The Giants are 10-4, and one step closer to their first playoff berth since 2011. The 10 wins is their most since they went 10-6 in 2010. The Giants have road games against the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins remaining on their schedule. The Giants can clinch a wild-card playoff spot with a win Thursday night in Philadelphia.
The Giants scored on a 10-play, 75-yard touchdown drive on their first possession, an eight-play, 71-yard scoring drive in the fourth quarter and a 47-yard Robbie Gould field goal.
The fourth quarter drive came with the Giants clinging to a tenuous four-point lead. They took possession at their own 29-yard line with 9:10 to play. The biggest play in the drive may have been a 29-yard completion from Eli Manning to Odell Beckham Jr. on third-and-10 from the Giants’ 39-yard line.
Beckham completed the drive with a one-handed catch for the touchdown.
“It was huge for us. We needed that drive. Everyone dug deep, did their job, Odell made a great play on the ball at the end. It was great,” said guard Justin Pugh, back in the lineup for the first time in five weeks. “We went down and got a score to put the game away, which was huge for us today.”
The Giants’ defense continually turned back Matthew Stafford and the Lions. Detroit reached the Giants’ 11-yard line in the first quarter, but running back Zach Zenner fumbled and Olivier Vernon recovered in the end zone for the Giants. Detroit reached the Giants’ 15-yard line on its opening possession of the second half, but had to settle for a field goal.
Detroit’s only points came on a pair of Matt Prater field goals. The Giants held the Lions without a touchdown despite playing without defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and losing cornerback Janoris Jenkins to a back injury early in the first half.
“Everybody’s stepping up, everybody’s elevating their game,” said defensive captain Jonathan Casillas. “You’re talking about two of the best players in the game, not just on our team.”
As we wrote about earlier in the week, Stafford had already authored a single-season record eight fourth-quarter comebacks this season. The Giants’ second touchdown, which gave them an 11-point lead with 5:51 to play was too much for Stafford and the Lions to overcome.
A Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie interception of Stafford in the Giants’ end zone allowed the Giants to run out the clock.
Eli Manning completed 20-of-28 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns., a 6-yarder to Sterling Shepard and a 4-yarder to Odell Beckham Jr. He had a passer rating of 115.3. Beckham caught six passes for 64 yards and a touchdown. Paul Perkins led the Giants in rushing with 56 yards on 11 carries.
For the second straight week the Giants ran the ball more times than they threw it (32-29). They also won the time of possession, 30:44-29:16.
Giants’ cornerback Janoris Jenkins left the game in the first quarter with a back injury. Jenkins, one of the best corners in the league this season, was ruled out early in the third quarter. More on Jenkins’ status going forward as soon as we know anything. (Full story)
The Giants will travel a couple of hours down the road for a Thursday night game against the Eagles. Best thing about the Giants playing Thursday night? They will be off Christmas Day, so you don’t have to worry about working your holiday around watching the game.