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Lions manhandle Giants in Caldwell’s debut
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Lions manhandle Giants in Caldwell’s debut

Detroit, MI (SportsNetwork.com) – In a battle of teams unveiling brand new offenses, the Detroit Lions had by far the better first impression.

With Matthew Stafford throwing a pair of touchdown passes to Calvin Johnson and running for another score, the Lions cruised to a 35-14 rout of the New York Giants in a strong debut under new head coach Jim Caldwell.

Stafford operated first-year coordinator Joe Lombardi’s system with extreme precision, completing a crisp 22-of-32 throws for 346 yards and finding Johnson early and often, with the All-Pro wideout hauling in seven catches totaling 164 yards.

Golden Tate added 93 yards on six receptions for a Detroit (1-0) squad that outgained the out-of-sync Giants by a one-sided 417-197 margin in total yards and intercepted a struggling Eli Manning twice in the second half.

Manning managed just 163 yards and a touchdown on a 18-of-33 completion rate directing new coordinator Ben McAdoo’s scheme.

Larry Donnell recorded 56 yards and a touchdown on five catches for New York (0-1), with Rashad Jennings rushing for 46 yards and a score on 16 carries.

The first 11-plus minutes of the Caldwell era couldn’t have gone any better, as the Lions outgained New York by a 154-5 margin through two drives apiece while roaring out to a 14-0 lead.

Stafford and Johnson were the biggest reasons why.

The duo made their presence felt on the game’s fourth play from scrimmage, as Stafford sidestepped a rush and hit a wide-open Johnson behind the Giants’ defense for a 67-yard touchdown just under three minutes in.

Detroit’s next series ended in the same result. On a 3rd-and-13 from the New York 16-yard line, Stafford rolled to his left before flicking the ball across his body into the end zone, where Johnson came down with a fingertip grab to push the margin to 14 points.

Stafford connected on 7-of-8 throws for 149 yards and the two scores over those opening two possessions.

New York finally got something going on its third trek of the night, with the aid of a pair of costly penalties by Detroit.

The Lions had the Giants initially stopped at midfield, but safety Jerome Couplin was flagged for roughing punter Steve Weatherford to lengthen the drive. A pass interference call on Darius Slay later on gave New York a 1st- and-goal, and Donnell was able to bring down Manning’s fade toss on fourth down to cut the deficit to 14-7 early in the second quarter.

It remained a 7-point game at the half after Lions rookie Nate Freese misfired on a 43-yard field goal attempt just past the two-minute warning.

Detroit’s defense then came up with the first big play of the second half, as DeAndre Levy made a diving interception of Manning and returned it 13 yards to the Giants’ 18 to set up a 28-yard field goal from Freese.

After a quick three-and-out by New York’s stagnant offense, the Lions increased the lead to 20-7 on Freese’s 27-yard field goal with 5:50 left in the third quarter. A 44-yard third-down catch by Tate and Joseph Fauria’s 26- yard reception put Detroit in position for the kick.

Another interception, this one by Glover Quin as Manning delivered an underthrown and off-balance throw while under pressure from Ndamukong Suh, sent the Lions back in the red zone. Stafford finished the short sequence by alertly scrambling across the goal line from five yards out to extend the margin to 27-7.

The Giants responded with their best offensive sequence of the night, marching 80 yards in 14 plays and getting a clutch 16-yard catch by Donnell on 3rd- and-15 that moved New York inside the Detroit 30. Jennings had a 21-yard catch soon after and capped the jaunt by leaping over the pile for a 1-yard score with 11:53 to play.

Detroit, which blew five fourth-quarter leads down the stretch of a 7-9 season in 2013, made sure there would be no comeback this time. Stafford engineered a 12-play, 80-yard possession that consumed over seven minutes and featured three third-down conversions, two on catches by Johnson and another by Tate. Joique Bell finally sealed the Giants’ fate with a 3-yard TD run with 4:39 remaining.

Game Notes

The 21-point margin of victory was the Lions’ largest in a season opener since a 41-20 road triumph over the Los Angeles Rams in 1980 … The Giants have now lost four straight Week 1 tilts and dropped to 0-5 when opening on the road under head coach Tom Coughlin … New York had won the last three meetings, including a 23-20 overtime decision at Ford Field in Week 16 of last season … The Giants had topped the Lions five straight times in the Motor City, with Detroit’s last home win in the set coming on Nov. 7, 1983 … Detroit right offensive tackle LaAdrian Waddle exited the game with a calf injury on the team’s opening series, while nickelback Bill Bentley hurt his knee later in the first quarter and did not return.

