The Detroit Lions started 2014 off with an electric bang, defeating the New York Giants 35-14 tonight at Ford Field. The Lions looked sharp, firing on all cylinders and outplaying the Giants in every phase of the game. A big home victory is a great start to the season for Detroit in a week where both Chicago and Green Bay lost. While penalties and a slow rushing game were eye sores at time, at least a few players gave star studded performance in primetime.
QB Matthew Stafford showed exactly why he can be a top 10 quarterback in the NFL tonight. He had poise, showed good pocket presence, and managed the game well. His throw release has not lost a beat and while he struggled a bit when he was flushed from the pocket, Stafford was effective on third down and showed great football IQ in the red zone. On a night where Stafford went 22-32 for 346 yards with two touchdowns and a 125.3 QB rating, it’s hard to believe he can’t contend with Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler in the north.
Calvin Johnson is Back and Golden Tate is Here
Megatron finally has a true complimentary receiver this season, and it made the Detroit offense more dangerous than ever tonight. Johnson nabbed seven balls for 164 yards and two touchdowns and was explosive after the catch and showed his versatility and shiftiness all night; something we’ve come to expect through the years. But what is even more encouraging is the good night Golden Tate had on the other side of the field. Tate had a solid six receptions for 93 yards including a 44 yard snag down the right sideline and showed good blocking skills even with a relatively week running performance.
Detroit’s defense showed speed, toughness, and above all was good in open field tackling situations. DeAndre Levy spearheaded the strong performance with nine solo tackles, two for losses, and another pass defended. Stephen Tulloch proved again why he is a great complimentary LB with eight tackles on the night, keeping the Giants run game honest and helping a secondary that played quite well, keeping Eli Manning to 163 yards through the air and a 53 QB rating.
Stay tuned for more to follow and a more comprehensive breakdown of the Lions’ week one victory.