Giants top Lions, 23-20, in OT

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

The Detroit Lions had everything to play for this afternoon. They needed to beat the Giants to stay alive in the race for the NFC North title. The Giants had very little to play for but put up a fight in a game between two of the league’s sloppiest and undisciplined teams.

The Giants, the NFC leader in turnovers, met their match with the careless Lions, the NFL’s leader in dropped passes this season. Both teams made their share of mistakes and the result was a 23-20 overtime win for the Giants, a nine-point underdog coming into the game.

The victory raised the Giants’ record to 6-9 and left the 7-8 Lions on the outside looking in on the NFC Playoff picture.

First Half Report

The Giants struggled on offense in the second half, going three-and-out five times and giving up a safety when Eli Manning got buried by three-quarters of the Detroit defensive front with 1:01 left in the third period.

After the safety, the Lions went 61 yards on nine plays, scoring on a 2-yard run by RB Theo Riddick. Stafford connected with TE Joseph Fauria on the 2-pt conversion to make the score 20-13 Detroit.

With 5:06 left in the 4th quarter, Stafford threw the ball high for Fauria and got picked off by Giants safety Will Hill, who returned it 38 yards for the tying TD.

After each team possessed the ball twice after that game-changing play. The Giants had an opportunity for a FG attempt, but Eli threw an INT with 23 seconds remaining, his 26th of the season which set a new franchise record.

In overtime, the Giants received the football. Michael Cox had his biggest return of the year – 57 yards – giving the Giants the ball on their own 49.

On a first and ten from the Detroit 36, Andre Brown fumbled and the ball was recovered by Lions’ Willie Young on the 29. The play was reviewed and upheld. Brown was shaken up on the play, apparently suffering a blow to the head. He left the game to be evaluated and did not return.

The Giants got the ball back after holding the Lions after they took possession after the fumble. With 9:24 remaining in overtime, the Giants were facing a 4th-and-7 on the Detroit 42. Tom Coughlin decided to keep the offense on the field. He was rewarded when Eli hit Jerrel Jernigan for 15 yards to the 27.

Josh Brown sealed the deal with a 45-yarder with 7:37 on the clock. Final: Giants 23, Lions 20


At least they played hard today. It never ceases to amaze me how many mistakes this team makes, with a head coach who is supposed to be a disciplinarian.

Interesting weekend for Will Hill, to say the least.

Jonathan Wagner
Jonathan Wagner

@1harris1  Been saying that through Coughlin's tenure. What good is arriving five minutes early to meetings of you learn nothing from those meetings and keep repeating the same mistakes over and over? Still, you can't complain about two SB's in seven years, especially when you're the only team in the league to accomplish that. 

That's why it's so tough to evaluate this Coughlin/Manning era... it's such a dichotomy. On one hand, you have those SB titles and only two losing years in a decade... on the other, you have no playoffs in 4 of the past 5 yrs and a LOT of mistakes, MANY times where the team simply didn't show up with everything to play for, and some very mediocre play much of the time. 

I guess, ultimately, you go with the titles because that's what it's all about. But at the same time, those two hot runs that ended in titles masked play that otherwise might have run Coughlin and Eli out of town... such a fine line with this tenure... Imagine if Asante Samuel HADN'T dropped that sure pick in SB XLII, or if Wes Welker makes a catch he would almost always make in SB XLVI -- might be singing an entirely different tune about this tenure instead of (I suppose, rightfully) remembering the Coughlin/Eli era as one of the better ones in Giants history. Amazing how such a fine line can separate such different perceptions!


You're right, but if provided with the choice by the football gods, I'd always give up a few bad years for a couple of titles. Look at the championship drought suffered by so many of the NY teams at present. Fans of those teams would kill for one championship, let alone two within a five year period.

The Giants definitely received their share of good fortune with both of their titles, but often in sports you need a little bit of luck to be on top of the mountain at the end of the day.

I'm interested to see what the future holds for Coughlin. I suspect that as long as Tom wants to coach, ownership will give him that opportunity. But it has been two consecutive poor seasons, and he is plainly old by coaching standards. Would ownership ever reach a point where they would remove him against his will? And what is the story with Eli? He 's been bad now for the last year and a half. What has happened to him?

Should be interesting, as always, in Giant land.