The Lions were the focus of Monday Night Football in Week 2 as they defeated the Giants 24-10 on their home field to improve to 2-0 on the young season.
Matt Stafford picked up right where he left off, throwing two touchdown passes in the first half and looking poised despite a constant rush coming his way. The Giants dialed up blitz after blitz, but he was unfazed.
While he didn’t need a fourth-quarter comeback this time, nor did he put up big numbers, he didn’t make any crucial mistakes. He went 15-for-22 passing with 122 yards and two touchdowns. The run game was much more effective than last week, accounting for 238 yards, led by Ameer Abdullah's 86.
The Lions’ defense got after Eli Manning and the Giants (0-2) early and often. They recorded five sacks, three came from Ezekiel Ansah.
An 88-yard Jamal Agnew punt return touchdown in the fourth quarter essentially sealed the win.
The Lions will host one of the NFL’s best teams, and the Super Bowl runner ups, in the Falcons on Sunday afternoon for a big Week 3 matchup.
Run game propels Lions to victory
The Lions took over at their own 29. Ameer Abdullah rushed for three yards on first down and then broke off a 34-yard rush. Theo Riddick had a 2-yard run on first and then lost three on second down. On third-and-11, Riddick took a run to the right side ad rolled over a defender for the first down and the Giants wasted all three of their timeouts. Riddick rushed for no game to run the clock down to the two-minute warning. A few more runs that went nowhere turned the ball back over the the Giants with 26 seconds left.
The Giants took over at their own 24-yard line and Shane Vereen rushed for seven yards and the clock melted down for a Lions win.
Giants turn ball over on downs
New York started its drive deep in its own territory after a Lions punt. Eli Manning hit Sterling Shepard for 11 yards to the 25-yard line. Two plays later, he connected with Odell Beckham Jr. for 10 yards to the 40-yard line. Manning then hit Shane Vereen on a short dump-down pass for 20 yards to the Lions' 29. A shot to the end zone, and Brandon Marshall, fell incomplete as Darius Slay made a great play. Another incompletion forced third-and-10. Manning nearly hit Evan Engram down the left sideline for a touchdown, but Slay made the hit to jar the ball loose. On fourth-and-10, Beckham Jr. dropped a pass that would have been short of a first down anyway.
Lions go three-and-out
After forcing a turnover on downs, the Lions would get the ball back in Giants territory. Ameer Abdullah rushed for four yards on two carries and then Matt Stafford was flushed from the pocket and scrambled for no gain. The Lions would punt.
Giants come up short on fourth
A touchback gave the Giants the ball at their own 25-yard line again. On third-and-six, Eli Manning tossed a wobbling pass into the air and it was miraculously caught by Sterling Shepard for a first down. Two runs by Paul Perkins that went nowhere set up a third-and-10 pass from Manning to his running back that went for seven yards. A short pass to Shane Vereen on fourth-and-three was spotted as a first down but was clearly short. Jim Caldwell challenged the spot and the Giants were a half-yard short.
Jamal Agnew has huge punt return
A punt set the Giants up at the 19-yard line. Orleans Darkwa rushed for two yards and Eli Manning looked to find Brandon Marshall down the sideline for a big gain, but he dropped the ball. Evan Engram caught a Manning pass for seven yards and the Giants would punt right back. Jamal Agnew took a Brandon Wing punt 88 yards to the end zone for a huge score. The Lions would lead 24-10.
Lions offense remains quiet
Detroit started its drive at the 25-yard line. Matt Stafford picked up five yards on a tuck and run and then Ameer Abdullah picked up two yards on a rush to the left. On third-and-two, Stafford found Golden Tate for a first down near the right sideline. Two straight holding penalties pushed the Lions back to first-and-30 from their own 30. Two short gains set up a third-and-23, but Stafford quickly snapped to get a free play with 12 Giants defenders on the field. The pass fell incomplete down the field, intended for Kenny Golladay, but the quarter ended and the Lions would get another shot with third-and-18.
On the first play of the fourth, the Giants jumped offsides, giving Stafford another free play, but it was incomplete down the field, intended for Tate. The third-down try fell incomplete as Stafford was rushed on a blitz.
Giants march down for field goal
The Giants started at their own 25-yard line after the punt. Sterling Shepard took a reverse on first down back to the 20-yard line for negative yards. Eli Manning found Roger Lewis for a 5-yard gain and then Odell Beckham Jr. for 16 yards and a Giants first down. Manning connected with Jerell Adams for 18 yards to the Lions' 38 and then Brandon Marshall for 17 yards to the 1-yard line.
New York was then called for a hold, pushing it back to the 11-yard line. An incompletion in the end zone, intended for Sterling Shepard, set up second-and-goal. Shane Vereen took a shotgun handoff for two yards. On third-and-goal from the 9-yard line, Manning hit Evan Engram for seven yards. The Giants would go for it on fourth-and-goal from the 2-yard line, but a delay of game pushed them back five yards and they would instead attempt a chip-shot field goal. Aldrick Rosas' kick was good and the Lions' lead was trimmed to seven, 17-10.
Lions also go three-and-out on their first drive
Brad Wing punted to Jamal Agnew who fair-caught the ball at his own 26. Ameer Abdullah's first two runs to start the drive went in the wrong direction, losing four yards. Matt Stafford then found Theo Riddick for a six-yard gain which forced a Lions punt.
