The Detroit Lions dominated the line of scrimmage in a 24-10 victory over the New York Giants on Monday Night Football to cap Week 2 in the NFL.
The Lions sacked Giants quarterback Eli Manning five times—pass-rusher Ezekiel Ansah accounted for three. Even though Detroit controlled the lead through most of the game, Big Blue went into the fourth quarter with a chance at a comeback victory and literally bobbled the opportunity.
Poor protection on Manning's blind side, a non-existent ground attack and dropped passes sealed the Giants' 0-2 fate.
Now, with Week 2 in the rear-view mirror, we'll check out the latest power rankings before the upcoming Week 3 contests. You can take a look at the previous power rankings for context on the standings below.
Week 3 Power Rankings
1. Kansas City Chiefs (2-0)
2. Atlanta Falcons (2-0)
3. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0)
4. Green Bay Packers (1-1)
5. New England Patriots (1-1)
6. Oakland Raiders (2-0)
7. Denver Broncos (2-0)
8. Seattle Seahawks (1-1)
9. Dallas Cowboys (1-1)
10. Baltimore Ravens (2-0)
11. Detroit Lions (2-0)
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0)
13. Miami Dolphins (1-0)
14. Carolina Panthers (2-0)
15. Philadelphia Eagles (1-1)
16. Tennessee Titans (1-1)
17. Washington Redskins (1-1)
18. Minnesota Vikings (1-1)
19. New York Giants (0-2)
20. New Orleans Saints (0-2)
21. Los Angeles Chargers (0-2)
22. Houston Texans (1-1)
23. Los Angeles Rams (1-1)
24. Arizona Cardinals (1-1)
25. Buffalo Bills (1-1)
26. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1)
27. Cincinnati Bengals (0-2)
28. Cleveland Browns (0-2)
29. San Francisco 49ers (0-2)
30. Chicago Bears (0-2)
31. Indianapolis Colts (0-2)
32. New York Jets (0-2)
Detroit Lions Move to No. 11 After Monday Night Football Victory
The Lions didn't play their best game but accomplished enough to beat an offensively challenged Giants team on the road. The 'W' in the win column looks exactly the same whether it's a stat-filled 21-point victory or a relatively close game until an 88-yard punt return puts the contest out of reach.
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford threw for 122 yards and two touchdowns against a respectable secondary that didn't give up ample yardage. The ninth-year signal-caller extended drives using his legs with air-tight coverage on his receivers downfield in critical moments. The stat sheet won't fully illustrate the impact of his well-timed runs.
Detroit ranks No. 11 after two victories against winless clubs. Don't take any credit from the Lions, but we'll see what this team can do against a tougher opponent in the Atlanta Falcons at home in Week 3. Another victory would secure a spot within the top 10.
New York Giants Fall to No. 19 after Monday Night Football Loss
The Giants can't solve their offensive woes with one fix-it-all solution. Head coach Ben McAdoo should consider several changes, starting with a switch at left tackle. Ansah dominated his matchup with Ereck Flowers on the perimeter. General manager Jerry Reese must come to terms with a poor top-10 pick from the 2015 draft.
Flowers' poor play isn't the only reason for the Giants' sluggish offense. Manning can't hold onto the ball like he's playing behind the Dallas Cowboys or Oakland Raiders offensive line. The game plan should emphasize quick decisions in the pocket. The Giants signal-caller should treat the football like a hot potato.
Finally, Big Blue needs an average complementary ground attack at the very least. It's time for the Giants to treat the ball-carriers in the backfield as more than afterthoughts. Effective handoffs could become Manning's best tool to avoid unnecessary hits in the pocket.
Coming into the game with the Lions, the Giants ranked last in rushing attempts and yards. On Monday, New York ran the ball 18 times in a contest that remained close through three quarters. In order to develop the rushing offense, McAdoo must commit to making an attempt to run the football.
Houston Texans Rookie Takes Road Test on Sunday
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson celebrated his 22nd birthday and an NFL debut victory in Week 2. What's his reward? He's headed to Foxborough where the Patriots lost their regular-season opener.
Brady tossed three touchdown passes in the first quarter against the New Orleans Saints in Week 2. He won't have the same success against the Texans' formidable defense, but it's hard to imagine the rookie successfully keeping pace with what Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels will plan for the upcoming matchup.
Watson didn't throw a touchdown pass against the Cincinnati Bengals. Instead, he used his legs to put his team in position for the win. Assuming the Patriots do their homework on the opponent, head coach Bill Belichick will probably take away the rookie's running lanes and confine him to the pocket.
It's not an impossible feat, but Watson's chances at stringing together consecutive wins doesn't seem likely on Sunday. If he knocks off the defending champions, the Texans will earn a respectable spot in the rankings.