Graham Gano is currently known as the reliable placekicker of the New York Giants but there was a time in his career where he was considered the same for the Carolina Panthers.
In 2018, the Giants got their first taste of Gano’s talents.
In Week 5, the 1-3 Giants went down to Charlotte to face the 2-1 Panthers in an early-season matchup of NFC teams that come into the season with raised hopes.
The game began slowly but turned out to be a barn burner of an affair as the afternoon unfolded. The Giants had a wild first half — first by muffing a punt that the Panthers fell on in the end zone and then when wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. threw a 57-yard touchdown pass to rookie running back Saquon Barkley.
The Giants trailed, 20-13, at halftime and 20-16 after three periods. In the fourth quarter, Carolina took a 27-16 lead on Christian McCaffrey’s 18-yard touchdown reception. The Giants answered with a 33-yard touchdown strike from Eli Manning to Beckham at the eight-minute mark to narrow the score to 27-24 after a successful two-point conversion.
With 2:16 left, Gano’s 39-yard field goal widened the Carolina lead to 30-24 but the Giants needed just three plays to retake the lead, 31-30, when Manning hit Barkley for a 15-yard touchdown with 1:08 remaining.
That appeared to be too much time for Cam Newton and the Panthers. Carolina took possession on their own 25 and moved the ball 30 yards in the next minute to the Giants’ 45.
That’s when they sent out Gano to attempt a 63-yard field goal with six seconds remaining.
As we all know, Gano aced the kick and gave the Panthers a 33-31 lead with just a few ticks left on the clock.
Graham Gano’s 63-yard FG is tied for the longest game-winning field goal in NFL history.
In Week 8, 1970, Tom Dempsey had a 63-yard FG to give the Saints a 19-17 win vs the Lions.
Gano’s 63-yard FG is tied for 2nd-longest in NFL history. Matt Prater had a 64-yard FG in 2013.
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) October 7, 2018
The Giants’ theatrics on the ensuing kickoff return created some excitement with all the lateraling but they lost the football out of bounds near midfield and the the game was over.