Giants go three-and-out on first drive
After another touchback, the Giants' drive started at the 25. Orleans Darkwa picked up four yards on a short first-down rush. Ezekiel Ansah then recorded another sack on Eli Manning and Jarrad David made a strong open-field tackle on third down to force a Giants punt.
Lions take 17-7 led at the half
Shane Vereen picked up eight yards on first down and went into the locker room without attempting a last-minute score.
Matt Prater hits 56-yard field goal
After a punt, the Lions started the drive at their own 25. Dwayne Washington picked up five on a short run to the left on first and Ameer Abdullah came in to pick up 24 yards and get into Giants territory at the 46-yard line before the two-minute warning. An 18-yard completion from Matt Stafford to Abdullah got the Lions to the 28, but it was called back on a hold. Stafford then completed an 8-yard pass to Kenny Golladay. On third-and-12, Stafford hit Golden Tate for 10 yards. Matt Prater then lined up for a 56-yard field goal and nailed it off the bottom crossbar and in. Lions led 17-7 with 30 seconds left in the half.
Ezekiel Ansah picks up another sack
Paul Perkins picked up just four yards on the Giants' first down, Brandon Marshall couldn't haul in an Eli Manning pass inbounds and Ezekiel Ansah recorded a sack to force a three-and-out.
Lions offense goes nowhere
After a nice punt followed up by a false start, the Lions would begin the drive at their own 23-yard line. A pass just out of the reach of Kenny Golladay came with a penalty which looked to be a late hit on Matt Stafford by the Giants' defense, but it was a holding on Greg Robinson. The penalty was declined to set up a third-and-16 throw to Marvin Jones Jr. who couldn't reel it in while being double-covered. The Lions would punt.
Davis, Ansah pick up sacks
The Giants started at their own 25 after a touchback again. Orleans Darkwa rushed for 11 yards on the first play. Eli Manning was then sacked by Jarrad Davis and Ezekiel Ansah to set up a third-and-28. A'Shawn Robinson was called for encroachment, making it third-and-23. Odell Beckham Jr. caught a quick slant pass and gained seven yards. New York would punt.
Lions pick off Manning, respond with score
After the Giants got the ball back, Eli Manning threw behind tight end Evan Engram and the ball was tipped into the hands of Tahir Whitehead. The Lions would get the ball back and Ameer Abdullah picked up seven yards on a rush to start the drive and Eric Ebron caught an 11-yard pass to the Giants' 11. Two short runs by Dwayne Washington set up a third-and-goal from the 6-yard line. Matt Stafford escaped trouble and found Ebron for a touchdown, giving the Lions a 14-7 lead.
Stafford loses fumble
After a kickoff out of bounds, the Lions got the ball at the Giants' 45-yard line. Matt Stafford avoided a corner blitz and tossed his first pass attempt out of bounds and then found Golden Tate on a bubble screen who turned a negative play into five yards. Stafford and Tate connected again as Tate got just inches past the first down marker after fighting for extra yards.
A short run by Theo Riddick and catch for no gain by Eric Ebron set up a third-and-eight. The Lions would take their first timeout. Stafford was sacked by Jason Pierre-Paul and he fumbled, recovered by the Giants.
Giants answer right back
The Lions kicked the ball out of the end zone to force a touchback. Sterling Shepard took a handoff 12 yards for the team's initial first down of the game. Odell Beckham Jr. then caught his first pass of the season over the middle for four yards. Roger Lewis then caught a slant for another first down.
Rhett Ellison got the ball into Lions' territory as Eli Manning hit him for 12 yards and another first. Manning found Evan Engram for a 17-yard completion, reaching the red zone. The first quarter concluded with the Giants driving.
Engram then made the 18-yard reception for a touchdown after leaking out through the middle of the defense uncovered. The game was tied 7-7.
Stafford hits Jones Jr. for first touchdown
Matt Stafford attempted a deep ball on the first play of the drive at his own 46, but it was just out of Marvin Jones Jr.'s reach. Ameer Abdullah then picked up eight yards on a run to the right. Stafford found Eric Ebron for first down. Abdullah then looked to have picked up a first down on two runs, but Greg Robinson was called for a hold.
After a short screen pass to Theo Riddick, Stafford tucked and ran 13 yards for a crucial first down. After two plays went in the wrong direction, Stafford found Jones Jr. for a 27-yard back-shoulder fade touchdown. The Lions led 7-0.
Manning nearly coughs up ball for six points
The Giants began their first drive at their own 16. Paul Perkins was stuffed on the first play and then Haloti Ngata recorded a sack and Eli Manning fumbled the ball which was picked up in the end zone by Darius Slay. The play would be reviewed and reversed as the officials ruled that his knee was down fractions of a second before the ball came loose. On third-and-13, Shane Vereen was given a draw and gained just four yards. New York would punt.
Lions can't find run game early
The Lions received to begin the game, but would start at their own 19-yad line. After a tough 4-yard run by Ameer Abdullah, Matt Stafford found Eric Ebron for 17 yards. Abdullah's next two runs went nowhere, though. Stafford was flushed from the pocket and then found tight end Darren Fells for two yards, forcing a punt.
The Detroit Lions take the national stage on Monday Night Football with an 8:30 p.m. matchup against the New York Giants. You can follow the action here with live updates throughout the game by Connor Muldowney of The Detroit News.
LIONS VS. GIANTS
When: Monday, 8:30 p.m.
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
TV / radio: ESPN, Channel 7 / WJR 760
Records: Lions 1-0, Giants 0-1
Line: Giants by 3