The Detroit Lions went on the road and punched the Giants in the mouth on Monday Night Football. Detroit won 24-10 on a great team effort to improve to 2-0 on the season and remain in sole possession of first place in the NFC North through two weeks.
The Lions started with the ball and got one first down to Eric Ebron. The drive stalled with two bad runs and a tackle well short of the stick on 3rd down. Detroit’s defense answered by forcing a 3 and out which included a sack by Haloti Ngata. The old man still has plenty left in the tank.
Detroit got nice field position after a 37 yard punt by Brad Wing. The Lions started at their own 46 and marched down the field. Ebron caught another big first down on 3rd down and Stafford scrambled for a first down on 3rd down. Greg Robinson almost killed the drive with a hold but Stafford’s scramble was huge. Stafford was sacked on 2nd down but didn’t lose any yardage. However, on 3rd and 12 Stafford threw a beautiful jump ball to Marvin Jones who beat Eli Apple for the 27 yard TD.
The Giants offense responded with their first touchdown of the year. Eli tossed two first downs and Sterling Shephard kicked off the drive with a 12 yard end around. Manning hit rookie Evan Engram for a big 17 yard gainer on 3rd down. Finally, Manning hit Evan Engram again down the seam on a play action where every Lion bit. Engram was wide open for the 18 yard TD. The Giants tied it back up at 7.
Engram had a penalty on his celebration and the Giants kicked the ball out of bounds. Detroit started at the Giants 45 due to the penalties. However, Rick Wagner was beat badly and Stafford was hit hard and fumbled. The Lions defense had work to do and they responded. Eli Manning threw inside and Tahir Whitehead nabbed the interception to get the ball back with another Lions short field.
This time Detroit made New York pay. Detroit drove 29 yards and Stafford hit Eric Ebron for the 7 yard TD. Ebron matched his passing TD total for 2016 already on Monday Night. Lions were up 14-7.
Detroit’s defense continued their dominance with two sacks on the next drive. The Lions offense was stopped by the Giants but the Giants went 3 and out again with a sack on 3rd down. Finally, Detroit got the ball late in the second half. Abdullah got the run game going with a 24 yard run. A big screen play was busted due to a bogus TJ Lang holding call. Lang needs to learn the refs aren’t on his side anymore like they were in Green Bay. The Lions managed to get 18 more yards in combo to Golladay and Tate but were short of the sticks. Caldwell sent out his prized kicker and Matt Prater doinked a 56 yarder off the crossbar and in for the 17-7 half time lead.
The teams traded 3 and outs to start the second half. Ansah notched his 3rd sack but the Giants recovered the Manning fumble luckily. The Giants got back in the game with a long field goal drive. New York got to the 1 yard line but a costly holding penalty moved them back to the 11. Detroit held strong in the red zone and New York cut the lead to 17-10 only.
Detroit moved the ball but ended up punting again with the Giants tightening up on defense and getting some pressure and run stops. Detroit’s defense didn’t flinch and forced yet another Giants punt. This punt was different as rookie Jamaal Agnew showed why he is a good punt returner. Agnew caught a tough ball, spun out of a tackle, broke another tackle and made the punter miss badly with an 88 yard punt return. The Lions got a new weapon and his name is Agnew. Detroit led 24-10 which was insurmountable for the Giants offense.
The Giants turned the ball over on downs on the next possession at mid-field after a great open field hit by nickel back Quandre Diggs. Jarrad Davis was hurt on the previous play after a block in the back by Beckham caused a possible concussion. Diggs made the stop but the referees tried to give the Giants a first down but Caldwell smartly challenged the play and won. Lions ball to seal the game. Detroit went 3 and out though as they couldn’t muster a running game but killed 2 minutes from the clock and Stafford was sacked for the third time.
The Giants moved the ball 62 yards in desperation but turned the ball over on downs with a Beckham drop on 4th down. Finally, Detroit killed 4 minutes off the clock with the next drive with another nice Abdullah run and sealed the game.
The Lions earned an impressive road win 24-10 in New York and got revenge for last year. A healthy Stafford finger and his 117 rating with 2 TDs did matter. A healthy Abdullah with 5.1 YPC did matter as well when facing New York. Detroit earned a great team win and earned first place in the North. Next they will square off against the NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons (2-0) at Ford Field. Get your popcorn ready!!!