DETROIT — The Detroit Lions jumped ahead early and never trailed as they beat the New York Giants 31-26 in a battle of longtime NFC rivals Sunday afternoon at Ford Field.
The game was broadcast live on FOX 17.
The Lions came in with a 2-3-1 record as 6 1/2-point favorites, while the Giants entered the proceedings at 2-5.
Both teams were in the throes of 3-game losing streaks.
New York received the opening kickoff and the pair traded possessions until Detroit went up 7-0 when linebacker Devon Kennard scooped up a misdirected lateral by Giant quarterback Daniel Jones and raced 14 yards into the end zone with 7:12 to go in the opener.
Lions QB Matthew Stafford then connected with Marvin Hall on a 49-yard TD aerial for a 14-0 bulge with 2:31 showing on the clock, a gap that stood at the conclusion of the initial period.
New York pulled to within 14-7 when Darius Slayton hauled in a 22-yard scoring strike from Jones with 12:27 left until intermission. The Giants then moved to within 14-13 when Jones hit Slayton with a 28-yarder and Aldrick Rosas missed the PAT kick at 4:39 of the second stanza.
Prater then extended the edge to 17-13 with a 52-yard field goal with just 20 seconds until halftime.
The second half saw the Lions jump out 24-13 when Stafford found Kenny Golladay with a touchdown pass with 9:51 to go in the third frame. But New York soon sliced the deficit to 24-19 on a 2-yard Jones-Evan Engram pass at the 4:54 mark of the third quarter, before Jones’ pass for the two-point conversion failed. That margin remained in effect at the final break.
Detroit went up 31-19 with 12:12 to play on a 40-yard flea-flicker scoring pass to Golladay. The Lions’ defense then stepped up and stopped the Giants on downs on two straight series.
NY scored last when Jones hit running back Saquon Barkley with a 4-yard TD pass with 1:19 to go to set the final count in Detroit’s favor.
Next up the Lions will hit the road to meet the Oakland Raiders, with kickoff scheduled for 4:05 p.m. next Sunday at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
The Giants, meanwhile, will have an extended layoff until their next foray – a Monday Night Football home field encounter with the Dallas Cowboys at 8:15 p.m. Nov. 4 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.