NFL GAME RECAP

Stafford’s two TD passes help Lions beat Giants

The Sports Xchange

September 18, 2017 at 9:00 pm.

Sep 18, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) throws a pass against the New York Giants during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Photo Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 18, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) throws a pass against the New York Giants during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Photo Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Detroit rookie Jamal Agnew returned a punt 88 yards for a fourth-quarter touchdown, and Matthew Stafford threw two touchdown passes to help the Lions earn a 24-10 win over the New York Giants on Monday night at Met Life Stadium.

Agnew’s punt return, the fifth longest in team history, broke open the game. The touchdown gave the Lions (2-0) a 14-point lead on a night when the Giants, who honored their 2007 Super Bowl championship team at halftime, once again looked like chumps.

Stafford finished 15 of 21 for 122 yards with no interceptions. Both his touchdown passes came on third-and-long plays in the first half and gave his team a 17-7 halftime lead.

The Giants (0-2), who have now gone eight consecutive games scoring fewer than 20 points, got a third-quarter, 25-yard field goal by kicker Aldrick Rosas, cutting its deficit to 17-10.

New York might have had more on that possession, but after driving all the way to the Lions 1-yard line, the Giants had a series of miscues that began with left guard Brett Jones being flagged for holding.

The Giants made up most of the penalty yardage, getting back to the 2-yard line, but on fourth down with the offense prepared to go for it, quarterback Eli Manning was flagged for a delay-of-game penalty. That led to the field goal.

Stafford, who was 12 of 17 for 107 yards at the half, connected with tight end Eric Ebron on for a 7-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter. The drive was set up when Lions linebacker Tahir Whitehead picked off Manning’s pass intended for tight end Evan Engram.

Manning finished 22 of 32 for 239 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He also was sacked five times.

Ebron was Detroit’s leading receiver, catching all five of his first-half pass targets for 42 yards and a touchdown. He did not have any receptions in the second half.

The Lions’ first score of the game came in the first quarter when Stafford avoided pressure by New York’s defensive front and gained 13 yards up the middle. Three plays later, Stafford hit receiver Marvin Jones for a 27-yard TD and a 7-0 lead.

Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who was active for this game after recovering from an ankle injury, had a quiet game, finishing with four catches for 34 yards.

Meanwhile, Engram caught New York’s lone touchdown pass, that coming in the first half. However, he then hurt his team when he drew an unsportsmanlike conduct following the score that was further exacerbated by a Rosas kickoff that went out of bounds.

Lions kicker Matt Prater nailed a 56-yard field goal with 45 seconds left in the half, the ball hitting the cross bar and bouncing over.

The Giants will head out to the road for the next two weeks, starting with a trip down the Turnpike to visit the Philadelphia Eagles (1-1). The Lions will be home in Week 3 to host the Atlanta Falcons and on the road the following week against the Minnesota Vikings.

NOTES: Giants starting RT Bobby Hart, who came into the game with an injured ankle, lasted two plays before having to leave the game. Justin Pugh moved from left guard to right tackle, and Brett Hones replaced Pugh at left guard. The last time Pugh played at tackle was in Week 17 of the 2015 season, when then-starting RT Marshall Newhouse was injured. … With the touchdown catch by Eric Ebron in the second quarter, the Lions now have as many touchdown receptions by tight ends (one) as they did in the entire 2016 season. … Lions DE Ziggy Ansah, who recorded three sacks, now has seven career regular-season games in which he has recorded multiple sacks in a game. Ansah also had multiple sacks in the NFC wild-card game last year.

 

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