Lions That Succeeded and Struggled On The Road Against The New York Giants.
Those That Feasted On Giants
Ezekial “Ziggy” Ansah proved tonight that he is ready to move past the ankle injury that plagued him in 2016. Ansah took advantage of a poor matchup against the Giants’ struggling left tackle, Ereck Flowers, to the tune of six tackles and three sacks. Ansah was dominate with both power and speed yet again. Ziggy’s fast start should be a good sign of things to come for Detroit’s defense this season.
Matthew Stafford looked great against the Giants. He may have only put up 122 yards, but he was proficient with the ball in his hands. Stafford completed 71 percent of his throws, scored two touchdowns, and did not throw an interception. Even though the Giants defensive line was in Stafford’s face consistently, he kept finding escape routes and kept plays alive. His ability to move around the pocket and evade pressure was important for Lions to keep drives alive.
Darius Slay had a great night in both coverage and in run stopping. He mirrored well all night to contain O’dell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall, helping hold both receivers to a combined five catches for 53 yards. The night could have gotten even better for the young corner, as he had a fumble recovered for a touchdown that ended up being called back. Slay topped off the night with two pass deflections of back-to-back plays in the red zone tonight.
Jamaal Agnew deserves some attention as well in this game. His 88-yard punt return for a touchdown was an awesome display of the vision, balance, and speed he bring to the Lions special teams. The Lions 2017 fifth round pick also did a good job in punt coverage as he was almost always one of the first guys to the ball.
Lions In Famine
Greg Robinson had a tough time playing clean tonight. Robinson was called on multiple holding penalties and was given a lot of trouble by Giants ascending defensive end, Olivier Vernon. While Stafford did a good job evading Vernon, you do not want to put your quarterback in a position to get hit that often. Robinson also struggled to get in good positioning on stretch runs away from his side, which gave backside pursuit the ability to catch up and closed cutback lanes.
Paul Worrilow really struggled in coverage tonight. He was often out of position and was a large reason the Giants tight ends found success through the air. He was replaced by rookie Jalen Reeves-Maybin and Miles Killebrew on passing downs in the latter half of this game as a result.
Kenny Golladay was pretty quiet in this game following his two touchdown debut. He was targeted on a couple deep balls but coverage was tight and they all fell incomplete. Golladay had one catch for eight yards today. Expect his consistency to improve with time, but also understand this offense has plenty of mouths to feed. It is likely Golladay will feast again when given the opportunity to eat.