Well that wasn’t good. The Giants beat the Lions 17-6 in New York and ended a five game winning streak for Detroit. Let’s take a look how the Lions got screwed, I mean lost the game.
The Giants offense had a good game plan to start the game. The Giants drove 75 yards in 10 plays and Eli tossed a 6 yard TD to rookie Sterling Shephard. New pickup Asa Jackson (nickel back) was beat badly on the play. Victor Cruz also noted a 29 yard pass play on the drive. The Giants ran the ball well on the drive with Rashad Jennings and rookie Paul Perkins The Lions put themselves in a hole to start the game and trailed 7-0.
Detroit answered with a 12 yard run by Dwayne Washington. However, the Lions then went 3 plays and were forced to punt. A 3rd and 12 failed on a deep ball. Sam Martin hit a low punt that still went 63 yards and gave the Giants poor field position.
The Lions defense stepped up after a terrible first drive. Tahir Whitehead tackled Shane Vereen one yard short of the sticks on 3rd down to force the punt.
The Lions offense woke up and marched 40 yards in 10 plays. The Giants defense didn’t give them much but a huge 21 yard play to Ebron converted a big first down. A deep pass to Tate gave the Lions a first down on 3rd and 9 when Eli Apple held Tate. Ebron converted another first down on 3rd and 4 with a 5 yard completion. The drive stalled at the Giants 29 yard line but Matt Prater hit the 48 yard field goal to cut the lead to 7-3 for New York.
The Lions defense forced another 3 and out. The Giants ran 3 times and the Lions stuffed the 3rd and 2 for a three yard loss. Tahir Whitehead made a great play as the Lions defense got good penetration on the play.
The Lions looked like they were going to take the lead and had momentum. Stafford hit Tate deep for 67 yards. Tate was caught at the 11 yard line. Zenner had a nice run from the 11 but fumbled inside the five and the Giants recovered. A great opportunity was lost and completely changed the game.
The Giants answered with an 11 play 51 yard drive for a field goal. Darius Slay was hurt on this drive after bottling up Beckham for most of the first half. This injury completely changed this game.
The Giants drove down the field and got a big play into the red zone. The Giants fumbled in the end zone but the Lions could not recovery from the fumble despite plenty of Lions around the ball. The Giants touchdown was nullified by illegal hands to the face penalty to the face by the Giants. Robbie Gould hit the long field goal and the Lions could have avoided 3 points if they had recovered that fumble. Fumble recovery luck was on the Giants side in this game. New York led 10-3.
The Lions and Giants both exchanged three and outs and it was a defensive day. Detroit partially blocked Brad Wing’s punt and had good field position. Detroit managed to get to the Giants 40 yard line on the next drive after one first down. However, Caldwell was conservative and punted the ball on 4th and 6 since the Giants had time left. The Giants ran five plays but couldn’t get into field goal range as the half ended with the Giants still leading 10-3.
The Lions received the ball to star the half and Andre Roberts showed awareness and laid out of bounds on the kick by the Giants. Detroit started with the ball at their own 40 yard line. Detroit drove 45 yard in 12 plays but the drive stalled in the red zone. Tate was tackled for a five yard loss on 1st down and Stafford was sacked on third down. This was the lone sack of the day by the Giants but Stafford was under pressure on 11 of 42 drop backs. Prater nailed the field goal and cut the lead to 10-6.
New York reacted and drove 42 yards in 11 plays but the drive was stopped at the Lions 37 yard line. Wing punted and pinned the Lions at their own 4 yard line. The Giants got three first downs before punting.
Detroit went 3 and out with poor field position. Ebron caught the ball on 3rd and 2 but Landon Collins tackled him one yard short of the first down marker. The drive never got started.
Detroit forced another 3 and out from New York. Ziggy Ansah finally got his first sack of the season which helped make it a tough drive for the Giants. Brad Wing had another great punt and pinned the Lions at the 3 yard line this time.
Detroit got two first downs and was able to get out to the 40 yard line. However, on 3rd and 8, Detroit ran a dumb WR screen which was snuffed out for a one yard loss. Detroit had to punt after nine plays. Sam Martin only had a 37 yard punt and Beckham returned it 5 yards. The Giants started at the 29 yard line.
New York’s offense came alive again and ran for a first down. Detroit forced a 3rd and 10 but Odell Beckham caught a 25 yard pass. Without Slay in the game, Beckham finally made a play and it was a big one. Sterling Shephard then caught a 23 yard pass. The Giants ran twice inside the 10. On 3rd and 1, Beckham made a freakish one handed catch (no Slay of course) for the backbreaking touchdown. New York led 17-6 now.
The Lions and Giants traded three and outs again. The Lions just could not solve the Giants defense. Finally, Detroit had one last chance and drove to New York’s red zone with two first downs to Tate and one to Marvin Jones. However, on 3rd and 10 from the Giants 17, Stafford forced a ball into the end zone and Dominique Rodgers Cromartie picked it off. The Giants won the game on a Slay injury allowing Beckham to make two plays and two lucky fumble recoveries by New York. Opportunity was lost for Detroit.
Detroit can clinch the division in Week 16.Detroit must beat Dallas in Dallas and Green Bay must lose at home to the Vikings. If both teams win in Week 16 or Detroit loses, Week 17 will be a showdown for the NFC North title in Detroit with Green Bay. I’d like to avoid that for my sanity’s sake but have full confidence in Detroit beating Green Bay by 30 points on New Year’s Day.