Matthew Stafford, Lions Beat Eli Manning, Giants in Odell Beckham's '17 Debut

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 18, 2017

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 18:  Marvin Jones #11 of the Detroit Lions celebrates with Matthew Stafford #9 after scoring a 27 yard touchdown in the first quarter against the New York Giants during their game at MetLife Stadium on September 18, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions earned a 24-10 victory over the New York Giants on Monday night in MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Matthew Stafford threw for 122 yards and two touchdowns on 15-of-21 passing. According to Pro Football Talk's Michael David Smith, the total is the second-fewest passing yards in a game in Stafford's career.

Eli Manning finished 22-of-32 through the air for 239 yards, one touchdown and an interception.

Odell Beckham Jr. made his 2017 debut Monday night after recovering from an ankle injury that kept him out of the Giants' 19-3 defeat to the Dallas Cowboys. He made little impact in his return, catching four passes for 36 yards.

After the game, Giants head coach Ben McAdoo said Beckham was "fit enough to play in a limited role," according to the New York Post's Paul Schwartz.

Beckham's presence also did little to address the biggest issue plaguing the Giants offense at the moment: the porous offensive line. The Lions sacked Eli Manning four times in the first half, and the running back trio of Shane Vereen, Orleans Darkwa and Paul Perkins ran for 26 yards on six carries.

One of Detroit's four sacks nearly resulted in a defensive touchdown on the Giants' opening drive. Darius Slay recovered what had initially been ruled a fumble in the end zone to put the Lions ahead. The call was overturned after an official review.

While the Giants dodged a bullet on that play, it offered a sign of things to come.

CBS Sports' Tom Fornelli and ESPN.com's Jordan Raanan singled out Giants offensive tackle Ereck Flowers:

The Giants averaged four yards a play on their six first-half drives, and New York's struggles on offense put a lot of pressure on its defense. Stafford had a pair of touchdown passes, first hitting Marvin Jones on a 27-yard completion with four minutes left in the first quarter and then Eric Ebron from seven yards out at the 8:43 mark of the second frame.

Stafford also showed off his wheels, as his 13-yard scramble on 3rd-and-9 helped keep Detroit's first scoring drive alive. The NFL shared a replay of his run:

Matt Prater's 56-yard field goal gave Detroit a 17-7 lead heading into the half.

The offensive line cost New York again as the team appeared poised to trim the deficit to three points in the third quarter. Left guard Brett Jones committed a holding penalty that turned a 1st-and-goal at the Lions' 1-yard line into a 1st-and-goal at the 11-yard line.

New York settled for a 25-yard field goal by Aldrick Rosas to make it a 17-10 game with 5:04 remaining in the third frame.

Jamal Agnew added to the Lions' lead with an 88-yard punt return touchdown at the 12:56 mark of the fourth quarter. Agnew's moves caught the attention of Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley and Lions legend Barry Sanders:

After the defense forced a turnover on downs, Ameer Abdullah broke free for a 34-yard run that helped drain precious time off the clock late in the final quarter. By the time the Giants got the ball back, 26 seconds remained on the clock, nowhere near enough time to overturn a 14-point deficit.

In one of Week 3's most interesting games, the Lions will welcome in the Atlanta Falcons. Atlanta got pushed hard by the Chicago Bears in Week 1 and then allowed two fourth-quarter touchdowns to the Green Bay Packers in Week 2, turning what had been a one-sided game into a more tense one. 

The Lions were far from dominant Monday night as they were outgained 270-257 by the Giants. Detroit played far better in its season-opening win over the Arizona Cardinals, and next week will provide a better picture of the team's ceiling in 2017.

The Giants will face off with a division rival for the second time in three weeks when they play the Philadelphia Eagles on the road Sunday. Having already collected eight sacks this season, the Eagles pass rush is likely looking forward to matching up against New York's offensive line.

Beginning a season 0-2 can be disastrous for a team's playoff hopes, and based on the performance of their offensive line, the Giants could start 0-3. The fans already made their frustration clear by booing the home team at various points Monday night, and the unrest would grow further if New York drops a third straight game Sunday.

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