Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (17) makes a diving catch for a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons cornerback Robert Alford (23) (Jim Matthews/USATODAY NETWORK-Wi)
GAME RECAP (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
(ATLANTA) - Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons picked up where they left off against the Green Bay Packers, building a big halftime lead on the way to a dominating victory Sunday night. The rematch of last season’s NFC championship game was essentially a repeat: Ryan threw for 252 yards and a touchdown, Devonta Freeman had a couple of scoring runs, and Desmond Trufant darted to the end zone off an attempted pass by Aaron Rodgers that was ruled a fumble, leading the Falcons to a 34-23 victory over the Packers that wasn’t really that close. Back in January, Atlanta earned a trip to the Super Bowl by racing to a 24-0 halftime lead and a 31-0 edge early in the third quarter on the way to a 44-21 blowout of the Packers. In the first regular-season NFL game at $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and the first sporting event with in which the facility’s camera lens-like roof was open, the Falcons put on quite a show to mark the occasion. They were ahead 24-7 at halftime and 31-7 less than a minute into the third period. Unlike the Super Bowl , Atlanta (2-0) made sure this lead stood up. Ryan threw for 201 yards in the first half. Julio Jones finished with five catches for 108 yards. Freeman rushed for 84 yards, and Tevin Coleman chipped in with 42 on the ground plus a touchdown catch. Trufant not only scored a defensive touchdown, he came up with a crucial interception near the end of the first half. “That’s when we really come to light,” coach Dan Quinn said. “Different weapons. You never know who’s going to be the one.” After struggling a bit offensively in a season-opening victory at Chicago that was preserved with a goal-line stand in the closing seconds, the Falcons dominated right from the start in an early showdown for conference supremacy. On the opening possession, Ryan guided a nine-play, 86-yard drive that was reminiscent of the league’s highest-scoring team a year ago. Jones hauled in two passes for 53 yards and the Falcons didn’t get to third down until they were at the Green Bay 1. Freeman powered in from there to make it 7-0. The Packers (1-1) responded with a 75-yard drive of their own, capped by Ty Montgomery’s 1-yard TD run. But it was downhill from there for Rodgers and the Green Bay offense, which was missing both of its starting tackles and lost receiver Jordy Nelson early on with a quadriceps injury. Atlanta led 17-7 after Freeman’s second TD run from 2 yards out and Matt Bryant’s 51-yard field goal. Then, the game totally got away from Rodgers and the Packers near the end of the first half. Three penalties in four plays pushed Green Bay back to its own 3 before Rodgers lofted a terrible pass down the right sideline that was picked off easily by Trufant at the 36. Ryan hit Mohamed Sanu with a 21-yard pass, setting up a 3-yard scoring pass to Coleman with 24 seconds remaining. On the second play of the second half, Trufant turned it into a rout. Rodgers was plastered by 2016 sack leader Vic Beasley Jr. attempting to throw, the ball wobbling out of his hand for what appeared an incomplete pass. But Trufant wisely scooped it up and scooted into the end zone for what was ruled a 15-yard touchdown. The call stood when the replay didn’t show conclusively that the pass went forward. “A big play by him with the interception at the end of the half,” Quinn said, “then a smart play to start the second half on the forced fumble.” The Packers finally showed a bit of life with a couple of fourth-quarter touchdowns, including Rodgers’ 300th career scoring pass. It wasn’t nearly enough.
INJURIES: Green Bay: Already short-handed up front, the Packers lost several more players during the game. Nelson was the most prominent injury, but also going down were defensive tackle Mike Daniel (hamstring), receiver Randall Cobb (shoulder) and cornerback Davon House (quad). In addition, backup safety Kentrell Brice was forced out by a groin injury. Atlanta: On the first touchdown of the night, right tackle Ryan Schraeder was knocked out of the game with a concussion. The Falcons also lost Beasley (hamstring) and defensive lineman Courtney Upshaw (ankle).
MILESTONES: Rodgers’ first touchdown pass came on a 33-yard, fourth-down pass to Davante Adams, who made a brilliant play to keep his feet inbounds while kicking the pylon. No. 300 for Rodgers was as short as you can get, a little shovel pass to Montgomery from the 1. Bryant’s first field goal was his 200th since joining the Falcons in 2009, making him the first Atlanta kicker to reach that figure. He also connected in the third quarter from 53 yards.
