Quarterback Matthew Stafford, defense roll in Detroit Lions’ easy road win vs. New York Giants

The Detroit Lions’ Darius Slay, right, tackles the New York Giants’ Odell Beckham during the second half Monday night in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP photo)


AP Sports Writer

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The NFL’s highest paid player has the Detroit Lions rolling into early showdown against the defending NFC champion Atlanta Falcons.

How big can a game really be in Week 3? Well, there are only three undefeated teams left in the NFC: the Lions, the Falcons and the Carolina Panthers.

Matthew Stafford kept the Lions rolling Monday night, scrambling to frustrate the New York Giants’ defense and throwing two third-down touchdown passes in a 24-10 victory.

Jamal Agnew added an 88-yard punt return TD in the fourth quarter, helping Stafford and the Lions avenge a loss here from December. Detroit even stifled star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in his return to the Giants’ lineup, setting up the matchup at home against Atlanta.

Stafford completed 15 of 21 passes for 122 yards and has six TD passes this season. He downplayed the win’s impact as a statement.

“I think that’s stuff you guys like to talk about and write about,” said Stafford, who threw TD passes of 27 yards to Marvin Jones and 7 to Eric Ebron.

Detroit got contributions from all phases. The defense sacked Eli Manning five times, with Ezekiel Ansah getting three. The special teams had the punt return and Matt Prater’s 56-yard field goal that hit the upright and fell over the right way.