Detroit Challenged By Giants And Zebras In New Jersey

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Biggest Game Of The Year For Detroit As They Take On The New York Giants

Detroit had a chance to wrap up the division today with a win over New York and a Green Bay loss. Many questions this week were focused on Matt Stafford‘s middle finger and if he would wear a glove, which glove he would wear etc. The other was if Travis Swanson and Theo Riddick would play and they wouldn’t. Detroit didn’t show up to play today but the Giants did, along with those zebras.

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Glove with just one finger slot? That doesn’t slow Matt Stafford down. Stafford looked good with the finger and ended up going 24/39 for 273 yards and a late interception. He also had two carries for 13 yards. Stafford was able to throw the ball deep and connect on some plays down the field. He kept plays alive with his legs and looked pretty good with the injury, but the interception was a bad throw by Stafford and ended up putting the game away.

Running the ball, Detroit still can’t produce much. Dwayne Washington lead the charge with 14 carries, but only got a lousy 31 yards on the ground. Zach Zenner had three carries for 12 yards, but coughed up the ball on a crucial drive for the team. The offensive line didn’t help much as the holes will clogged with Giant defenders. Detroit had 19 carries for 56 yards, horrible day on the ground.

Golden Tate made his presence known today. Tate had eight catches for 122 yards and almost had a touchdown on another play that was batted away before it went into his hands. Eric Ebron stepped up to the plate with four catches for 36 yards today. Marvin Jones was quiet, getting three catches for 41 yards and so was Anquan Boldin who had three catches for 13 yards.

The offensive line had a big challenge today and for the most part, lost that challenge. The run game wasn’t able to get going and Matt Stafford faced pressure constantly, getting sacked once and had to escape pressure countless times. Detroit needs Travis Swanson to return soon if they want a chance to win the division.

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Pressure from the defensive line was again not noticeable this week. Ziggy Ansah was finally able to get his first sack of the season, ending with five total tackles. Haloti Ngata had three tackles, while Tyrunn Walker had two, one for loss. Anthony Zettel joined the fun and had two tackles and a sack. The line wasn’t able to stop the run as the Giants were able to rush for 114 yards and Detroit was only able to get two sacks as that was the only pressure Manning faced all day.

Detroit’s linebacking core was the only solid unit on the defense today. Tahir Whitehead had a team leading 12 tackles, one for loss and wrapped up very well. DeAndre Levy made some key tackles as well, ending with eight. Josh Bynes had six tackles as well and did well in coverage again.

The worst unit was easily the secondary today. Darius Slay had only one tackle before leaving the game with an injury and didn’t return. Asa Jackson was the main player making mistakes as he allowed Beckham to become wide open on the touchdown in the fourth quarter, giving the Giants the go-ahead score to put the game away. Tavon Wilson had nine tackles, while Bush had six and Quin had two. Bush missed a fumble recovery and the Giants were able to recover it and avoid a big turnover.

Special Teams did it’s job today. Sam Martin had six punts for 275 yards, one landing inside the 20 yard line. Matt Prater made both of his field goals, longest from 48 yards out. Andre Roberts had four punt returns for 11 yards and two kick returns for 32 yards. Brandon Copeland also tipped a punt to weaken the power on the kick.

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Week 15: What It Means

Detroit needs help on the defensive line. Not being able to create pressure besides on two plays is horrible. Allowing one of the worst rushing attacks to get over 100 yards on you is horrible. Detroit needs to draft a defensive tackle or end in the first round of the NFL draft, because the lack of power there is clear.

No Slay, turns into big problems for Detroit. Asa Jackson replaced him and allowed O’Dell Beckham Jr. to go off and get a touchdown to put the game away. Detroit can’t afford to lose Slay along with Diggs, who is out for the season. Hopefully Slay can return next week as Dez Bryant will need someone to challenge him.

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Week 15: What to Think About

Another game spoiled by the refs. Detroit did not play well, but it doesn’t help when the refs allow the quarterback to get drilled for a no call, knocked on the head for a no call, and giving the Giants a free catch on a ball that was clearly dropped, just to name a few. Dean Blandino you need to go because this is becoming a joke. Detroit lost because they played poorly and had to play two teams.

Matt Stafford looked well with the injury. He did throw some bad balls, but it didn’t seem to be because of the finger. He was able to chuck the ball deep, something fans were worried about. Stafford will be just fine folks, so we don’t have to worry about him anymore.

The man on the offensive line who was criticized the most last season is the man we miss the most on the line. Detroit needs Travis Swanson back on the offensive line if they want Matt Stafford to stay upright for longer and possibly open up some holes for the run game. If Swanson misses another game, Detroit may be out of the playoff race.

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @BKnappBlogs, find me on Reddit at /u/sportsguy4life and leave me your thoughts on the Detroit Lions subreddit.

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About the Author

Brandon Knapp
Brandon Knapp is a senior at Central Michigan University, majoring in Journalism, minoring in Sports Management. He was born and raised in the city of Marysville, MI. He also writes for and covers the Michigan Wolverines Football team (his other love). Brandon also enjoys watching the Detroit Red Wings, Pistons and Tigers.