NFL Boxscore – NY Giants at Detroit

Team 1 2 3 4 Score
NY Giants 0 7 0 7 14
Detroit 14 0 13 8 35
Scoring Summary
1st Quarter
Detroit Touchdown – 67-yard pass from Matthew Stafford to Calvin Johnson.   (Nate Freese extra point is good). 12:11 Time Remaining. (4 plays, 80 yards. Time of Drive: 2:49).
Detroit Touchdown – 16-yard pass from Matthew Stafford to Calvin Johnson.   (Nate Freese extra point is good). 5:12 Time Remaining. (9 plays, 69 yards. Time of Drive: 5:23).
2nd Quarter
NY Giants Touchdown – 1-yard pass from Eli Manning to Larry Donnell.   (Josh Brown extra point is good). 12:54 Time Remaining. (13 plays, 79 yards. Time of Drive: 4:56).
3rd Quarter
Detroit Field Goal – 28-yarder by Nate Freese.  11:54 Time Remaining. (4 plays, 8 yards. Time of Drive: 1:37).
Detroit Field Goal – 27-yarder by Nate Freese.  5:50 Time Remaining. (9 plays, 66 yards. Time of Drive: 4:02).
Detroit Touchdown – 5-yard run by Matthew Stafford.   (Nate Freese extra point is good). 3:51 Time Remaining. (5 plays, 19 yards. Time of Drive: 1:41).
4th Quarter
NY Giants Touchdown – 1-yard run by Rashad Jennings.   (Josh Brown extra point is good). 11:53 Time Remaining. (14 plays, 80 yards. Time of Drive: 6:58).
Detroit Touchdown – 3-yard run by Joique Bell.   (Matthew Stafford pass to Joseph Fauria for the two-point conversion). 4:39 Time Remaining. (12 plays, 80 yards. Time of Drive: 7:14).
Officials
Referee: Clete Blakeman Umpire:Ruben Fowler
Line Judge: Ron Marinucci Side Judge:Rick Patterson
Head Linesman: Tony Veteri Back Judge:Steve Patrick
Field Judge: David Meslow  
Attendance/Time
Attendance: 64401 Time:2:56
Final Team Statistics
  NY Giants Detroit
TOTAL FIRST DOWNS 16 20
By Rushing 4 5
By Passing 8 14
By Penalty 4 1
THIRD DOWN EFFICIENCY 3-13-23 10-15-67
FOURTH DOWN EFFICIENCY 2-3-67 0-0-0
TOTAL NET YARDS 197 417
Total Off. Plays (inc. times thrown passing) 57 63
Avg. gain per offensive play 3.5 6.6
NET YARDS RUSHING 53 76
Total Rushing Plays 22 30
Avg. gain per rushing play 2.4 2.5
NET YARDS PASSING 144 341
Times Thrown – yards lost attempting to pass 2-19 1-5
Gross yards passing 163 346
PASS ATTEMPTS-COMPLETIONS-HAD INTERCEPTED 33-18-2 32-22-0
Avg. gain per pass play (inc. # thrown passing) 4.1 10.3
PUNTS Number and average 5-40.2 2-54.5
Net Punting Average 38.0 39.5
TOTAL RETURN YARDAGE (Not including kickoffs) 30 42
No. and Yards Punt Returns 2-30 3-11
No. and Yards Kickoff Returns 1-14 0-0
No. and Yards Interception Returns 0-0 2-31
PENALTIES No. and Yards 4-25 8-85
FUMBLES No. and Lost 0-0 1-0
TOUCHDOWNS 2 4
Rushing 1 2
Passing 1 2
EXTRA POINTS Made-Attempts 2-2 3-3
FIELD GOALS Made-Attempts 0-0 2-3
SAFETIES 0 0
FINAL SCORE 14 35
TIME OF POSSESSION 23:56 36:04
Final Individual Statistics
NY Giants Detroit
RUSHING ATT YDS AVG LG TD
R.Jennings 16 46 2.9 14 1
A.Williams 5 9 1.8 5 0
J.Jernigan 1 -2 -2.0 -2 0
           
