New York has the complete inability to run the ball, and its offense relies on Eli Manning to avoid swarms of pass rushers in time to throw to a receiving corps made up of deep threats. It’s a less than ideal situation.
Detroit had some offensive struggles of its own, but the team’s defense looked good and the offense did what it needed to get to 2-0 and drop the Giants to 0-2.
Here were a few of the winners and losers from Monday night:
The Lions defensive line never gave an inch, and the secondary played the Giants receivers tight with the exception of one wide-open touchdown in the second quarter.
But the Giants defense played well too. Stafford hasn’t been held under 150 receiving yards since 2010 but managed just 122 yards against the stingy New York defense. Had he needed to throw more, he definitely could’ve added to his total, but it was still an impressive — albeit frustrating — night for the Giants defense
The thumbs down
There’s a lot of way to show displeasure with your football team. But Giants fans nailed it with a thumbs down seemingly every time one got on camera.
Is this a thing specifically in New York? I don’t know, but I like it.
Their point came across loud and clear.
The Lions kicker made all three of his extra points, but he’s on this list because of his outrageously dramatic field goal that couldn’t have been closer.
Aside from the fact that the field goal was awesome, it was also his 12th consecutive made field goal from at least 50 yards and that’s pretty cool too.
The former first-round pick had 14.5 sacks and earned a spot in the Pro Bowl in 2015, but only two sacks in 2016. He topped his 13-game total from last season in a little over a half against the Giants.
The game was only the second three-sack game of Ansah’s career, and it would be a big deal for the Lions defense if he could return to form.
The biggest positive for the Giants was the rookie tight end who already appears to be developing a rapport with Manning. He caught four passes for 49 yards, including the team’s only touchdown of the day.
He was also the player targeted most by Manning on Monday and could be a big part of the team’s offense moving forward.
The Giants’ leading rusher, Shane Vereen, managed 28 yards, and the team as a whole got to just 62 yards on the ground. Every time the team even attempted to run, it pissed off the fans at MetLife Stadium.
Detroit’s stats on the ground were much better, but by no means were the Lions running that well either. Ameer Abdullah escaped on a pair of plays for 24-yard and 34-yard runs, but most of his carries managed 2 yards or fewer. It’s still far from the strength of the Lions offense.
Both teams are pretty one-dimensional; the Lions are much better at it.
The offensive tackle was a project when he came into the NFL, but now he’s in year three and things look worse than ever. Manning was sacked five times by the Lions — three of those came because Ansah destroyed Flowers.
He’s struggling to help in the run game too and there really aren’t many positive things to stay about the 33 games Flowers has played in the NFL.
Forget the fact that the Giants have an offense so one-dimensional that the entire team looks like a disaster. McAdoo was painfully conservative when the team needed to take shots and it proved costly.
The Giants fans let him hear it — thumbs down and all — when he elected to run out the clock instead of attempt to score before halftime. Then again when he waffled on a decision to go for it on fourth down near the goal line and the team got a delay-of-game penalty.
He didn’t roll the dice on fourth down until it was too late, and it didn’t work out for the Giants anyway.
It’s hard to be the old guy in a wide receiving corps with young guns like Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, and Evan Engram. He had just one reception in Week 1, but when he got an opportunity to make a big play Monday he promptly dropped it.
The Giants instead had to punt and it was returned for a touchdown, digging a hole that was too much to overcome. For a second week in a row, Marshall finished with just one reception.
He needs just 59 receptions this season to become the 15th receiver to ever get to 1,000 in a career, but that’s looking like it could be a tall task.
Oh hey, it’s Engram again.
That touchdown was nice and it’s cool that he’s getting involved as a rookie, but this is going to get the Giants a penalty every time.
Not only did the crotch grab draw an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, it’ll probably land the rookie a pretty decent fine.