The game was a grind. Graham Gano made sure the Giants took a lead — and maintained a lead — until their offense finally made it into the end zone.
Gano went 3-for-3 on field goals, hitting from 49, 53 and 44 yards, and the Giants used the production from their kicker to end their losing ways in Sunday’s 25-3 victory over the Panthers.
Gano’s 53-yarder with 12:41 remaining put the Giants ahead, 15-3, and was a kick that made some team history. It was Gano’s 10th field goal of 50 or more yards for the Giants, passing Joe Danelo for the most in franchise history.
“People say it coming in, so I hear it, but I went up to the guys and congratulated them because obviously it takes a lot more than me out there on the field kicking those balls,’’ Gano said. “I congratulated those guys and just moved onto the next field goal.’’
Gano, 34, spent seven years with the Panthers and admitted he wanted to come up big against his former team.
“I’ve had this game circled since the schedule came out,’’ Gano said. “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.’’
Gano missed the 2019 season and blames the Panthers for misdiagnosing a leg injury.
The Giants in the first quarter had a first down on the Carolina 2-yard line and did not score. A pass to TE Kyle Rudolph picked up 1 yard, Devontae Booker was stopped for no gain, a Daniel Jones pass to TE Evan Engram had no chance for success, and Booker was stopped on fourth down.
“Disappointing not to score, but that’s part of the game,’’ Jones said.
It was Marvel Day at MetLife Stadium, with fans receiving a Giants-themed comic book featuring six players — including safety Logan Ryan — on the cover.
“My kids were obviously excited I’m a superhero,’’ Ryan said. “Left with a comic book and a win, you can’t get better than that.’’
LB Bernardrick McKinney, 28, made his Giants debut with two tackles. He is a former Pro Bowler with the Texans.
“Man, he set a tone with some of those hits,’’ Ryan said.
For the first time since the 2011 season, the Giants have at least one takeaway on defense in each of their first seven games. The one forced turnover in Week 7 was an interception by James Bradberry, who became the first Giants player with at least one pass defensed in his first seven games.
WR Sterling Shepard (hamstring) after a brief workout prior to the game was named one of the inactive players. … WR David Sills made his NFL debut. He was targeted one time but did not have a reception.
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