Detroit Lions At New York Giants: An In Depth Game Review

Embed from Getty Images

The Detroit Lions Beat The New York Giants 24-10. Here’s How It Happened.

1st Quarter

The Lions started the game with possession of the football and got off on the right foot with a 17 yard pass from Matthew Stafford to Eric Ebron. The Giants defense tightened up after that though and the Lions were forced to punt.

The Giants offense had a much rougher start to the game, as Eli Manning was sacked by Haloti Ngata on the second play of the game. This forced a New York punt.

Embed from Getty Images

The Lions then had one of their best offensive possessions of the game, advancing the ball 54 yards in nine plays. Stafford converted a 3rd and 2 with a seven yard pass to Ebron, a 3rd and 9 with a 13 yard run, and a 3rd and 12 with a 27 yard touchdown to Marvin Jones. This gave Detroit an early seven point lead.

The Giants next possession went well for them, as Sterling Shepard had a 12 yard run, then Eli Manning found Rhett Ellison and Evan Engram for gains of 12 and 17. The first quarter ended with the Giants at the Lions 18 yard line.

Lions lead 7-0

2nd Quarter

The very first play of the second quarter was an 18 yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning to Evan Engram, evening out the score at seven all.

After a couple of Giants penalties, the Lions started their next drive in great field position at the New York 45. The possession quickly went awry though, as Jason Pierre-Paul sacked Stafford and forced a fumble which was recovered by the Giants.

On the very next play, Eli Manning threw an errant pass that was bobbled by Glover Quin and then picked off by Lions linebacker Tahir Whitehead, giving possession right back to the Lions.

Embed from Getty Images

Detroit made the Giants pay for this mistake, as Stafford threw an 11 yard pass to Eric Ebron, and then a seven yard touchdown to Ebron on a third down and six, giving the Lions a 14-7 lead.

On the ensuing Giants possession, Orleans Darkwa had an 11 yard gain to give the Giants a first down. Eli Manning was then sacked on consecutive plays, forcing the Giants to punt. The Lions went three and out on their next possession, giving the ball back to the Giants.

The Giants also went three and out on their ensuing possession after Ziggy Ansah‘s second sack of the game. A 24 yard Ameer Abdullah run put the Lions in field goal range after the punt, and Prater made one from 56 yard away to give the Lions a 10 point halftime lead.

Lions lead 17-7

3rd Quarter

The Giants received the ball to start the second half, and went three and out. The Lions also went three and out on their ensuing possession.

New York had one of their strongest offensive possessions of the game after the Lions punt, going 68 yard in 10 plays. Eli Manning completed passes of 16, 38 and 17 yards on the drive to three different receivers but the Lions defense held once the Giants got into the red zone, forcing a New York field goal to make it a seven point game.

Embed from Getty Images

The Lions next possession was promising, as they picked up a couple of first downs and got to the 50 yard line, before two consecutive holding penalties set them back. The drive stalled and the third quarter ended with the Lions facing 3rd and 18.

Lions lead 17-10

4th Quarter

Matthew Stafford drew the Giants offside on 3rd and 18, giving Detroit 3rd and 13. The Lions were unable to convert though and had to punt to the Giants.

The Giants started with the ball at their own 19 on the next drive and were unable to pick up any first downs. On the punt, Lions rookie Jamal Agnew fielded the ball at the Lions 12 yard line and returned it 88 yard for a Detroit touchdown, giving the Lions a 14 point lead.

New York’s offense had another promising drive going after the Lions return touchdown, converting a 3rd and six with a 12 yard pass. On 4th down and three, they decided to go for it and Eli Manning threw a short pass to running back Shane Vereen. Lions cornerback Quandre Diggs wrapped him up though, forcing a turnover on downs.

Embed from Getty Images

The next Lions possession only gained six yards on three running plays and they were forced to punt.

New York proceeded to have a long, methodical drive after the Lions punt, moving the ball 62 yards in 12 plays. The drive ended though when they faced a 4th down and 10 from the Lions 29 yard line. Eli Manning threw a curl to Odell Beckham short of the first down marker but Beckham dropped the pass, again turning the ball over on downs.

The Lions picked up a couple first downs on the next possession with a 34 yard run from Ameer Abdullah and an 11 yard run from Theo Riddick, essentially ending the game.

Lions win 24-10

Key Stats

Ameer Abdullah set a new career high with 86 rushing yards

Abdullah had a 24 yard run in the second quarter and a 34 yard run in the fourth quarter to help the Lions win this game. He did a good job of turning several other runs into short or medium gains despite below average run blocking.

The Lions had more rushing yards (138) than passing yards (119)

The last time this happened was 2010, when the Lions beat the Packers 7-3. Stafford only threw for 122 yards, the fewest he has ever thrown over a full game in his career. The balanced offensive attack worked very well for the Lions on Monday night.

The Lions held the Giants to 270 yards of offense

Detroit’s defense again looked good, allowing just 270 yards and 14 first downs to the Giants offense. They only allowed one New York touchdown, and just generally did a good job of finishing drives and getting off the field all night.

