The Giants took a 7-0 lead when Michael Boley intercepted a Jimmy Clausen pass and went 55 yards for a score on the first series of the game.
Carolina scored on an 18-yard touchdown pass from Clausen to Greg Olsen, and Olindo Mare kicked field goals of 26 and 39 yards. Lawrence Tynes missed from 55 and 37 yards for the Giants, but made a 38-yarder.
The Giants struggled offensively in the first half. Eli Manning completed just 4-of-9 passes for 36 yards.
Cam Newton, selected first overall in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Panthers, completed five-of-13 passes for 106 yards in his Carolina debut.
The Giants, as they did a season ago, struggled on punt and kickoff coverage in the first half.
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