Josh Brown Kicks the Game-Winner in Overtime – © USA TODAY Sports Images
New York Giants 23 – Detroit Lions 20 (Overtime): The New York Giants defeated the Detroit Lions 23-20 in overtime on Sunday at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. With the win, the Giants improved their overall record to 6-9. The Giants also knocked the Lions out of playoff contention.
Behind a patchwork offensive line and missing WR Victor Cruz, the Giants used some creative offensive play-calling and strong defense in the first half to take a 13-3 halftime lead. Detroit began the game with a 10-play, 39-yard drive that stalled at the Giants’ 45-yard line after DE Mathias Kiwanuka sacked QB Matthew Stafford for a 12-yard loss. The Giants then began a 15-play, 69-yard drive that ended with a 41-yard field goal by PK Josh Brown. The two opening possessions took more than 11 minutes off of the clock.
Detroit responded with another long possession, driving 63 yards in 12 plays to set up a 37-yard field goal. Early in the second quarter, the game was tied 3-3.
The Giants went three-and-out on their second possession. Detroit drove from their own 35 to the Giants’ 45-yard line. But on 2nd-and-10, Kiwanuka forced RB Reggie Bush to fumble. The loose ball was recovered by S Antrel Rolle and returned to the Detroit 49-yard line. The Giants then put together a 9-play, 49-yard drive that resulted in a 20-yard touchdown pass from QB Eli Manning to WR Jerrel Jernigan. Giants 10 – Lions 3.
The Lions moved to the Giants 43-yard line on their fourth offensive possession, but on 2nd-and-17, DE Justin Tuck intercepted a Stafford pass with 47 seconds to go before halftime. Despite a sack, the Giants were able to get into field goal range and Brown kicked a 52-yarder with nine seconds left on the clock. Giants 13 – Lions 3.
The game completely changed in the second half as the Lions scored 17 unanswered points to take a 20-13 lead. Detroit dominated the line of scrimmage and the Giants were unable to run the football and Manning was under constant pass pressure. The Giants did not gain a single first down on their first five possessions of the second half. Worse, Manning was sacked in the end zone for a safety. After a 50-yard punt return by the Lions, Detroit cut the score to 13-10 with an 8-play, 30-yard drive. Both teams exchanged punts and then the safety occurred as New York led by only a single point, 13-12.
Momentum completely swung in Detroit’s favor as the Lions drove 63 yards in nine plays after the safety to go up 20-13 with the touchdown and successful 2-point conversion with under 12 minutes to play. New York went three-and-out on their next two offensive possessions. With just over five minutes to play, the Lions faced a 3rd-and-7 from their own 22-yard line. Stafford’s pass was tipped by the intended receiver and intercepted by S Will Hill who returned it 38 yards for the tying touchdown, 20-20.
Detroit went three-and-out. The Giants picked up one first down (their first of the second half) and punted. The Lions then picked up a first down and were forced to punt after another sack by Kiwanuka. With 50 seconds left in regulation, the Giants had the ball at their own 37-yard line and a chance to win. After two plays, the Giants crossed midfield, but with 28 seconds left, Manning’s deep pass over the middle intended for Jernigan was badly overthrown and intercepted.
The Giants won the coin toss and received the ball to start overtime. RB Michael Cox returned the kickoff deep out of the end zone for 56 yards to the Giants’ 49-yard line. After a 15-yard pass from Manning to TE Brandon Myers, RB Andre Brown fumbled the ball away. The Lions recovered at their own 28-yard line. The Giants’ defense held as Detroit went three-and-out.
The Giants then put together their final game-winning field-goal drive, marching 45 yards in 11 plays. The huge play on the drive was a 15-yard pass from Manning to Jernigan on 4th-and-7 from the Lions’ 42-yard line. Four plays later, Brown nailed the 45-yard field goal for the win.
Offensively, the Giants were held to 238 net yards passing and 41 net yards rushing. Manning finished the game 23-of-42 for 256 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception. His leading receiver was Jernigan who caught six passes for 80 yards and a touchdown. Andre Brown was held to 40 yards on 16 carries (2.5 yards per rush).
Defensively, the Giants allowed 207 net yards passing and 148 net yards rushing. The leading tacklers were LB Jon Beason (11), S Ryan Mundy (10), and Hill (9). Hill intercepted a pass that he returned for a touchdown. Kiwanuka had 6 tackles, 2 sacks, and forced a fumble that Rolle recovered.
On special teams, the Giants gave up a 50-yard punt return but Cox also had a 56-yard kickoff return. Brown made all three of his field goal attempts from 41, 52, and 45 yards.
Post-Game Injury Report: TE Adrien Robinson sprained a knee on the opening kickoff and did not return. Brandon Mosley, who started at right guard, broke a hand on the opening drive and did not return. RB Andre Brown suffered a concussion in overtime and did not return.
Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Post-Game Press Conference: The transcript of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s post-game press conference is available at Giants.com.
Player Post-Game Media Sessions: Transcripts and video of post-game media sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:
New York Giants Post-Game Notes: Inactive for the Giants were QB Ryan Nassib, RB Peyton Hillis (concussion), WR Victor Cruz (knee), OG David Diehl (knee), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder), LB Allen Bradford, and S Cooper Taylor (hamstring).
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