The Lions defense made 5 sacks

Although the Giants offensive line is the weakest point on their team, this was still an impressive performance for the Lions front seven as Ziggy Ansah, Haloti Ngata and Jarrad Davis all made sacks.

Embed from Getty Images

Detroit won the time of possession 32:47 to 27:13

Throughout the first half of this game, the Lions offense controlled the time of possession, allowing them to build a 17-7 lead at halftime. The offense also did a very good job of running the clock down with a strong running game late in the fourth quarter.

The Lions converted 7 of 15 first downs, the Giants just 4 of 12. Giants were also 0 for 2 on fourth down conversion attempts.

7 of 15 is a very good conversion rate, especially against a defense as good as the Giants’. The Lions defense did a fantastic job of getting off the field, allowing just 4 of 12 third down conversion attempts and stopping the Giants twice on fourth down.

Jamal Agnew averaged 33 yards per punt return

Jamal Agnew had a couple of solid returns on the night before he broke off an 88 yard return for a touchdown. This punt return effectively put the Giants away and clinched a Lions victory.

The Lions never trailed in this game

This is only the second of the last 18 games in which the Lions did not trail at any point. Detroit took the lead midway through the first quarter and never gave it up. This was a dominant performance.

Plays That Made The Game

Haloti Ngata’s first sack of the season set the tone for the game early on. Eli Manning was under siege all game and it started on his first pass attempt of the game. Manning tried to step up in the pocket, but it was too late as Ngata had already shed his block and brought Manning down from behind.

Matthew Stafford’s 13 yard run was a key third and long conversion on the first scoring drive of the game. The Giants only rushed three defenders, and Stafford made them pay for it. Stafford eluded three Giants on his way to a first down before he slid after a nice gain.

Marvin Jones caught a 27 yard touchdown reception on a great back shoulder throw from Matthew Stafford. Stafford purposely under threw the ball to a spot where only Jones could get to it. Jones made a great adjustment and came down with an easy touchdown on third down and 12 to give the Lions an early lead.

Evan Engram’s 18 yard touchdown was a blown coverage by Lions linebacker Tahir Whitehead. Whitehead was caught off guard by the play action and allowed Engram to get wide open behind him in the endzone.

Matthew Stafford’s fumble was the Lions only turnover of the game. Jason Pierre-Paul ran through Lions tackle Rick Wagner and poked the ball out of Stafford’s hands. The Giants recovered and had seemingly changed the momentum of the game.

Tahir Whitehead’s interception was on the very next play after the fumble. Eli Manning threw behind his receiver, and the ball was tipped up into the air. Glover Quin was unable to intercept the ball, but he did a fantastic job of deflecting it to Tahir Whitehead, who made the interception and returned it for a decent gain.

Eric Ebron’s first touchdown of the season gave Detroit the lead permanently in this game. Stafford did a good job of buying time by scrambling outside of the pocket and Ebron was able to get open in the end zone. Stafford found him there for a relatively easy touchdown reception.

Jarrad Davis’ first career sack derailed the ensuing Giants possession. Eli Manning held on to the ball for too long and as a result, Davis was able to shed a block and make the sack for a big loss.

Ziggy Ansah’s second sack of the game ended a promising Giants drive right before halftime. Ansah broke through the offensive line and chased Eli Manning out of the pocket. Manning tripped as he was being pursued and Ansah was credited with the sack.

Ameer Abdullah’s 24 yard run put the Lions in field goal range right before halftime. Abdullah did a great job of squeezing through three Giants defenders and then got into the open field for a big gain across the 50 yard line. This play was a big part of why the Lions had a two possession lead at the half.

Jamal Agnew’s 88 yard punt return was the nail in the coffin for the Giants on Monday night. Agnew looked like he was lucky to even field the punt but then he did an excellent job of accelerating through several Giants. He spun out of a tackle and then juked the punter on his way into the end zone for his first NFL touchdown.

Quandre Diggs’ fourth down tackle was a big play for the Lions defense late in the game. Shane Vereen caught an out route just shy of the first down marker, and Diggs came in and made a huge hit, allowing no yardage after the reception.

Ameer Abdullah’s 34 yard run helped the Lions to run out the clock in this game. Abdullah did a great job of following his blockers into the open field on this play and then accelerated for a big gain. He was finally chased down from behind at the Giants 35 yard line.

Player Of The Game

Ziggy Ansah is this week’s player of the game. He had a breakout game against the Giants, recording six tackles, three sacks, one forced fumble and another three quarterback hits. Ansah bullied Giants left tackle Ereck Flowers in this game.

Embed from Getty Images

After a huge down season in 2016, it is beyond refreshing to see Ansah return to form like this. He had more sacks on Monday than he did in all of 2016. Hopefully this is a good sign of things to come for the star pass rusher.

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed it, please follow me on Twitter @lucasjwalker00, and don’t forget to pay a visit to the Detroit Lions Subreddit!

More From The Detroit Lions Podcast