The Detroit Lions faced off on Monday Night Football against the New York Giants last night and showed fans everywhere that there is reason to believe this is a better football team. They ended up beating the Giants 35-14 in a game that was really not even as close as that score looks. While the game was a blowout, the Lions gifted the Giants their first touchdown by extending the drive with 3 costly penalties. One of those penalties, a roughing the kicker, nullified a drive ending punt and gave the Giants the ball back with a first down. What is obvious is that this is a much better team than we saw last season.
The first quarter set the tone as the Detroit Lions started off with the ball and drove down the field, scoring a touchdown on a 67 yard pass from Matthew Stafford to Calvin Johnson on a play where Johnson was wide open and jogged his way into the end zone. The Giants drive failed and Stafford again drove the Lions down and tossed a touchdown to Calvin Johnson. The first quarter ended 14-0 Detroit.
Into the second quarter with the Giants driving, the Detroit Lions committed a series of penalties that ultimately gave the Giants the ball with a first and goal from the one. After stopping the Giants on 3 straight plays, the defense surrendered a 1 yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning to Larry Donnell. Lions lead 14-7
With the Lions looking to add to their lead, they drove down the field but had their drive stall in field goal range. Nate Freese went out and missed a 43 yard field goal that would have extended the lead.
After halftime, the Lions kicked it to the Giants who promptly threw an arrant pass that was picked off by DeAndre Levy. The Detroit offense could not make anything happen and settled for a 28 yard Freese field goal. Lions lead 17-7
The Giants sustained no drive and the Lions got the ball back. They drove it all the way down into Giants territory thanks in part to a 44 yard pass from Stafford to Golden Tate. The drive stalled and the Lions ended up with a 27 yard field goal. Lions lead 20-7
Manning started the next drive with an ill advised pass that safety Glover Quin picked off. The Lions offense drove the ball again, but before allowing another stalled drive, Matthew Stafford ran the ball in to the endzone for a touchdown. Lions lead 27-7
The Giants offense finally started to move the ball down the field and capped the 4th quarter drive off with a Rashad Jennings 1 yard touchdown run. Lions lead 27-14
At this point, the Lions played the run game to drain the clock. While they could not run the ball all game, they did manage to run well on this drive. They mixed in a few passes and drove down the field, milking much needing clock and capping it off with a game sealing 3 yard touchdown run by Joique Bell. Stafford connected with Joseph Fauria for the 2 point conversion bringing the lead to 35-14.