           
Total 22 53 2.4 14 1
RUSHING ATT YDS AVG LG TD
J.Bell 15 51 3.4 12 1
R.Bush 9 15 1.7 6 0
G.Tate 1 4 4.0 4 0
T.Riddick 1 4 4.0 4 0
M.Stafford 4 2 0.5 5 1
Total 30 76 2.5 12 2
PASSING ATT CP YDS SK/YD TD LG IN
E.Manning 33 18 163 2/19 1 21 2
Total 33 18 163 2/19 1 21 2
PASSING ATT CP YDS SK/YD TD LG IN
M.Stafford 32 22 346 1/5 2 67 0
Total 32 22 346 1/5 2 67 0
RECEIVING TAR REC YDS AVG LG TD
L.Donnell 8 5 56 11.2 19 1
R.Jennings 5 4 50 12.5 21 0
J.Jernigan 7 4 25 6.3 9 0
V.Cruz 6 2 24 12.0 20 0
R.Randle 3 2 1 0.5 1 0
D.Fells 1 1 7 7.0 7 0
A.Williams 1 0 0 0.0 0 0
C.Washington 1 0 0 0.0 0 0
Total 32 18 163 9.1 21 1
RECEIVING TAR REC YDS AVG LG TD
C.Johnson 11 7 164 23.4 67 2
G.Tate 6 6 93 15.5 44 0
R.Bush 6 6 49 8.2 24 0
J.Fauria 3 1 26 26.0 26 0
B.Pettigrew 1 1 9 9.0 9 0
J.Bell 1 1 5 5.0 5 0
E.Ebron 2 0 0 0.0 0 0
             
Total 30 22 346 15.7 67 2
INTERCEPTIONS NO YDS LG TD
None
         
Total 0 0 0 0
INTERCEPTIONS NO YDS LG TD
D.Levy 1 13 13 0
G.Quin 1 18 18 0
Total 2 31 18 0
PUNTING NO YDS AVG TB IN20 LG
S.Weatherford 5 201 40.2 0 1 56
Total 5 201 40.2 0 1 56
PUNTING NO YDS AVG TB IN20 LG
S.Martin 2 109 54.5 0 1 57
Total 2 109 54.5 0 1 57
PUNT RETURNS NO FC YDS LG TD
P.Parker 2 0 30 18 0
           
Total 2 0 30 18 0
PUNT RETURNS NO FC YDS LG TD
J.Ross 3 1 11 6 0
DOWNED 1 0 0 0 0
Total 4 1 11 6 0
KICKOFF RETURNS NO FC YDS LG TD
Q.Demps 1 0 14 14 0
TOUCHBACK 6 0 0 0 0
Total 7 0 14 14 0
KICKOFF RETURNS NO FC YDS LG TD
TOUCHBACK 3 0 0 0 0
           
Total 3 0 0 0 0
KICKING FG PCT LG XP PTS
J.Brown 0/0 0.0 0 2/2 2
Total 0/0 0.0 0 2/2 2
KICKING FG PCT LG XP PTS
N.Freese 2/3 66.7 28 3/3 9
Total 2/3 66.7 28 3/3 9
NY Giants
FUMBLES FUM LOST OWN-REC YDS TD FORCED OPP-REC YDS TD
A.Rolle 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
Detroit
FUMBLES FUM LOST OWN-REC YDS TD FORCED OPP-REC YDS TD
J.Bell 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Final Defensive Statistics
NY Giants TKL AST COM SAC YDS IN PD FF FR
S.Brown 6 3 9 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0
J.Williams 5 2 7 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0
J.Hankins 4 1 5 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0
D.Rodgers-Cromartie 4 0 4 0.0 0.0 0 2 0 0
A.Rolle 4 0 4 0.0 0.0 0 0 1 0
P.Amukamara 4 4 8 0.0 0.0 0 2 0 0
C.Jenkins 2 0 2 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0
J.Pierre-Paul 2 2 4 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0
J.Beason 1 3 4 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0
J.McClain 1 3 4 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0
R.Ayers 1 0 1 1.0 5.0 0 0 0 0
N.Berhe 1 0 1 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0
M.Kiwanuka 1 0 1 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0
M.Patterson 1 0 1 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0
W.Thurmond III 0 2 2 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0
Total 37 20 57 1.0 5.0 0 4 1 0
Detroit TKL AST COM SAC YDS IN PD FF FR
D.Levy 9 1 10 0.0 0.0 1 1 0 0
S.Tulloch 6 2 8 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0
I.Abdul-Quddus 4 1 5 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0
G.Quin 4 1 5 0.0 0.0 1 2 0 0
D.Slay 3 0 3 0.0 0.0 0 3 0 0
N.Suh 3 0 3 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0
G.Johnson 2 1 3 1.5 14.5 0 0 0 0
J.Couplin 2 0 2 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0
R.Mathis 1 0 1 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0
C.Mosley 1 0 1 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0
N.Lawson 1 0 1 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0
Z.Ansah 0 1 1 0.5 4.5 0 0 0 0
N.Fairley 0 1 1 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0
Total 36 8 44 2.0 19.0 2 6 0 0

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