The Giants survived and won their third game in a row.
Even though the Giants looked unimpressive against the Lions, they won the game. And, without question, through six games Osi Umenyiora is the MVP of this team. In the third quarter, with the Giants clinging to a 14-10 lead, Osi’s sack and strip splash play snarled a Lions drive. Eight plays later, the Giants scored a touchdown to put the team ahead for good at 21-10. With two sacks in this game, Osi has EIGHT sacks this year. Recall that last season he lead the Giants with seven sacks.
In addition to Osi’s superb play, Deon Grant played an outstanding game. Grant was all over the field. Out of his seven tackles, his most important one was in the fourth quarter. With 5:11 remaining in the game, Lions WR Nate Burleson caught an eight yard pass and was tackled by Grant and Aaron Ross. Burleson fumbled and Grant pounced on it. The Giants capitalized again on another Lions’ miscue, scoring a touchdown.
Overall, the Giants defense created three turnovers and the offense did not turn over the ball. Big uptick.
And the Giants commited only two penalties. Another big uptick.
The Giants secondary combined for a total of TWENTY SEVEN tackles.
So far, Reese’s free agent acqusitions Rolle and Grant are paying big dividends. Having a healthy Kenny Phillips is important as well.
Linebacker Michael Boley lead the Giants with eight tackles.
The Giants were 3 for 3 in the red zone, scoring three touchdowns. One of their red zone scores was aided by a Detroit penalty. After failing to convert on 3rd and goal, Lions’ DE Clint Avril was called for unsportmanslike conduct. This gave the Giants a fresh set of downs. Three plays later, the Giants punched it in for a touchdown.
Eli Manning played decently. He was 20-30 for 177 yards and TWO touchdowns. More importantly, he did not throw any interceptions.
Giants’ RB Ahmad Bradshaw rushed for over 100 yards. Bradshaw had 19 carries for 133 yards with a majority of those yards running over the right side of the line. His 45 yard spectacular run set up a Giants touchdown. It was also good to see Jacobs running strong and physical, with two touchdowns.
Speaking of rushing, the Giants defense held the Lions anemic ground game in check. The Lions had 64 yards rushing.
Despite making the Lions one dimensional on offense, the Giants could not stop the Lions’ passing attack. With second and third string quarterbacks, the Lions were able to complete 28 passes for 302 yards.
The Lions had 4 kickoff returns for 104 yards. On the contrary, the Giants kickoff unit left much less to be desired. The Giants had 4 kickoffs for only 65 yards.
As for special teams, Giants punter Matt Dodge made a huge blunder by bobbling the football. Because he could not get a handle on the ball, he gave the Lions a short field. And the Lions scored a touchdown.
Giants were 5 for 13 on third down conversions (38 percent conversion rate). With a lead in the 4th quarter, the Giants could not salt the game away. On two consecutive possessions, they had three and outs. What was Gilbride thinking? The Giants have a 3rd and 2 on their 29 yard line. Out of a shotgun formation, he called for a long pass which went incomplete.
To sum up, the Giants won a game they were supposed to win. They are 4-2 tied for first place in the NFC East. Next week, they play a moribund Cowboys team on Monday Night Football. Let us hope the Giants can make it four wins in a row.
P.S. UltimateNYG is 5-0 in Giants predictions. Kudos to Paul for calling the game for the Giants and no cover.