DET-NYG grades: Short passing game works for Giants in win

Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr. grade well in close victory over Lions, while pass rush gets Lions QB Matthew Stafford off his game.

| 6 months ago
(Al Bello, Getty Images)

(Al Bello, Getty Images)

DET-NYG grades: Short passing game works for Giants in win

New York Giants 17, Detroit Lions 9

Here are the top-graded players and biggest storylines from the Giants’ 17-9 win over Detroit:

New York Giants

Quarterback grade: Eli Manning, 82.7

Manning excels in conservative passing attack

Eli Manning was very conservative in terms of forcing the ball downfield, and with the defense clicking again, the plan worked. He attempted just seven throws longer than 10 yards from the line of scrimmage and completed five of them for 92 yards and a score. His play against Detroit’s blitz was outstanding, as he completed seven of eight attempts for 82 yards, a score and a QB rating of 149.0 when the Lions brought the extra man.


Top offensive grades:

C Weston Richburg, 83.2

QB Eli Manning, 82.7

OG John Jerry, 82.2

WR Odell Beckham Jr., 80.6

RB Paul Perkins, 73.4

Perkins provides a boost to the run game 

On 18 carries, starting RB Rashad Jennings managed just 38 yards (36 after contact), but his rookie understudy enjoyed better success. Paul Perkins tallied 56 yards on 11 touches, with 32 of his yards coming after the catch. While the Lions held Odell Beckham Jr. to six catches and 64 receiving yards, his two grabs on New York’s fourth-quarter touchdown drive provided the breathing room the Giants needed. He ran away from Lions’ backup CB Asa Jackson for a 25-yard reception on a corner route to convert a third-and-10, and snatched an off-target toss from Manning one-handed to finish off the scoring drive.

Top defensive grades:

DE Olivier Vernon, 83.6

CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, 83.4

S Landon Collins, 81.0

DT Damon Harrison, 80.4

LB Keenan Robinson, 78.8

DRC steps up when Jenkins leaves game early

While the Giants are surely concerned about the health of Janoris Jenkins, who left this game due to injury, going forward, they have to be happy with the play of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who has played mostly in the slot this year but kicked outside once Jenkins left the game in the first half. He was beaten badly on a 67-yard reception by Golden Tate to start the second half, but on his other eight non-garbage time targets, he gave up just four catches for 23 yards, broke up a pass and intercepted Lions QB Matthew Stafford in the end zone to effectively end the game. Elsewhere on defense, the Giants made life difficult for Stafford by racking up two sacks and 17 total pressures, with five of them belonging to Olivier Vernon.

Detroit Lions

Quarterback grade: Matthew Stafford, 79.2

Stafford has a solid game overall, but struggles against pressure

Matthew Stafford barely underthrew WR Golden Tate for a would-be touchdown on Detroit’s first drive of the game, an early error that haunted the Lions late as they could never make up the deficit. He struggled to move the ball effectively when pressured, completing just four of nine tosses for 33 yards when faced with the rush, good for a QB rating of just 54.4.


Top offensive grades:

OG Larry Warford, 82.2

OT Riley Reiff, 81.1

WR Golden Tate, 80.2

QB Matthew Stafford, 79.2

OG Laken Tomlinson, 73.8

Lions leave points on the board early, can’t score any late

Stafford’s miss on the first drive was quickly followed by a third-down drop by an otherwise solid Eric Ebron, forcing Detroit to settle for a field goal. RB Zach Zenner made the most critical error, however, as he fumbled the ball away on the goal line when it looked like Detroit was about to take the lead in the first half. Not unexpectedly, rookie LT Taylor Decker struggled with edge rusher Olivier Vernon of the Giants. He gave up four total pressures to the Giants’ star pass-rusher, including his first sack against since Week 3.

Top defensive grades:

LB Tahir Whitehead, 86.3

DE Devin Taylor, 80.3

S Tavon Wilson, 79.9

LB DeAndre Levy, 79.7

CB Johnson Bademosi, 79.1

Detroit’s short-handed defense keeps the Lions in the game until late

Considering the Lions were without star CB Darius Slay, who left due to injury, for much of the game and also were unable to generate a significant pass-rush, the defense did a reasonable job of keeping them within striking distance until New York’s late scoring drive. LB Tahir Whitehead had a solid all-around day, as he posted six total stops and none of his three receptions allowed went for longer four yards. S Tavon Wilson notched seven solo tackles and had two defensive stops, and gave up just 19 yards on two receptions against.

PFF Game-Ball Winner: Giants DE Olivier Vernon

PFF’s player grading process includes multiple reviews, which may change the grade initially published in order to increase its accuracy. Learn more about how we grade and access grades for every player through each week of the NFL season by subscribing to Player Grades.

| Analyst

Josh joined PFF as an analyst in 2015. During the season, his primary focus is college football (mainly the Big Ten). He is also heavily involved in PFF's NFL draft coverage. Prior to joining the team, he worked for six years with GM Jr. Scouting, an independent draft scouting service.

  • Justin Lasker

    It was 17-6, not 17-9.

    • Paul

      How hard is it to get the score right? Lol

      • crosseyedlemon

        Is it possible Josh is a former game official? We know they have trouble getting the coin toss right.

    • Steve

      Do people seriously take this site serious? They can’t even get the score correct, and we expect them to grade players without knowing plays of schemes, only an hour after the game ends.

  • MikeC4

    Didn’t think the long balls down the sideline to Cruz and Odell were particularly “conservative”. They were dead on the money perfect throws. But, this is Eli Manning we’re talking about, who PFF needs to trash and or back hand compliment in some way every single week.

    Tell Sam Monson or whatever his name is to take his last article and shove it up his arse. Stafford threw the game away today with a brutal interception. Can you imagine the headlines and write up if Eli did that?

  • Paul

    I thought Eli played a terrific game in bad weather. A very smart game. And the coaches helped Ereck Flowers out. Pugh coming back also helped. Amazing what happens when Eli is given some semblance of a pocket to work from. He started the game completing 11-11 but don’t expect PFF to mention this.

    • John Dunn

      One look at the “grade” and write-up given to Brady’s performance yesterday tells you everything about the ridiculous subjective bias with this pos site. Brady completes LESS than 50% of his passes; attempts ONE pass longer than yards & only completes 4 passes between 10-19 yards and grades out at nearly a 73. Laughable. If Eli played a game like that his grade would be something closer to 20. I’m convinced this site consists of a bunch of dweebs who had their hearts broken twice by Eli in the SB and clearly have never gotten over it. The problem is the less informed media who pick up this Eli stinks narrative and it’s just not rooted in fact.

  • Nunya Biz

    The return of Pugh made a notable difference. Eli felt much more comfortable stepping up thru the pocket, which allowed plays to develop, thus more downfield opportunities thrown in rhythm.

    And of course PFF had to get a few backhanded swipes in at Eli. It remains odd.

  • Vitor

    Giants fans are annoying as kids