EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Last night, the New York Giants looked to get their first win against the Detroit Lions in Monday night games (0-2). New York was also seeking their first win of the season, after losing to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1. There were 77,004 fans in attendance, and the energy in the stadium was electric. It even kicked up a notch, once all of MetLife Stadium heard the news that Odell Beckham Jr. would be playing.
To start the game, the Giants’ offensive line was shaky. That trend continued all game long, as New York struggled to contain the Lions’ pressure. Early in the first quarter, the Giants gave up a sack that caused a fumble and was recovered by Detroit for a TD. Luckily the play was overturned, due to Eli Manning’s knee hitting the ground before the fumble. That drive would result in a three and out.
New York had a chance to set the tone defensively early, by stopping the Lions in a 3rd and 9 on the Giants own 38. The crowd got loud to no avail, as Matthew Stafford scrambled for the first down. Three plays later, Stafford connected with Marvin Jones Jr. for a 27 yard touchdown. Eli Apple was badly burned in coverage, and had no idea where the ball was.
The Giants put together an impressive drive to answer the Lions and tie the game at 7-7. Evan Engram was pivotal on that drive, by catching a tough 17 yard reception on a 3rd down. The very next play, Engram caught a 18 yard touchdown reception. Engram showed he has a great skill set, and can be a red zone target for the Giants.
The biggest roller coaster ride of the game, was when Jason Pierre-Paul got a critical strip sack, which was then recovered by the Giants. On the very next play, Engram wasn’t able to haul in a Manning pass that was behind him. Engram tipped the ball right into the hands of a Lion defender. Detroit took advantage of the Giants mistake five plays later, with an Eric Ebron touchdown reception. It felt like the air got let out of the stadium, so soon after most of MetLife were on their feet in applause.
To make matters worse, the Lions were able to convert a 56 yard field goal make from Matt Prater. The ball hit the crossbar, and barely squeaked through as Detroit took all the momentum heading into halftime.
New York had a good opportunity midway through the 3rd quarter. The Giants put together a ten play drive that started on their own 25, but couldn’t punch in a red zone touchdown. A critical delay of game penalty on Manning on 4th and 2, forced the Giants to settle for a field goal. The score brought them within a touchdown, 10-17.
New York would force a punt early in the 4th quarter, and have an opportunity to tie the game. A pivotal point on that drive, was a huge drop by a streaking Brandon Marshall on a potential touchdown. The Giants would be forced to punt, and Jamal Agnew would return the punt for an 88 yard touchdown. This put the Lions up for good, 24-10.
To end the game, the Giants failed to convert on two straight 4th down opportunities. This resulted in a loss to the Lions, as New York dropped to an 0-2 record on the season. Even though it is early, many are wondering if this really is a playoff team. Only time will tell, but one thing for sure is the offensive line is horrendous. Manning was hit eight times, and sacked five times. Each hit seemed to be even more bone crushing than the last. If New York can’t protect Manning, there’s no way he will last an entire season.
Stats of the Night:
- Engram – 4 receptions, 49 yards and 1 TD.
- Engram showed he can make tough catches, and can take a hit. Look for Engram to build off this solid performance.
- Ameer Abdullah – 17 carries, 86 yards
- This is the second week in a row, that the Giants let a running back gain over 80 yards. For a defense known for it’s run stopping, it hasn’t showed us that these first two games.
- Giants’ Rushing Yards – 62 yards
- You will not be able to win in the NFL, if you can’t run the football. The lack of a run game has made New York one dimensional. The truth is, outside of Beckham Jr. the Giants are not talented enough to be just a passing team. ESPECIALLY, if the offensive line can’t protect Manning.
Barry Holmes is a Senior Writer for PureSportsNY.com. Follow him on Twitter @BHO732
(Featured Photo Image: Bobby O’Hara/PureSportsNY)