Both teams entered today trying to break three-game losing streaks. The Giants drop to 2-6 with their fourth straight loss as the Lions improve to 3-3-1 on the season.
New York went down 14-0 early in the game as a fumble recovery and 49-yard touchdown pass gave the Lions a commanding lead in the first quarter. A pair of touchdowns by quarterback Daniel Jones to wide receiver Darius Slayton in the second quarter got the Giants back into the game.
The Giants would pull to within five of the Lions thanks to a two-yard touchdown from Jones to tight end Evan Engram at 4:54 in the third quarter, but trailed by 12 after a touchdown by the Lions opened up the fourth quarter. With just over five minutes remaining in the game, safety Jabrill Peppers forced a fumble that was recovered by safety Antoine Bethea, to give New York the ball at the Detroit 38-yard line. The Giants were unable to capitalize on the opportunity though.
New York got the ball back with 2:21 remaining and no timeouts and were able to score one more touchdown, but the Lions maintained a five-point lead that they would hold to close out the game and secure a 31-26 victory on their home turf Sunday.
“To say our guys battled – they battled,” coach Pat Shurmur said. “They always battle, but we have to play better and make more plays, then we’ll end up winning these games. So, I think that’s what needs to be learned from this.”
Giants dig themselves a hole again
The Giants were the ones with momentum when cornerback Janoris Jenkins intercepted Matthew Stafford’s pass to give the Giants the ball on their own 15-yard line. Three plays later though, Jones was sacked and then fumbled the ball when he attempted a lateral backward pass. The Lions’ Devon Kennard picked up the fumble and returned it 13 yards for a touchdown.
On the Lions following possession, Stafford threw a 49-yard touchdown pass to Matt Hall with 2:31 left to play in the first quarter, increasing the Lions’ lead to 14-0.
Starting to come back
Jones got the Giants on the board when he threw an 18-yard pass up the middle to wide receiver Golden Tate to put New York on the Detroit 36-yard line. On the next play, Jones completed a 22-yard pass to Slayton at 12:27 in the second quarter to complete a 10-play, 88-yard scoring drive and cut the Lions lead in half.
On the Giants following possession, Jones completed a 28-yard touchdown pass to a leaping Slayton in the deep right corner of the end zone. The TD was Slayton’s second of the game, marking the first time in his rookie career that he has caught more than one touchdown pass in a game. A missed extra point by Aldrick Rosas left the Giants trailing 14-13 with 4:45 left in the first half.
Near the end of the half, the Giants got called for a controversial five-yard penalty for running into the Lions kicker Sam Martin on fourth down and four. The Lions extended their drive with the first down that help set up a 52-yard field goal by Matt Prater, making the score 17-13.
The second half
The Lions carried that some momentum into the second half when they opened the third quarter with a scoring drive that ended with a 9-yard touchdown pass from Stafford to Kenny Golladay, extending the Lions’ lead to 24-13.
Jones and tight end Evan Engram responded with a touchdown of their own on the Giants following possession. With just under five minutes to play in the third quarter, Jones completed a 2-yard touchdown pass to Engram. The Giants opted to go for the two-point conversion, but failed to convert, leaving New York trailing by five.
A 41-yard touchdown pass from Stafford to Golladay at 12:12 in the fourth quarter made it 31-19. The Giants had a chance to come back when Peppers forced a fumble that was recovered by Bethea, to give New York the ball at the Detroit 38-yard line with just over five minutes remaining in the game. But the Giants were unable to score.
New York got the ball back with 2:21 remaining and no timeouts. Jones completed a four-yard touchdown pass to Barkley with 1:19 to play to pull the Giants within five again, but it wouldn’t be enough to defeat the Lions.
Jones completed 28 of 41 passes for 322 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.
“He battled throughout the game,” Shurmur said of Jones. “All the things we see all the time. He was in it, all the way to the end to win it. He’s a gritty, tough, young man that has a bright future.”
In his second game back since hurting his ankle, Barkley carried the ball 19 times for 64 yards.
Tate led the team with eight receptions for 85 yards, including a long of 18. Slayton had two receptions for 50 yards and two touchdowns.
For the Lions, Golladay led the receiving core with 123 yards in the game and two touchdowns. Stafford finished with 25 completions in 32 attempts for 342 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.
The Giants will host the Dallas Cowboys in Week 9 on Monday Night Football at 8:15 p.m. ET. The game will be televised on FOX.