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Giants vs. Lions: Score and Twitter Reaction for Monday Night Football

Published by Bleacher Report on Tue, 09 Sep 2014

The Detroit Lions earned a decisive 35-14 win at home on Monday night against the New York Giants.Detroit dominated the game from start to finish. The Lions defense held the Giants to 197 yards of total offense and only allowed the G-Men to convert on three of their 13 third downs. Eli Manning went 18 of 33 for 163 yards, throwing one touchdown and two interceptions.On the other side, Detroit's offense was a model of efficiency, amassing 417 yards and going 10 of 15 on third down. Matthew Stafford completed 22 of his 32 passes for 346 yards and two touchdowns. Sports Illustrated's Chris Burke thought that Stafford had one of the better performances in his career:Calvin Johnson had a huge game, recording seven receptions for 164 yards and two TDs. Heading into the game, Giants head coach Tom Coughlin spoke about his plan to try to neutralize the four-time Pro Bowler."You have to know where he is at all times and have some adjustments prepared for him," Coughlin said, perRod Beard of The Detroit News. "Youve got to set some of your coverages to try to be in a position to take the things he does really wellhe does a lot of things really welland at least be able to contest for those."The Giants started off rather ignominiously. On the first drive of the game, New York's secondary inexplicably allowed Johnson to get wide open. Stafford bought some time for himself in the pocket and eventually found Johnson for a 67-yard touchdown.Here's a visual representation of the defensive breakdown, per ESPN Monday Night:ESPN's Stephania Bell felt that fantasy football owners across America would feel vindicated for grabbing Johnson early in the draft:Two drives later, Stafford hooked up with Johnson in the end zone for the second time in the game, connecting from 16 yards out. Although Megatron deserves a lot of credit for making a diving catch in the end zone, Stafford did an excellent job of side-stepping the pass rush and throwing the ball across his body and placing the pass where only Johnson could catch it.Bleacher Report's Matt Miller noted that the form wasn't perfect, but nobody was going to argue with the result:Paul Pabst of The Dan Patrick Show was particularly impressed with Stafford's previously unseen mobility:The Giants should've considered themselves lucky to only be down 14-0 after the first 15 minutes. Both Stafford and Johnson set personal bests for most passing yards and most receiving yards, respectively, in a first quarter, per SportsCenter:The Lions arguably should've had a bigger lead in the first half after getting production like that from the offense. However, they shot themselves in the foot with penalties, per Josh Katzenstein of The Detroit News:New York halved the deficit, 14-7, with 12 minutes and 54 seconds remaining in the first half when Manning hit Larry Donnell for a one-yard touchdown pass. On the broadcast, ESPN's Jon Gruden said that Donnell's height made him the perfect red-zone target:Detroit had a chance to increase its lead to double digits with a little under two minutes to go in the half, but Nate Freese's field goal from 43 yards out missed the mark.When Manning threw an interception on the Giants' first drive of the third quarter, whatever positive feelings the team carried into the second half went right out the window. Manning and Donnell had some sort of miscommunication, as the tight end wasn't even looking for the ball when it was thrown, per Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News:Four plays after the pick, Freese hit a 28-yard field goal to give the Lions a 17-7 lead 3:06 into the second half.That 10-point lead turned into a 13-point lead with 5:50 left in the quarter after Freese knocked home another field goal, this one coming from 27 yards out.On the next drive, Manning threw his second interception of the game. This one was all on the quarterback. He lofted an ill-advised pass to Victor Cruzafter scrambling out of the pocket.Glover Quin then stepped in front of the throw and returned it to the New York 19-yard line, giving the Lions great field position.Detroit needed five plays to find the end zone, with Stafford running the ball in himself from five yards out, which was the longest TD run of his career, per ESPN Stats and Info:That touchdown was the beginning of the end for New York, if it that hadn't started already. With the way the Giants offense struggled up until that point, making up a 20-point gapdown 27-7in a little over a quarter looked impossible.New York did lessen the deficit a bit with a one-yard Rashad Jennings touchdown run, making it a 27-14 game.However, the Lions all but ended any thoughts of a comeback on the next drive whenJoique Bell scored on a three-yard touchdown run.Coughlin wasn't exactly pleased with his team's effort after the game, according toJordan Raanan of NJ.com:Detroit hits the road for Week 2, meeting the Carolina Panthers in what will be one of the more intriguing games on Sunday. Both teams have playoff aspirations and this game will help set the ceiling for each side's potential.The Giants welcome in the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. New York fans will want to see a much different performance. Monday night was a distillation of almost everything that's gone wrong with the team in the last few years.
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