Friday, September 12, 2014

Lions 35, Giants 14

AT FIRST GLANCE
Two quick scores by wide receiver Calvin Johnson and the Lions put the Giants in an early hole on Monday Night Football. Turnovers compounded problems in the second half, leading to a 35-14 loss by the Giants to start the season.


WHAT’S NEXT
The Giants host the Arizona Cardinals in their home opener on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET in MetLife Stadium.

WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT THE OFFENSE
Trailing when they took over for the first time, the Giants’ start to the night on offense was as trying as it was on defense. But after two quick drives that ended in punts, the third time was the charm for the offense.


Tight end Larry Donnell, who was a bright spot in the game, opened the third series with a 19-yard catch and ended it with a one-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning for the Giants’ first points of the season. A roughing the punter penalty did keep the drive alive, but the Giants made the Lions pay for the mistake as they were able to get their feet under themselves for the time being. However, turnovers in the second half became too much to overcome in the end.


WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT THE DEFENSE
Third down and limiting big plays were strengths of a defense that ranked in the top 10 a year ago. But that didn’t carry over to the start of 2014 as All-Pro wide receiver Calvin Johnson scored two touchdowns -- from 67 and 16 yards out -- in the first 10 minutes of the game to put the Giants in an early 14-0 hole. Both scores came on third-and-long. The Giants gave up plays of 20 yards or longer to four different Detroit receivers.

WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT THE SPECIAL TEAMS

All three phases of the game contributed to the Giants’ early deficit. Detroit linebacker Tahir Whitehead blocked Steve Weatherford’s punt on the Giants’ second drive of the game. It was a trying night for Weatherford, who momentarily left Monday night’s game with an ankle injury but was able to return later in the game.

INACTIVES
WR Odell Beckham Jr, OL Adam Snyder, T Charles Brown, DE Kerry Wynn, T James Brewer, DT Markus Kuhn, and DT Jay Bromley.

LINEUP CHANGES
Jon Beason at MLB in place of Jameel McClain at MLB, McClain at SLB in place of Devon Kennard, and John Jerry at RG in place of Brandon Mosley.

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