                         GREEN BAY       ATLANTA
First downs                     24            19
Rushes-yards                 15-59        27-141
Net Passing yards              308           223
Passing (Att-Comp-Int)     50-33-1       28-19-0
Sacked-Yards Lost             3-35          3-29
Punts-Average               3-39.7        4-41.3
Fumbles                          1             0
Penalties-Yards              10-79          6-34
Time of Possession           31:23         28:37
GREEN BAY -  7   0   3  13  - 23
ATLANTA   -  7  17  10   0  - 34
1st - ATL - Devonta Freeman, 1-yard run (Matt Bryant kick) ATLANTA 7-0
1st - GB - Ty Montgomery, 1-yard run (Mason Crosby kick) TIED 7-7
2nd - ATL - Freeman, 2-yard run (Bryant kick) ATLANTA 14-7
2nd - ATL - Bryant, 51-yard field goal ATLANTA 17-7
2nd - ATL - Tevin Coleman, 3-yard pass from Matt Ryan (Bryant kick) ATLANTA 24-7
3rd - ATL - Desmond Trufant, 15-yard fumble return (Bryant kick) ATLANTA 31-7
3rd - GB - Crosby, 28-yard field goal ATLANTA 31-10
3rd - ATL - Bryant, 53-yard field goal ATLANTA 34-10
4th - GB - Davante Adams, 33-yard pass from Aaron Rodgers (Pass failed) ATLANTA 34-16
4th - GB - Montgomery, 1-yard pass from Rodgers (Crosby kick) ATLANTA 34-23
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
RUSHING
GREEN BAY - Ty Montgomery 10-35 1 TD, Randall Cobb 1-10, Aaron Rodgers 2-8, Jamaal Williams 2-6
ATLANTA - Devonta Freeman 19-84 2 TD, Tevin Coleman 6-42, Matt Ryan 1-8, Taylor Gabriel 1-7
PASSING
GREEN BAY - Aaron Rodgers 50-33-343 2 TD 1 INT
ATLANTA - Matt Ryan 28-19-252 1 TD
RECEIVING
GREEN BAY - Devante Adams 8-99 1 TD, Ty Montgomery 6-75 1 TD, Randall Cobb 6-60, Martellus Bennett 5-47, Geronimo Allison 3-24, Richard Rodgers 2-22, Trevor Davis 1-9, Jamaal Williams 1-5, Aaron Ripkowski 1-2
ATLANTA - Julio Jones 5-108, Mohamed Sanu 5-85, Devonta Freeman 2-16, Taylor Gabriel 2-14, Austin Hooper 2-7, Tevin Coleman 2-3 1 TD, Justin Hardy 1-19

Green Bay leaves Atlanta with several injuries

(ATLANTA) – The Packers finally found some consistent offense in the fourth quarter on Sunday night, but it wasn’t nearly enough as they fell, 34-23, to the Falcons at the new Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Green Bay dropped to 1-1 on the young season, while Atlanta improved to 2-0. The Packers were without their starting offensive tackles at the beginning of the game, and several regulars dropped out of the contest with injuries as well, including DT Mike Daniels (hamstring), WR Jordy Nelson (quad) and S Kentrell Brice (groin). The Falcons used their multitude of weapons to give the Packers trouble. QB Matt Ryan was 19-of-28 for 252 yards with a TD for a 108.0 passer rating. WR Julio Jones had five catches for 108 yards, and WR Mohamed Sanu added five grabs for 85 yards. RB Devonta Freeman had 20 rushes for 84 yards and two scores, and RB Tevin Coleman added five carries for 42 yards, plus a receiving TD. For the Packers, QB Aaron Rodgers finished 33-of-50 for 343 yards with two TDs and one interception for a 90.7 rating. WR Davante Adams led the way with eight catches for 99 yards and a score, while RB Ty Montgomery added six receptions for 75 yards and a TD. Montgomery also had 10 carries for 35 yards on the ground, with a rushing TD. WR Randall Cobb, who also left the game late with a shoulder injury, had six catches for 60 yards. Here's a recap of all the action.
