Lions Den: Winning Streak Snapped in Loss to Giants

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The Detroit Lions (9-5) had their five-game winning streak snapped on Sunday, losing to the New York Giants (10-4) by a final score of 17-6 at MetLife Stadium.

Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford couldn’t get anything going on offense, finishing with 273 yards and an interception. Detroit was in the red zone when Stafford had his pass intercepted by Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie with 1:58 left in the game, sealing the fate of the Lions. Stafford came into the came nursing a finger injury, but it didn’t seem to affect him, as he only made a couple of bad throws, one of them being the costly interception.

Much like the Lions’ passing game, Detroit’s run game wasn’t effective either. With Theo Riddick out, the Lions turned to Dwayne Washington and Zach Zenner to carry the rushing load. Zenner’s first carry in the game was costly, as he fumbled at the Giants’ 4-yard line. Zenner only carried the ball twice after that, leaving Washington with most of the workload. Washington carried the ball 14 times for 31 yards, putting pressure on Detroit’s passing game.

Detroit’s receivers performed well considering Stafford’s rough day. Golden Tate led all receivers with eight catches for 122 yards. Tate caught a 67-yard pass in the first half, setting the Lions up in the red zone, but the next play was the aforementioned fumble by Zenner. Marvin Jones caught three passes for 41 yards, while tight end Eric Ebron caught four passes for 36 yards.

Eli Manning and the New York offense didn’t have a great day, but did enough to get a victory. Manning finished the game with just 201 yards, but was able to throw two touchdowns. Manning was very efficient throwing the ball, completing 71 percent of his passes. Detroit’s defense took a hit in the second quarter when star cornerback Darius Slay left the game with a hamstring injury. Manning took advantage of that, finding Odell Beckham Jr. on a 4-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.

New York’s two-headed monster of Paul Perkins and Rashad Jennings was effective on the ground against Detroit. Perkins and Jennings combined for 94 yards on 29 carries. Perkins was the most effective of the two, as he was able to rip off multiple big runs.

Besides Beckham Jr. and rookie receiver Sterling Shepard, Detroit did a fair job of covering Giants receivers. Beckham Jr. and Shepard combined for 10 receptions, 120 yards and two touchdowns. The injury to Slay hurt the Lions down the stretch, as he had held Beckham Jr. in check for most of the first half. Slay is questionable going forward, and his injury could be the difference between a playoff berth and an early offseason for the Lions.

The schedule doesn’t get any easier for Detroit as they travel to Dallas next week to take on the Cowboys. The game is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 26 at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN at AT&T Stadium.

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