Notes: Lions hold up their end of bargain in Detroit’s mega sports day

The offense will deservedly get a lot of kudos for hanging 35 points on the Giants' defense.

Andrew Weber

DETROIT — When the Ford Field scoreboard flashed the Tigers’ 9-5 victory over the Kansas City Royals, the Lions knew it was on.

"The crowd went even crazier," safety Glover Quin said. "We wanted to hold up our end of the bargain, too. It’s how we do in Detroit. Hopefully the Tigers can win the next game (Tuesday) and tie (for the division lead). So hey, that’s how we do it in Detroit. It’s how we do it."

Then Quin and the Lions went out and did just that, pummeling the New York Giants on Monday Night Football, 35-14.

Quin and linebacker DeAndre Levy each intercepted Giants quarterback Eli Manning. 

Levy got his early in the third quarter and an official review upheld the play, which Levy took to the Giants’ 18-yard line.

"I thought I had one earlier," Levy said. "I was a little behind my drop so I couldn’t get it so I really wanted to make amends for that."

The offense eventually scored a field goal for a 17-7 lead.

The Lions’ defense forced the Giants into a three-and-out and on the Giants’ next possession, Quin got his interception, returning it 18 yards to the Giants’ 19-yard line.

"I just try to take advantage of my opportunities and he put one up, I had an opportunity to make a play on it and I just tried to capitalize on it," Quin said.

The Lions sacked Manning twice, with George Johnson getting credit for 1 1/2 sacks and Ezekiel Ansah for a half-sack.

The Lions also hit Manning a total of nine times.

"We really wanted to get to the quarterback more than that, but actually pressuring him, getting him off the spot, making him run around, do things that he didn’t want to do, we accomplished that," Johnson said.

Manning finished 18-for-33 for 163 yards and one touchdown. His passer rating was 53.0. 

By comparison, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was 22-for-32 for 346 yards and two touchdowns. His passer rating was 125.3. Stafford also rushed for a touchdown.

"We expected them to come out and run, try to hit us with some quick throws and I think the coaches prepared us well," Levy said. "I think we had a good feel for what they were trying to do and it allowed us to play fast."

The Giants had 53 net yards rushing on 22 carries, a 2.4 yards per carry average.

"We did one thing by stopping the run but affecting the quarterback more, that’s what we wanted to do, we wanted to get more sacks," Johnson said. "We wanted to get him down. If we do that, we can actually help out the secondary more by having them not cover so long."

The offense will deservedly get a lot of kudos for hanging 35 points on the Giants’ defense but Golden Tate said a lot of credit goes to the Lions’ defense.

"They balled, they played disciplined football and made some big plays and helped us out for sure," Tate said. "Anytime you can get a sudden change on the fringe, you’re expecting a field goal at worst out of that. They showed up big and so did special teams. They had a game-changing play blocking the punt. That’s huge. If we can do that every single game, play consistent, fundamental ball and show up in all three phases of the game, I like our chances this year."

LAWSON PRESSED INTO DUTY

When nickel back Bill Bentley was carted off the field with a knee injury in the first quarter, rookie Nevin Lawson came in to replace him.

"I think I did OK for my first NFL game," Lawson said. "I just basically kept my composure, treated the game like practice. Everything that I did in practice showed up — basically how I played in practice is how I played in the game. I felt like I did good for my first game."

Lawson was credited with one tackle.

"I think he came in and played a great game," Quin said. "That’s what we expect of him. He’s on the roster for a reason. It’s not like he’s just here to play special teams or have a redshirt year, he’s here to play. We have confidence in him and he came in and did a great job. That’s what we expect going forward."

Lawson said veterans like Quin helped him throughout the game.

"Not even just on the sidelines, but also on the field, giving me tips and reminders," Lawson said. "That’s obviously a big, big type of thing to have, those veteran players. I feel like the whole defense (helped), linebackers just giving me calls, making sure I’m on the same page as them."

Lawson said he did have a pinch-me moment when he realized just where he was.

"When I was on the sidelines, I said to myself, ‘Wow, I’m really playing against Eli Manning and Victor Cruz,’" Lawson said. "It felt like it was just a regular day at the job."

When asked whether Bentley suffered a torn ACL, coach Jim Caldwell said that had not been confirmed yet. Yet it appeared to be a serious injury.

OTHER INJURIES

Right tackle LaAdrian Waddle left early in the game with a calf injury and was replaced by Corey Hilliard.


Quin left briefly with cramps in his calf but said after the game that he was fine.