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NFL Team Report - New York Giants - INSIDE SLANT
Quarterback Cam Newton threw touchdown passes to Brandon LaFell on consecutive possessions as the Carolina Panthers embarrassed the visiting New York Giants 38-0 Sunday afternoon.
The margin was the largest ever for Carolina.
Newton finished with three touchdown passes and another touchdown on the ground as the Panthers (1-2) avoided their third 0-3 start in a five-year span.
The Giants (0-3), with at least eight victories in every season since a 6-10 mark in 2004, are winless through three games for the first time since 1996 -- before Tom Coughlin became coach. The New York sideline was described as lifeless.
"There was nothing to really get excited about," safety Antrel Rolle said. "There wasn't many exciting plays being made out there. We've got to dig deep. Offensively, defensively, we're not making enough plays."
The Giants had 18 yards of first-half offense and 66 yards through three quarters. They ended up with 150.
Manning was held to 119 passing yards, completing 12 of 23 throws with one interception. He didn't play on New York's last possession with less than two minutes to play.
"Just got beat in a lot of ways, could never get anything going," Manning said. "Words aren't going to fix anything. It's about us having great practices and coming out there and playing better on game day."
Carolina's defensive backfield had new combinations after recent injuries, but that unit stood up tall.
"The line got after it," cornerback Captain Munnerlyn said, then making a light-hearted call-out for the secondary. "Some of those were coverage sacks, too."
Newton completed 15 of 27 passes for 223 yards.
Aaron Ross' interception of Newton, with a 9-yard return, set up the Giants at the Carolina 17 early in the second quarter. A holding penalty on offensive tackle Will Beatty wiped out a touchdown run and then Manning was sacked before the Giants got back into field goal range. It didn't matter because Josh Brown was wide left on a 38-yard attempt.
The Panthers then went 10 plays, extending their lead to 10-0 on Graham Gano's 53-yard field goal.
"It's still early in the season," said defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins. "We've dug a hole for ourselves, but we still have a lot left, a lot of season left, a lot of opportunities left. We just have to try to get out of this thing one week at a time."
It needs to be soon before they run out of weeks.
NFL Team Report - New York Giants - NOTES, QUOTES
--FB Henry Hynoski went out with a shoulder injury on the game's opening possession and didn't return. The injury came as Hynoski had his first catch of the season on a 5-yard gain.
--The Giants go to Kansas City next week for their third road game in the first four weeks of the season.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "What they lack is the passion. Whenever I see a guy make a play, he's happy and everybody else walks back to the huddle - get over there and talk to the guy! Congratulate him. Fake it until you make it!" -- former Giants defensive lineman Michael Strahan on FOX's pre-game show.
NFL Team Report - New York Giants - STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
This team might be in more trouble than it appeared with the offense out of sorts and the offensive line unable to protect quarterback Eli Manning. He was sacked seven times by the Panthers.
"We have to find a way to slow down the pass rush, whether that is running the ball with screens or getting the ball out quicker," Manning said. "They won the physical battle."
--The first two losses for the Giants might have looked reasonable (at Dallas and at home against Denver), but losing to a previously winless Carolina team by 38 points is cause for pause, if not panic.
The Giants' inability to take advantage of a battered Carolina secondary might have raised the most alarms. With minus-45 yards in sacks, it left the net total in the passing attack at 90 yards.