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Instant Analysis: D stifles Panthers in 25-3 victory

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AT A GLANCE: After allowing 82 points in their previous two games, the Giants stifled the Panthers in a 25-3 victory. With the win, Big Blue improved to 2-5 while Carolina dropped its fourth consecutive game after a 3-0 start.

UP NEXT: The Giants travel to Kansas City for a Monday night matchup against the two-time defending AFC champion Chiefs, who are 3-3 after a 27-3 loss to the Titans in Week 7. Big Blue is 11-3 all-time against Kansas City, including a 12-9 victory in their most recent meeting in 2017 at MetLife Stadium. The Giants lost their last game at Arrowhead Stadium, 31-7, in 2013.

View photos from the New York Giants' 25-3 victory over the Carolina Panthers at MetLife Stadium.

WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT THE OFFENSE

*The Giants ruled out three players on Friday's final injury report. Running back Saquon Barkley (ankle) and wide receiver Kenny Golladay (knee) missed their second consecutive game, while rookie wideout Kadarius Toney didn't suit up against the Panthers after injuring his ankle on the first drive of last week's game against the Rams. Wide receiver Sterling Shepard, who was listed as questionable for Sunday, also did not play due to a hamstring injury.

*With Andrew Thomas on injured reserve, Matt Peart started in place for him at left tackle while Nate Solder manned right tackle.

*On National Tight Ends Day, Kyle Rudolph seemingly scored his first touchdown as a member of the Giants on his team's second possession. Upon further review, replay showed he stepped out of bounds just short of the goal line, where the Panthers made four consecutive stops to keep the Giants off the scoreboard. Running back Devontae Booker was stopped behind the line of scrimmage on fourth down as the Giants handed the ball back to Carolina.

*With the Giants short on receivers, Jones recorded his first career reception on a trick play. First, he handed the ball off to Booker, who then flipped it to Dante Pettis, who dropped back to pass to Jones down the right side for a 16-yard gain. Jones added to the difficulty level by catching it with one hand before returning the favor on a 5-yard touchdown pass to Pettis, giving the Giants a 12-3 lead with 59 seconds left in the third quarter.

*Jones also played quarterback. He completed 23 of 33 passes for 203 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions. He also ran for 28 yards on eight attempts.

WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT THE DEFENSE

*Matt Rhule made his intentions clear heading into Week 7 as his team looked to stop a three-game skid after starting 3-0. The Panthers' head coach vowed to "redefine" who they are by running the ball more. "You'll see a vastly different look from us moving forward," he said. "We're not going to line up and drop back and throw it 40 times a game and think that's going to win the game for us." It wasn't a misdirection on his part. Rhule was a man of his word and kept his offense on the field for a fourth-and-one at their own 36-yard line on the first drive of the game. Chuba Hubbard, who is filling the void left by 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. The Giants ranked 29th in rushing defense heading into Week 7, but they dug in after that play. After allowing 170, 201, and 131 yards on the ground in their past three games, the Giants held the Panthers to 56 yards on 17 carries (3.3 yards per attempt).

*Following Carolina's goal-line stand in the second quarter, the Giants clamped down on the Panthers, who had their backs against the goal line. Leonard Williams got pressure on Sam Darnold, the former Jet who was making his 20th start at MetLife Stadium, and forced him to get rid of the ball. Darnold was called for intentional grounding in the end zone, which resulted in a safety and two points for the Giants.

*Williams is rounding into form. He recorded 1.5 sacks on Sunday and now has 4.5 sacks over the last three games. He had 1.0 in the first four weeks.

*Entering Sunday, the Giants had least one takeaway in each of their first six games for the first time since 2011 (first 10). Cornerback James Bradberry, a former Panther, extended the streak for at least one more week with an interception off Darnold near the goal line late in the first half. Bradberry, not even at the halfway point, matched his career-high for a season. He had three in both 2019 (with Carolina) and 2020 (with Giants), the year he made his first Pro Bowl. Bradberry also became the first Giants player with a pass defensed in each of his first seven games of a season.

*Safety Jabrill Peppers had five tackles and a sack but left in the third quarter with an ankle injury.

*Rhule substituted Darnold for backup P.J. Walker in the fourth quarter.

*Rookie Azeez Ojulari (2.5) and Dexter Lawrence (1.0) also added sacks to give the Giants a season-high six for the game.

WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT SPECIAL TEAMS

*The previous two meetings between the Giants and Panthers were decided by a last-second Graham Gano field goal – but he was wearing a Carolina jersey both times. Gano made a 43-yarder as time expired for a 38-35 Panthers victory in 2015. He then made a 63-yarder with one second remaining in a 33-31 victory over the Giants in 2018. On Sunday, he made all three of his field goal attempts, including a 53-yarder to surpass Joe Danelo for most 50-yard field goals in Giants history (10).

IN-GAME INJURY REPORT

NYG: LB Lorenzo Carter (ankle), S Jabrill Peppers (ankle)

CAR: CB CJ Henderson (shoulder), G John Miller (ankle)

INACTIVES

NYG: RB Saquon Barkley (ankle), WR Kenny Golladay (knee), WR Kadarius Toney (ankle), WR Sterling Shepard (hamstring), CB Josh Jackson, CB Sam Beal, DT Danny Shelton (pec)

CAR: WR Terrace Marshall Jr. (concussion), LB Shaq Thompson (foot), FB Giovanni Ricci (concussion), OT Cameron Erving (neck/illness), DT Phil Hoskins, CB Rashaan Melvin, DE Darryl Johnson

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