TWENTYMAN AT THE HALF: Lions feeling the loss of Chris Houston and Rashean Mathis

Posted Dec 22, 2013

The Lions are fielding corners with little playing experience due to injuries to Houston, Mathis and now Bill Bentley

Starting cornerbacks Chris Houston (toe) and Rashean Mathis (illness) are inactive today and the Lions are feeling their loss.

Detroit entered the game as the No. 1 defensive in the league on third down, holding opponents to just a 30.1 conversion percentage. The New York Giants, however, are converting at a 63 percent clip (5 of 8) in the first half. Three of those have come on third downs of 10 yards or longer.

The Giants lead 13-3 at halftime.

The Lions pass rush has been mostly neutralized, as well, as Giants quarterback Eli Manning has been able to get the ball out of his hands quickly to open Giants receivers early in their routes.

Manning has completed 12 of 20 passes for 137 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions in the first 30 minutes.

Not having Houston and Mathis has changed the way the Lions set up their secondary on third down. Safety Don Carey had to play the nickel slot corner with Bill Bentley starting in place of Houston.

Bentley suffered a head injury in the second quarter and his return is questionable. That’s rushed second-year cornerback Chris Greenwood into his first extended playing time in the NFL.