field goal.
*Despite having short fields on their first two possessions thanks to takeaways (one by special teams, one by the defense), the offense failed to capitalize on their first two trips to the red zone.
*The Giants' first seven carries went for a loss of four yards as they netted zero rushing yards in the first half. This came seven days after Saquon Barkley rushed for a league-high 164 yards and was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week. Similar to last week, the Giants needed a spark in the second half and got it when Daniel Jones found Richie James twice in tight windows with a 16-yard run by Barkley sandwiched in between. It led to a 16-yard touchdown to tight end Daniel Bellinger. The rookie's first career score tied the game 13-13 with 9:19 left in the third quarter.
*Jones (22 of 34 for 176 yards and a touchdown) led an 11-play, go-ahead drive that ate 7:12 off the clock in the fourth quarter.
*Despite the sluggish start, the Giants finished with 103 yards on 33 carries, none more important than Jones' 11-yard scramble on third-and-six to ice the game with under two minutes remaining.
*Kadarius Toney suited up on Sunday after being listed as questionable with a hamstring injury. Fellow wide receiver Wan'Dale Robinson, a rookie second-round draft choice, did not play after suffering a knee injury in Week 1.
*The Giants continued their rotation at left guard between Ben Bredeson and rookie Joshua Ezeudu.
WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT THE DEFENSE
*Darnay Holmes forced Robbie Anderson to fumble on the Panthers' first offensive possession, and fellow cornerback Adoree' Jackson recovered the ball in Panthers territory.
*A week after limiting Derrick Henry, the Giants drew another difficult, yet different, task with Christian McCaffrey. The dual-threat back had 28 yards on nine carries in the first half in addition to two catches for 12 yards. However, the former All-Pro broke a 49-yard run in the fourth quarter,
*The Giants held the Panthers to just 2 of 12 on third down and 1 of 4 in the red zone.
*Outside linebacker Oshane Ximines notched his first sack since having 4.5 as a rookie in 2019. "Ox, as I call him, has done nothing but worked hard," defensive coordinator Wink Martindale said this week, "and kept earning trust and kept earning more and more playing time throughout the spring all the way through training camp and the preseason."
*The Giants played without five defenders due to injuries: OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux (knee), S Jason Pinnock (shoulder), CB Aaron Robinson (appendicitis), CB Nick McCloud (hamstring), and OLB Azeez Ojulari (calf).
*Rookie Cor'Dale Flott, a third-round pick, made his first career start in place of Robinson and opposite of Jackson.
*Rookie safety Dane Belton, a fourth-round pick, practiced fully this week and made his NFL debut after missing time with a clavicle injury. He recorded four solo tackles and recovered a fumble on special teams.
*Safety and defensive co-captain Xavier McKinney was disruptive with two pass breakups near the line of scrimmage.
*Safety Julian Love delivered a key sack on third down for a loss of nine yards with 2:06 left in the game, forcing Carolina to punt the ball.
*Defensive lineman and co-captain Leonard Williams left midway through the third quarter with a knee injury and did not return.
*On Saturday, the Giants activated defensive backs Tony Jefferson and Fabian Moreau off their practice squad for Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers. Jefferson was also elevated for Week 1 and played 13 defensive snaps in addition to five on special teams. The veteran has played in 105 regular-season games, including 66 starts at safety. The 5-foot-11, 212-pounder was released by the Baltimore Ravens on Aug. 29 before the Giants added him to their practice squad on Sept. 1. Moreau, a 2017 third-round draft choice by the Washington Commanders, has been on the Giants' practice squad since Sept. 5. The 6-foot, 198-pounder has 76 regular-season games under his belt, including 34 starts primarily at cornerback.
WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT SPECIAL TEAMS
*Linebacker Carter Coughlin forced a fumble on the opening kickoff, which Belton recovered at the Panthers 22. Graham Gano then kicked a 36-yard field goal to give the Giants an early lead.
*Gano made all four of his attempts, including a pair of 50-yarders in the fourth quarter. The last one, from 56 yards, gave the Giants a 19-16 lead with 3:34 left in the game.
IN-GAME INJURY REPORT
NYG: DL Leonard Williams (knee)
CAR: DT Bravvion Roy (hamstring), CB Donte Jackson (hamstring)
NYG: OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux (knee), WR Wan'Dale Robinson (knee), S Jason Pinnock (shoulder), CB Aaron Robinson (appendicitis), CB Nick McCloud (hamstring), OLB Azeez Ojulari (calf), OT Tyre Phillips
CAR: WR Laviska Shenault, DT Phil Hoskins, G Cade Mays, DE Amare Barno, LB Brandon Smith (thigh)