EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., Sporting Alert — Matthew Stafford threw for two touchdowns and Ezekiel Ansah finished with three sacks and the Detroit Lions beat the New York Giants 24-10 in Monday Night Football.
Stafford connected with Marvin Jones Jr. for a 27-yard touchdown late in the first quarter to give the Lions the lead but the Giants pulled the score back when Evan Engram caught an 18-yard pass from Eli Manning to knot the game at 7-7 early into the second quarter.
Detroit grabbed the lead again with 10 straight points after Eric Ebron scored on a seven-yard touchdown pass from Stafford and Matt Prater kicked a 56-yard field goal and the Lions went into the halftime break leading 17-7.
New York’s Aldrick Rosas kicked a 25-yard field goal to pull his team within seven points late in the third quarter but rookie Jamal Agnew broke the game open with an 88-yard punt return with 12:56 left in the fourth period to set up the win.
Also on the night, Ameer Abdullah ran 17 times for a career-high rushing yards of 86 as the Lions, who are 2-0 to start a season for the first time since 2011, joined the Atlanta Falcons and the Carolina Panthers as the only undefeated teams in the NFC through Week 2.
Detroit, which beat Arizona 35-23 in Week 1, has now won both games this season by double digits for the first time since 1980, according to ESPN Stats and Information.
Manning, who was sacked five times, including three times by Ansah, was 22 of 32 for 239 yards with a touchdown and an interception for the Giants, who have the fewest rushing attempts (30) through two weeks, ESPN Stats and Information informs.
“I think anytime you end up getting that kind of pressure and getting five sacks against a very explosive offense with weapons they have, it’s a good thing,” Lions coach Jim Caldwell said.
“We were not only able to get pressure consistently, but push the pocket, but they’re a tough team to handle.”
New York welcomed back Odell Beckham Jr., following a sprained left ankle problem, but the star receiver’s contribution was very limited and the Giants (0-2) struggled to get going on offense.
Manning and New York struggled on offense again for the second successive game this season, as the 13 points after the two opening games are their fewest through 2 games in 70 years when they tallied just 7 points in 2 games in 1947, according to ESPN Stats and Information.
Giants coach Ben McAdoo took the blame for a disappointing performance.
“We put this game on me,” he said.
He added: “We talk about playing complete, complementary football, but by no stretch of the imagination did we get that done tonight.
“We put ourselves in a hole. We have to find a way to get better and better in a hurry.”