NY Giants 16
|N.Y. Giants 16||Detroit 10|
|November 18, 2007||Ford Field-Attendance: 60,675 (65,000)||Time: 3:04|
|NYG||FG||0:37||Lawrence Tynes 28 yard field goal attempt is good.||3||0|
|NYG||TD||0:23||Eli Manning pass completion to the left to Brandon Jacobs for 10 yards for a touchdown.||9||0|
|NYG||PAT||0:23||Lawrence Tynes extra point attempt is good.||10||0|
|NYG||FG||2:39||Lawrence Tynes 46 yard field goal attempt is good.||13||3|
|DET||TD||4:34||Jon Kitna pass completion to the left to Calvin Johnson for 35 yards for a touchdown.||16||9|
|DET||PAT||4:34||Jason Hanson extra point attempt is good.||16||10|
|Team Stat Comparison|
|3rd down efficiency||4-14||1-10|
|4th down efficiency||0-0||0-0|
|Yards per pass||6.6||7.6|
|Yards per rush||2.7||2.3|
Strahan had a season-high three sacks, helping the New York Giants beat the Detroit Lions 16-10 Sunday to gain the advantage in the NFC wild-card race.
"From the time he got off the bus, he was very focused," said teammate Sam Madison, who had one of the victory-sealing interceptions in the final 2:04. "He was very energetic. He was the Stra of old. He's getting his legs under him. He's getting his second wind.
"He's showing he can still play the game."
New York (7-3) broke a third-place tie with Detroit in the conference and improved its chances of making the playoffs. In the Super Bowl era, 78.4 percent of teams that won seven of their first 10 games ended up in the postseason.
The Giants lost their first two games, won six straight, then lost to Dallas for a second time before handing Detroit its first defeat at home.
"We'll take the 7-3. I'm too tired to worry about how we got there," Strahan said. "Hopefully, we'll get another run going. We started one today."
The Lions (6-4) dropped back-to-back games for the first time this year, and took it hard after losing their other three games by double digits.
"Yeah, it's more difficult because that is not a better football team than us," quarterback Jon Kitna said. "We gave them the football game."
Strahan took offense to Kitna's take on the game.
"I honestly thought in the first half that was one of the worst teams we played that was 6-3," he said. "I don't quite understand why Jon would say that.
"Maybe we'll see them down the road and if that's the case, we'll beat that a-- again."
Detroit might need to beat the NFC North-leading Green Bay Packers at home on Thanksgiving to maintain a realistic chance at making the playoffs for the first time since 1999.
"Is the season over? Absolutely not," offensive tackle Jeff Backus said. "It's one stumble in our path."
The Giants leaned on their defense to block Detroit's road to success.
Strahan and Co. put pressure on Kitna, forcing him out of the pocket to rush throws.
When Kitna did have time late in the game, Madison and James Butler came through for the Giants with key interceptions to shut down a team that had been scoring in bunches at home.
"They scored 31 points a game here," Strahan said. "The way we played today we should be very happy."
The win came at a price: Brandon Jacobs was sidelined in the third quarter with a left hamstring injury and linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka broke his left leg early in the game.
New York coach Tom Coughlin wasn't sure how serious Jacobs' injury was, but said Kiwanuka may be done for the season.
"It's obviously a big loss for us," Coughlin said.
Eli Manning threw a touchdown pass to Jacobs late in the first half and Lawrence Tynes kicked three field goals to give the Giants a 16-3 lead early in the fourth.
Detroit finally put together a strong drive, ending with Calvin Johnson's 35-yard TD catch to pull within six with 4:34 left.
After a three-and-out drive, Detroit drove to midfield and Kitna heaved an up-for-grabs pass to Shaun McDonald that Butler leaped to snag just inside the end zone.
The Lions had one more chance, getting the ball at their 32 with 1:25 left, but a pass went off McDonald's hands in New York territory and right to Madison in the final minute.
"That's the position we want to be in," McDonald said. "I didn't make the plays at the end."
In the second and third quarters, New York kept the Lions in the game by fumbling twice inside their 30.
But Kitna threw three interceptions, overshadowing the 28 passes he completed for 377 yards and a score. McDonald and Roy Williams both went over the 100-yard mark as the Lions were forced to throw because they could not run. Kevin Jones was limited to just 25 yards on 11 carries.
Manning was 28-of-39 for 283 yards with a score, spreading the ball around to five receivers who made at least four catches.
Defense: --- B+. They had four offsides penalties and had some bad tackles but once again they were the only reason the Lions still had a chance to steal the game at the end. The Defense forced turnovers and had two three and outs at the end of the game. Kalimba Edwards, who has been such a disappointment his entire Lions career, had a big sack to give the Offense one last try at the end. This unit is definitely over achieving and that speaks volumes with how great of a job Jon Barry has done since taking over the Defense. They will have their hands full on Thanksgiving with Favre and company.
Special Teams: --- F. Hanson had a 42 yard field goal but had a kick blocked. Coverage was just terrible as several times the Giants had a short field to score because of blown tackling. Travis Walters and Avian Cason were next to terrible. The Lions have virtually no return game and that has hurt them quite a few times this season.
Coaching: --- F-. Where do I begin? If not the worst coached game this year! Didn't Marinelli say all week the Lions were going to run the ball more? Nothing like running it four times on the first drive and practically giving up on it. You will rarely win a football game if you can only muster 25 yards in a game. In the 3rd quarter the Lions had a four and an inch at the Giants 25 yard line down 13-0. Why not put in TJ Duckett, who did not have one carry the entire game!?!? If you cannot pick up an inch in the NFL, you do not deserve to win a football game. I still do not understand why Calvin Johnson hardly sees the ball! He only saw the ball three times yet fourth string WR Shaun McDonald sees the ball over twice as many times?!?! And the long throw that was picked off intended to Shaun McDonald with two minutes to go was an absolutely horrible play call. Mike Martz better wake up and smell the coffee before this so called offense genius turns out to be nothing more than the most over hyped offensive coordinator in recent memory.
Overall: --- F. The Lions needed this game if they wanted to have the tie breaker on the Giants and they blew it. Now, they must finish with a better record than the Giants and Redskins if they want to sneak into the playoffs. The division is a lost cause since they are now three games out. What hurts more than anything is the Lions could have beaten both Arizona and New York if the Offense ever got on track. Now at 6-4 the Lions face the 9-1 Packers on Thanksgiving. I will flat out say they will need to play their best game of the year to have any shot of pulling out their first Thanksgiving Day victory since beating the Packers four years ago. The last three have been blowouts. It would not shock me one bit if they get blown out for a fourth straight year. If the Lions lose the game, they will be facing a near certain six game losing streak straight in the eyes.