Brandon Marshall had a chance to make a big play in the fourth quarter, a chance to spark the Giants on a drive that might have tied the game and eventually given them a chance at their first victory of the season Monday night.
But after beating his defender down the right side near midfield, and after seeing a perfectly placed pass from Eli Manning heading his way, Marshall dropped the ball and with it the Giants’ hopes against the Lions.
“That was the biggest play of the game,” Marshall said after a 24-10 loss that dropped the Giants to 0-2. “I let my team down. I got an opportunity to make a big play and change the momentum, and I lost it.”
The Giants were trailing 17-10 early in the fourth quarter, and faced with a second-and-8 from their own 21, Manning fired off his throw directly at his receiver.
“It was a perfect pass,” Marshall said. “I beat the [defender] really bad at the line of scrimmage, knew the ball was coming, saw the ball at the last second, lost it in the light and then I picked it back up and just dropped it. Let the team down. That can’t happen.”
After a third-down incompletion to Evan Engram, the Giants were forced to punt, and Brad Wing got off a 60-yarder. Lions returner Jamal Agnew caught the ball at his 12 and went 88 yards for the touchdown to give Detroit an insurmountable 24-10 lead.
The punt return only reinforced Marshall’s worst fears about his missed opportunity.
“I just knew that my play was the play of the game and I let my team down,” said Marshall, who finished with just one catch for 17 yards. He had another dropped pass in the fourth quarter and also failed to stay in bounds on a first-half reception along the right sideline. “If I make that play, I’m confident that we go down and score and that [punt return] doesn’t happen, so that’s on me. Sometimes, you only get one or two opportunities in a game and it comes down to one or two plays and that was probably the biggest play of the entire game.”
Marshall said he doesn’t think he’s pressing, although he admitted “it’s a new role for me. I’m trying to make plays wherever I can, whether it’s in the run game or the pass game. Got a few opportunities tonight and let my team down.”