RECAP: Lions vs. Giants

It had been over a month, 35 days to be exact, since the Detroit Lions last notched a victory (Philadelphia Week 3).

Needless to say, the Lions needed a victory Sunday coming off three straight losses and hosting the New York Giants (2-5).

Detroit's defense set the tone with a touchdown early, and quarterback Matthew Stafford took care of the rest, helping Detroit to a 31-26 victory that improves their record to 3-3-1 on the year.

Stafford threw for over 300 yards for a second straight contest and recorded at least three touchdown passes for the third time in his last four.

He threw two touchdown passes to wide receiver Kenny Golladay and another to wide receiver Marvin Hall.

Detroit's defense came up with a crucial stop late in the game with the Lions up 31-19 and the Giants at Detroit's 15-yard line with a 1st and 10. Giants running back Saquon Barkley was tackled in the backfield on first down. Barkley caught a 1-yard pass on second down. And the defense forced incompletions on third and fourth down. The stop allowed the Lions to knock crucial time off the clock late up two scores.

The Giants trimmed the lead to 31-25 with 1:15 left in the game, but kicked the ensuing onside kick try out of bounds, and with no timeouts left, the Lions were able to run victory formation from there.

Play of the game: Those tricky Lions.

The Lions dipped into the trick play book early in the fourth quarter leading 24-19.

On a 1st and 10 play at the Giants' 41-yard line, Stafford pitched the ball right to running back J.D. McKissic, who took a few steps right faking the run, then stopped, turned around and threw the ball back to Stafford. Stafford then threw the ball to a streaking Golladay down the field for a 41-yard touchdown.

It was a great call by offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, and the Giants' defense bit hard.

LB to LB: Detroit's defense made the first impactful play of the game when linebacker Jarrad Davis got home on a blitz and hit Giants quarterback Daniel Jones just as he tried to throw the ball out into the flat to Barkley. Davis' hit caused Jones to throw the ball backward, and fellow linebacker Devon Kennard was there to pick it up and return it 13 yards for a touchdown to give the Lions a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.

It was the 12th forced fumble by the Lions in seven games, and the ninth they've recovered, which leads the NFL.

Going Deep: All Hall does is catch bombs, literally.

Hall entered the game averaging 38.0 yards per catch with a reception of 30-plus yards in each of Detroit's last three games.

He hooked up with Stafford on a 49-yard touchdown strike late in the first quarter to give the Lions a 14-0 lead. He finished with the one catch.

QB comparison: Stafford finished 25-of-32 passing for 342 yards with three touchdowns, one interception and his fourth game this year with a passer rating over 100.0 (129.4).

Jones completed 28 of his 41 passes for 322 yards with four touchdowns, no interceptions, one fumble and a passer rating of 124.2.

Promising trend: Stafford continues his fine play this season. He entered the game ninth in the NFL with a passer rating of 101.7. He had 13 touchdowns and just three interceptions.

Stafford upped his touchdown total to 16 on the year and now has a 4-to-1 touchdown to interception ratio on the season.

Concerning trend: For the second straight week the Lions' pass defense was torched for 300-plus passing yards and four touchdowns.

Last week it was Minnesota's Kirk Cousins with 338 yards and four touchdowns and no interceptions for a 141.5 rating.

Injury report: Lions defensive tackle Damon Harrison Sr. left the game in the second quarter with a groin injury. He did return, however.

Second-year safety Tracy Walker left the game in the third quarter with a knee injury and did not return.

Key stat(s): Detroit was 8-of-14 on third down (57 percent) and 1-for-1 in the red zone. They also had a 100-yard receiver for the seventh straight game this season with Golladay finishing with six catches for 123 yards and those two scores.

Up next: at Oakland

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