The Giants stayed clear of the trap-game mentality Sunday, and will now open their NFC East schedule in Dallas on the heels of a 28-20 victory over the Detroit Lions.
The Giants (4-2) have now won three straight, while the 1-5 Lions lost their 24th straight on the road.
The offensive game hardly rose to the artistry of last week’s win over Houston, but Eli Manning and Ahmad Bradshaw did just enough to support a defense that again was solid save for Calvin Johnson‘s fourth-quarter, 87-yard touchdown completion on which cornerback Terrell Thomas’ fall left the receiver unmolested the final 35 yards to the end zone.
Bradshaw’s 45-yard run set up Brandon Jacobs’ decisive touchdown from six yards out with 3:24 remaining in the game. Antrel Rolle’s interception with seven seconds to go off Drew Stanton’s throw to Brandon Pettigrew allowed Manning to kneel out the clock.
The game took on a somber tone when Lions coverage player Zack Follett lay motionless after a helmet-to-helmet collision with blocker Jason Pierre-Paul on a fourth-quarter kickoff. He regained feeling and movement in the examination room and was taken to a local hospital. The incident came one day after Rutgers special-teamer Eric LeGrand was paralyzed from the neck down after a vicious hit against Army in the same area of the field.
The Giants defense knocked out starting quarterback Shaun Hill in the third quarter with an arm injury. The defense also held rookie running back Jahvid Best to 16 yards on 12 carries, though Johnson did have 146 yards and a touchdown on five receptions.
Jacobs’ touchdown came after Deon Grant recovered receiver Nate Burleson’s fumble at the Giants’ 43. Bradshaw finished with 18 carries for 133 yards.