Win, lose or draw, Joe Judge does the same thing every Monday.
He shows the Giants the tape from the game and tells them what they need to correct and what they can build on. For five out of the first six weeks, the process followed in the wake of losses.
Not this Monday.
With their win in New Orleans becoming a distant memory as they gave up 82 points to the Cowboys and Rams in back-to-back losses, the Giants (2-5) shut down the Panthers (3-4) for a 25-3 victory in Week 7.
"We're a very resilient team," the second-year head coach said. "You guys ask me all the time, how do I see the guys come to work, how can I gauge the mood in the building? I tell you all the time, I do it based on how they show up to work, how they meet, their intent in their actions and what they're doing, how they practice on the field, so that's my barometer. That's my measuring stick right there. When the team comes in, they work, they prepare and they do everything necessary to have success, they work together, that's when you know your team is moving in the right direction. I see it from our guys every week."
IT WAS OVER WHEN
The Giants started to close the door when Graham Gano tacked on two of his three field goals in the fourth quarter, including one from 53 yards that broke Joe Danelo's record for most 50-yarders made in Giants history (10). Devontae Booker then slammed it shut with a 19-yard touchdown run after P.J. Walker, who replaced Sam Darnold in the fourth quarter, and the Panthers turned the ball over on downs deep in Giants territory.
"I've had this game circled since the schedule came out," said Gano, a former Panther. "I knew they were coming here and I was excited about it. Obviously, I have awesome memories there, but at the end of the day, I'm a New York Giant and that win feels really, really good."
QB1, RB1 … WR1
It's a no-no for a receiver to stop running when the ball is in the air, but Dante Pettis will have to forgive Daniel Jones. The wide receiver and quarterback reversed roles for a trick play, which started with a handoff to running back Devontae Booker to the left side. Pettis, lined out wide, swung back to the middle of the field and took a pitch from Booker. In one motion, he wound up and delivered a ball to Jones outside the numbers down the right side. The quarterback slowed down as he looked back for the pass, forcing him to catch it with his right hand before absorbing a hit from former Giants safety Sean Chandler.
Below is what everyone saw from their vantage point:
QB Daniel Jones: "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. Good play, good design, something we'd worked on all week. Good throw by Dante. … I think it was a good throw. I don't think the route was very good and I don't think I was moving very fast. I've been on the other end of that, so I get mad at guys and I did the same thing there. I think it was a good throw and Dante's thrown it well all week. He's done a good job with it and just tried to execute it."
WR Dante Pettis: "I thought that was a dime if he would have kept running (laughs). He made a great catch, so I guess it worked out even better. Yeah, I thought it was a pretty good throw. ... I honestly didn't see the hit. As soon as I saw him pull it in, I turned around and fist pumped. I was celebrating already. I didn't even know he got hit like that honestly, so, sorry Daniel."
Coach Joe Judge: "I thought he did a heck of a job on that trick play we had with the catch. We weren't really going for originality on that, but we thought it could be effective and he made it work. Him and Pettis did that. They actually had a play in practice that looked basically identical to that with the way that Dante threw it and how he had to catch, so it's amazing how practice execution becomes game reality. … He didn't drop any [in practice]. We had a couple, I would say, errant throws. It was a little bit of try-outs on the field at times, but Dante comes from a baseball family, so I'm sure he's not going for Thanksgiving in the future if he doesn't make that throw."
K Graham Gano: "That was awesome. I'm not surprised, the guy's an athlete. One-handed – you called it a one-handed catch, right? It was awesome. Got to get a still shot of that and get it signed."
CB James Bradberry: "It was pretty smooth. I'm just glad he caught it. He got up safely. That's the main thing."
DB Logan Ryan: "Daniel's a competitor. I think he shows that he puts his body on the line to do whatever it takes running. I just heard QB1, RB1 and Wide Receiver 1 today. He put it on the line today and whatever it took to get those first downs, to grind it out. Offense turned it on and put the game out of reach and sealed it how you should. It was a good complementary team win."
The 16-yard gain was more than just a play for the highlight reel. Jones returned the favor and capped the drive with a five-yard touchdown pass to Pettis, which put the Giants up by two scores late in the third quarter.
"Yeah, that was big finishing with a touchdown there," Jones said. "Dante did a great job executing that play. Something we've worked on a lot and we've put an emphasis on finishing those drives down there. There were a couple instances we can do better with that, so we'll look to work on those things. That play was a bigtime play by him and well executed."
Looking to right the ship, Panthers coach Matt Rhule said earlier in the week that his offense was going to "redefine" itself with a recommitment to the ground game. The Giants, who had allowed 170, 201, and 131 rushing yards in their three previous outings, had their own problems to fix. Nevertheless, they heard the declaration. A man of his word, Rhule kept the Panthers on the field for a fourth-and-one at their own 36-yard line on the first drive of the game. Chuba Hubbard, who played for the injured Christian McCaffrey, moved the pile for a first down. It kept alive a 13-play drive that ended with a Carolina field goal. Then the Giants dug in. Hubbard had just 28 yards on 12 carries while Carolina rushed for just 56 yards as a team.
"You hear it, I'm not Michael Jordan, not everything is personal," Logan Ryan said. "I wish I could say that, my results were perfect. I always say how Michael Jordan took everything personal. But you hear that man, and this is our house, this is our fans, they pay good money."
The pass rush also came alive with a season-high six sacks thanks to rookie Azeez Ojulari (2.5), Leonard Williams (1.5), Jabrill Peppers (1.0), and Dexter Lawrence (1.0). Cornerback James Bradberry, another former Panther, also notched an interception. The Giants, who also forced a safety on an intentional grounding penalty in the end zone, now have at least one takeaway in each of their first seven games for the first time since 2011 (first 10). It was enough for Rhule to turn to their backup quarterback.
"I think their whole offense was getting frustrated," Bradberry 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."
WHAT THE WIN MEANS FOR THE GIANTS
Sunday was the Giants' first win in front of their home fans since Eli Manning's final start against the Dolphins on Dec. 15, 2019. The Giants' last victory at MetLife Stadium was the 2020 season finale against the Cowboys, but there were no fans in attendance due to the pandemic. None of that matters heading into Week 8, when the Giants take on Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs on Monday Night Football in Kansas City. The word coming out of the locker room on Sunday was putting together these types of performances more "consistently."
"It's something that we can definitely build on, but we have to be consistent with it," Williams said. "We can't take any fall-offs next week. Obviously teams are going to make plays at times. I think the biggest thing that we have to do is to learn how to adjust when a big play happens and don't think that it's over and just stay poised."
View photos from the New York Giants' 25-3 victory over the Carolina Panthers at MetLife Stadium.