Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Will Hill returned an interception for a TD in the fourth quarter.
New York couldn't get anything done in the second half.
The offense, which was efficient in the first half, could hardly gain a yard. The defense, which was stalwart in the first half, allowed 15 points in the final two frames of regulation (two points came via safety). Even the special teams began to break down, as Detroit's Jeremy Ross got loose for a 50-yard punt return that altered the complexion of the game.
But all it takes to turn the tides is one big play.
With the Giants rolled over, all but tapped out, a single play changed the game in their favor. By the end of the fourth quarter, the Lions were dominating. Never before had a seven-point lead felt so comfortable.
That was until about five minutes remained in the final quarter, when Matthew Stafford threw an errant pass that slipped through his intended receiver's grasp and into the waiting arms of Giants safety Will Hill.
Hill, who was arrested on Friday for a child support issue, excelled on the field on Sunday. He racked up a team-leading 11 tackles on the afternoon, but his fourth-quarter interception was, by far, his biggest play of the day. He returned the pick 38 yards for a touchdown, tying up the game at 20 points apiece.
With the offense floundering, the defense happily accounted for the points needed to tie the game up.
The Giants played a solid first half, and several players put forth significant contributions. For example, defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka had a career game, making six tackles (four solo, two for a loss), two sacks, five QB hits and a pass defense. Wide receiver Jerrel Jernigan had a monster day in place of Victor Cruz; kicker Josh Brown hit a game-winner and a season-long 52-yarder.
Many individual players and individual plays led to the victory, but Hill's 38-yard interception return for a touchdown was undoubtedly the game's one biggest play.