Mission accomplished. They found a way to do it - despite sloppiness against an average Giants team and a subpar effort from quarterback Cam Newton - by beating the New York Giants on Sunday 33-31 thanks to Graham Gano's 63-yard field goal with one second remaining.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Carolina needed to get through the first four games with no worse than a 3-1 record to be a legitimate playoff contender and keep pace with the New Orleans Saints in the NFC South with consecutive road games against Washington and Philadelphia coming up.
It wasn't the only wild play of the afternoon in Charlotte. In fact, no Panthers player had ever kneeled, although defensive end Julius Peppers stayed in the locker room the week after comments by President Donald Trump past year.
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Gano's previous career long was 59 yards.
Without further ado, we take a look at three studs from Sunday's win over the Giants. It was the longest field goal in franchise history. The second effort he gave on a 25-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter showed he is more than a speedster. Beckham had eight catches for 131 yards and a touchdown and also threw a 57-yarder to Barkley for New York's first touchdown.
Panthers: Wide receiver Devin Funchess was evaluated for a concussion in the fourth quarter following a helmet-to-helmet hit by Giants defensive back Michael Thomas, but returned to the game.
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Another Newton interception would allow the Giants to pick up a quick score as Eli Manning threw a picture-perfect deep ball to Beckham for the wideout's first touchdown in 364 days to pull the Giants back to 27-24 before the Panthers would put together a 12 play drive that ate up nearly six minutes of clock and featured a fourth-and-one conversion in which Newton rolled out and hit Jarius Wright for 27 yards - a Graham Gano field goal would extend the Panthers lead to 30-24.
Josh Klein is Managing Editor of The Riot Report.
Microsoft's Windows 10 October 2018 update is out now
Once the update finishes installing, you can go back to this Settings page and leave the Insider Preview if you so desire. NVIDIA's new GeForce RTX line of graphics cards will be the first to make use of the new API for its RTX-enabled games.