New York Giants Odell Beckham Jr
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

The New York Giants suffered their most brutal defeat over the past seasons, as Graham Gano kicked a 63-yard field goal as time expired.

Geoff Magliocchetti

The New York Giants have suffered some brutal defeats over the past two seasons. This one, however, may be the most painful to bear yet.

The Giants finally broke through to score 30 points in a game, anchored by offensive outbursts from Odell Beckham Jr. and Saquon Barkley, but Graham Gano’s 63-yard field goal as time expired gave the Carolina Panthers a narrow 33-31 victory in Sunday afternoon in Charlotte.

An eventful first half opened with the Giants taking an early lead, a respectable Beckham punt return setting up a short field to create a 42-yard Aldrick Rosas field goal to put them up 3-0. The Panthers, however, responded with a 75-yard drive that took just five plays. The capper was a 25-yard hookup between Cam Newton and Curtis Samuel, in which Samuel broke several tackles to give Carolina the lead.

The next points provided pure comedy elsewhere, but only pure embarrassment for the Giants. Already struggling on the punt return, entering the league with an average of five yards per return, the Carolina boot bounced off of Beckham’s foot, leading to a live ball. Janoris Jenkins tried to salvage something, but he too was unable to handle the ball, and it eventually came to rest in the end zone, where Colin Jones jumped on it for the Panthers.

The Giants were able to work their way back into the game, gaining some momentum by holding Carolina to a field goal. Then, on a four-play drive, Barkley got things started with a 20-yard run before the Giants’ most potent offensive weapons teamed up for one of the most exciting plays in recent Giants memory. Taking a lateral from Manning, Beckham channeled his inner quarterback, finding a wide-open Barkley, who took it the rest of the way for a 57-yard score.

The teams would each another field goal each to create a 20-13 halftime score.

The Giants defense came up big in their first two appearances in the third quarter. After forcing the Panthers into a three-and-out, one that afforded the Giants another Rosas field goal, they survived a nine-play, 49-yard Carolina trek, buoyed by some major penalties. However, with the Panthers sniffing six points, the defense rose up in the form of a Curtis Riley interception.

However, the Giants returned the favor almost immediately, as a strong drive, one that had yielded 53 yards in three plays, was shut down with an interception, Mike Adams being the lucky recipient to get the Panthers the ball back.

The Giants appeared to have Carolina stifled on the next possession, forcing Cam Newton into an incomplete pass. However, the stand was negated by a questionable penalty call, with Landon Collins called for a personal foul penalty on a helmet-to-helmet hit.

The Panthers would take full advantage, as five plays later, Newton hooked up with Christian McCaffrey on an 18-yard score to give the Panthers what could’ve been a fatal possession lead.

Another chance to seal the deal was in store for the Panthers, as Adams picked up his second interception of the day on the next New York drive. However, the Giants struck back with a Janoris Jenkins turnover of their own, then immediately struck back with a long-awaited Odell Beckham receiving touchdown, his first since his return from injury.

The Giants defense would bend, but not break, allowing only another Gano field goal. With a 30-24 deficit to work with, classic Manning antics led to the Giants taking the lead. A quick, yet epic, 75-yard drive finishing in a touchdown actually saw a touchdown taken away when Russell Shepard was ruled down after a long reception. The Giants quickly recovered, however, as Barkley scored from 15 yards on the very next play, helping the Giants finally break the 30-point threshold for the first time since the final week of the 2016 season.

Victory, however, was not to be, and this loss was perhaps the most brutal defeat in this unruly stretch of New York football.

Driving to midfield, the Panthers barely picked up a first down, as McCaffrey snuck through for a first down. With no measurement and time running out, the Panthers sent Gano up for another field goal, and it sailed through the uprights to create the 33-31 final.

The heartbroken Giants will have a chance to avenge their brutal loss almost immediately, taking on the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night (8:15 p.m., Fox/NFL Network/Amazon Prime).