It was far from an ideal output on offense, but for a second straight week it was just enough for the New York Giants in a 17-6 win over the Detroit Lions.
The Lions, who had seven of their eight wins this season come in the fourth quarter, were frustrated all afternoon by a defense that would bend but not break.
On the game’s opening possession, the Giants took 5:37 to go 10 plays and 75 yards for a 7-0 lead, Eli Manning finding rookie wide receiver Sterling Shepard for a 6-yard touchdown pass for the lead. It was a strong start for Manning following the struggles from a week ago.
The Lions looked prime to take the lead after quarterback Matthew Stafford threw a 67-yard pass over the top of the Giants defense on a play where cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was badly beaten and had no help over the top. Rodgers-Cromartie would recover and tackle Tate at the Giants' 11-yard line.
On the next play cornerback Leon Hall forced a fumble and Olivier Vernon recovered the ball for a Giants touchback. The Giants would then go 11-plays and 51 yards to set up Robbie Gould for a 47-yard field goal and a 10-3 lead.
With 5:47 left in the fourth quarter, Odell Beckham Jr. made a one-handed grab and then secured the ball with his crotch for a 4-yard touchdown to make it a 17-6 game for the giants. Beckham led all Giants wide receivers with six catches for 64 yards. He also had a long punt return that featured two reverses nullified by a block in the back penalty.
The Giants, now 10-4, got their 10th win for the first time since 2010.
Eli being Eli
One week after he was criticized for three turnovers in an ugly home win over the Dallas Cowboys, it was a solid showing from quarterback Eli Manning and the entire offense. Manning completed his first 11 passes for 102 yards and a touchdown, leading the Giants on two scoring drives on their first four possessions.
His numbers weren’t impressive but he was efficient (no turnovers) and he completed a high percentage of his passes.
Manning was 20-for-28 for 201 yards with two touchdowns.
Defense makes big plays
The Giants defense stood tall last week in holding the Cowboys to just seven points and they again stood tall, limiting the Lions to just two field goals. It was a number of big plays throughout the afternoon that staked the Giants to the win.
Early in the second quarter, Eli Apple read the eyes of Golden Tate and made a tremendous pass breakup on a Matthew Stafford pass that would have been six points. On the next play, cornerback Janoris Jenkins went full extension (and left the field with a back injury) after he broke up a Stafford pass to tight end Eric Ebron.
Then there was Vernon’s fumble recovery in the end zone in the second quarter as well as his shared sack with Johnathan Hankins early in the third quarter that stopped a Lions drive, limiting them to a field goal.
Committed to running
The Giants came into this game second from the bottom in running the ball, averaging just 79 yards a game. Against the Lions, a team with a questionable pass defense, the Giants did their fair share of running the ball to augment their efficient passing game.
They had 114 rushing yards in the game, a rare triple-digit run game for the Giants offense.