It’s the same equation yet again: Giants defense + Odell Beckham Jr. = Victory.
Big Blue’s shutdown defense took the heat off of the mostly scuffling offensive unit against the Lions at MetLife Stadium Sunday, before Beckham made a one-handed touchdown grab — his specialty — with 5:47 left in the game to go up two scores and effectively secure the 17-6 win.
That catch earned the Giants their 10th win of the season and marked the team’s first season since 2010 with double-digit wins. It also puts the pressure on the Cowboys, who play Sunday night, to match them. If the Cowboys lose to the Bucs later Sunday, then the Giants would only need to make up one more game to take the lead in the NFC East.
The Giants’ victory may have come at a steep cost, however. Janoris Jenkins suffered an injury in the second quarter and was knocked out of the game. Jenkins, who has been perhaps the Giants’ best defender this season, required further tests on his ribs and spine, according to the FOX broadcast.
Eli Apple deflects a pass intended for Lions receiver Gordon Tate.
(Robert Deutsch/USA Today Sports)
The Giants offense opened the game looking nothing like the train wreck that barely scraped 10 points together against the Cowboys the week before. First, Manning hit Victor Cruz in a tight window for his 4,000th career completion down the right sideline for a 29-yard gain. A few plays later, Manning hit Sterling Shepard in the end zone for a six-yard touchdown to put Big Blue ahead 7-0 and cap one of the best Giants drives of the season.
Early in the second quarter the Giants suffered what could be a huge injury for their team’s chances going forward when Janoris Jenkins was knocked out when he received a knee to the back breaking up a pass intended for Eric Ebron.
On the next drive, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie replaced Jenkins at outside corner, and the Lions immediately went after him as Golden Tate flew by DRC for a 67-yard gain down the right sideline. As a result the Lions, down 7-3 at that point, were threatening to score, but on the next play Leon Hall forced Zach Zenner to fumble, and Olivier Vernon recovered in the end zone.
Despite the hot start and Eli Manning completing his first 11 pass attempts, the Giants were only ahead 10-3 as the first half came to a close. Just outside of two minutes Big Blue committed a special teams error when Jonathan Casillas let a rusher get by him, resulting in a blocked punt. But a few plays later Casillas made a big tackle on a screen pass as part of the effort by the Giants’ defense to prevent the blocked punt from resulting in any points.
Both offenses struggled through most of the second half. In the passing game, the offensive line and Manning had problems himself until the quarterback seemingly snapped himself out of a funk with a 25-yard completion Beckham on third down with about eight minutes left in the contest. A few plays later on 3rd-and-1 from the four-yard line, Manning threw the ball to Beckham on an out-breaking route and the receiver made the one-handed TD grab to put the Giants up 17-6 with 5:47 left.
The Lions started to march down the field a couple possessions later as the Giants went to softer coverage, but their hopes were finally dashed when Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie picked off Matthew Stafford in the end zone right around the two-minute warning.
Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News