Sunday, December 22, 2013
Three halftime thoughts from Giants-Lions
By Michael Rothstein
DETROIT -- Some thoughts from the first half at Ford Field, where the New York Giants lead the Detroit Lions, 13-3.
No offensive urgency: Whether it is the play calling or mistakes by the offense or potentially good defense, the Detroit offense has looked off again Sunday against New York. Reggie Bush lost another fumble -- his second lost fumble since making a promise following the Pittsburgh game he would not fumble again this season. Matthew Stafford alternated making good plays with throwing near interceptions before finally throwing one right into the arms and body of defensive lineman Justin Tuck on the Lions' final drive of the half. And Calvin Johnson’s workload has been lessened, likely due to the knee injury that forced him to become questionable for the game.
Cornerback depth: The Lions were already without their two starters, Chris Houston (toe) and Rashean Mathis (illness), who were deemed inactive before the game. Then Bill Bentley was injured on a Jerrel Jernigan touchdown catch when he collided with Detroit safety Louis Delmas. That leaves the Lions with little-used Jonte Green, the injured Darius Slay and Chris Greenwood, who played in his first NFL game last week, as their three cornerbacks for the second half. Considering Eli Manning's skill and how Hakeem Nicks and Jernigan have played already, this could be a major concern for the Lions in the second half.
No defensive pressure: The Giants were without their starting right guard, David Diehl and lost their backup, Brandon Mosley, in the first half. Yet they were still unable to get pressure on Manning until the final drive of the half, when Ziggy Ansah sacked Manning. Manning had plenty of time to find receivers the entire first half, completing 10 of 17 passes for 110 yards and a touchdown. He was particularly effective on third down, where the Giants were 5-of-7 in the first half.