Giants.com's Dan Salomone discusses the state of the team following Sunday's game:
The Giants made it a point not to let last week's victory over the first-place Cowboys be their best performance of the season. So they went out and did it again to another division leader.
In their 2016 home finale at MetLife Stadium, the Giants defeated the Detroit Lions, 17-6, for back-to-back wins over two of the NFC's top teams. The Giants defense continued their stellar play by holding the Lions scoreless in the redzone.
There's no time to celebrate, though. The Giants have yet to clinch a playoff berth as they turn around for a Thursday night matchup on the road in Philadelphia. The Giants will then conclude their regular season with a matchup against the Washington Redskins.
"Great team win versus a very good football team," coach Ben McAdoo said. "All three phases played a part. It's a short week. We have to enjoy this one fast."
IT WAS OVER WHEN
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie intercepted Matthew Stafford's pass intended for Anquan Boldin in the end zone, giving the ball back to the Giants with 1:58 left in the game. It was Rodgers-Cromartie's third interception of the season and first since grabbing two in London in Week 7.
PLAY OF THE GAME
On third-and-1 at the Lions 4, Odell Beckham Jr. snagged a pass with his left hand and ran it in for a touchdown, his 10th of the season and 35th in 40 career games. The score gave the Giants an 11-point cushion with 5:47 to play.
The Lions went 0-for-3 in the red zone while the Giants were 2-for-2, scoring first on Sterling Shepard's 6-yard touchdown and then on the one to Beckham. The Giants entered Sunday with the No. 1 defense in the red zone, allowing touchdowns on just 43.2 percent of opponents' trips inside the 20.
AROUND THE LOCKER ROOM
"It's just hard for me to accept 'good.' I need it to be 'great.' Above that, legendary. It's got to be that way every single time. If you really put it in perspective, we work six and a half days a week for one hour of football." – Beckham
"Yeah, man, it felt weird, I would have taken it either way. The energy was weird. I was like, 'Was something off?' Odell was like, 'Do it again.' I was like, all right, I'll do [the salsa] again." – wide receiver Victor Cruz on recovering Shane Vereen's fumble in the end zone that was called back because of a penalty
"Because I was inactive in previous weeks, I'm not trying to prove a point that I should have been out those weeks. I'm just trying to come in, make the plays that come my way and help this team and this defense to get to that next level." – defensive back Leon Hall, who forced a key fumble in the red zone
WHAT THE WIN MEANS FOR THE GIANTS
The Giants improved to 10-4 on the season and matched their highest win total since going 10-6 in 2010, the year before they won Super Bowl XLVI. Heading into Week 15, the Giants needed all of the following to happen to clinch a playoff spot: a victory over Detroit, a Washington loss (vs. Panthers), a Minnesota loss or tie (vs. Indianapolis), and a Green Bay loss or tie (at Chicago). The Packers spoiled that thought with a victory, so the Giants will have to wait at least another week to lock up a berth. They still control the first Wild Card spot as they inch closer to the first-place Cowboys. Now Big Blue finishes the season with back-to-back road games in the division against Philadelphia (Thursday night) and Washington.
"No, we won a ball game during the course of a week," McAdoo responded when asked if his team sent a message the last two weeks. "That's all you can do, win one a week. We've got a short week; we have to get ready for this one in a hurry."
WHAT THE LOSS MEANS FOR THE LIONS
Detroit's five-game winning streak came to an end at MetLife Stadium, dropping the team to 9-5 on the season. The Lions remained in first place in the NFC North, but their lead shrunk to one game with a victory by Green Bay. Detroit travels next to AT&T Stadium for a Monday night showdown with Dallas before wrapping up the regular season at home against the Packers.
"Here's the thing: We don't make excuses for anything anywhere," Lions coach Jim Caldwell said. "We lost the game to a good football team that's been on a pretty good run. We've been on a pretty good run too. It's one game. We didn't play as well as we'd like. We'll tee it back up again and get ready for the next one."
Giants.com hands out game balls in Sunday's win over the Lions