First quarter: Both teams scored on their opening drives and the Packers and Falcons were tied 7-7 after one quarter. The Falcons took the ball first and went right down the field and scored. RB Devonta Freeman carried four times for 18 yards on the drive, including a 1-yard TD plunge. WR Julio Jones caught two passes for 53 yards to get the Falcons into scoring range. The Packers came right back, despite starting with two backups at the tackle spots in Kyle Murphy on the left side and Justin McCray on the right. Back-to-back third downs were converted by an end-around run by WR Randall Cobb and a 14-yard completion to TE Richard Rodgers. The Falcons were then called for pass interference on TE Martellus Bennett on the next third down, moving the chains again. On the next snap, RB Ty Montgomery was wide open in the right flat for a 23-yard catch-and-run all the way down to the 2. After an offside call on Atlanta, Montgomery dove in from the 1 to tie the game with 3:43 left in the quarter. Green Bay’s defense responded with a three-and-out, as LBs Clay Matthews and Joe Thomas combined on a third-down sack of QB Matt Ryan, forcing a punt. Atlanta’s defense then answered with a three-and-out, with the help of a holding penalty on C Corey Linsley. Before the end of the quarter, Packers DT Mike Daniels (hamstring) and WR Jordy Nelson (quad) were both announced with injuries and questionable to return.
Second quarter: The Falcons opened up the margin in the second quarter, scoring just before halftime to take a 24-7 lead into intermission. The Falcons opened the second quarter with a scoring drive to take the lead. A pair of 24-yard receptions by WR Mohamed Sanu preceded a 15-yard grab by Jones to convert third-and-11. WR Justin Hardy added a 19-yard catch over the middle to make it goal-to-go, and Freeman finished it with a 2-yard TD run. The Packers couldn’t answer this time. After an 8-yard pass to WR Geronimo Allison converted on third-and-3, Green Bay overcame a sack with a 17-yard pass to WR Randall Cobb. But on third-and-1, McCray was called for a false start, and then Bennett dropped the ensuing third-down pass. P Justin Vogel’s punt was downed at the Atlanta 9-yard line. Atlanta started its next drive with a 35-yard run by RB Tevin Coleman. A 27-yard pass to Jones put the Falcons inside the Green Bay 30. The Packers’ defense held there, though, as Matthews sacked Ryan on third down. Falcons K Matt Bryant was good from 51 yards out, and Atlanta led 17-7 with 3:21 left in the half. The Packers quickly stalled again. A defensive holding penalty bailed them out of one third-and-long, but Green Bay couldn’t take advantage and punted at the two-minute warning. The Packers got a quick stop, though. Pass breakups by CB Kevin King and S Morgan Burnett produced a three-and-out, and after a penalty on the punt, the Packers took over on their own 5-yard line with 1:09 left in the half. An offensive pass interference penalty on Bennett and a false start on Cobb put the Packers back on their own 3-yard line, and then QB Aaron Rodgers was intercepted by CB Desmond Trufant on a deep ball for WR Geronimo Allison. Taking over on the Green Bay 37, the Falcons started with a 9-yard scramble by Ryan, who then hit Sanu over the middle for 21 yards to make it first-and-goal on the 7 with 29 seconds left, and Coleman finished the drive with a 3-yard TD grab. The touchdown gave Ryan 201 passing yards in the first half.
Third quarter: The Falcons stayed in control through three quarters, taking a 34-10 lead over the Packers into the fourth. The second half started in the worst possible way for the Packers. On the second snap, Rodgers was drilled in the pocket by LB Vic Beasley, and his pass floated sideways. It was ruled a backward pass, and Trufant scooped up the fumble for the Falcons and returned it 15 yards for a touchdown. The Falcons led 31-7 just 56 seconds into the third quarter. The Packers finally got moving on their next drive. Passes of 15 yards to Montgomery, 16 yards to Adams, and 18 and 9 yards to Cobb got the ball in the red zone. Rookie RB Jamaal Williams ran up the middle for 4 for a first down on the Atlanta 13. Rodgers went to Cobb again for 10 yards for first-and-goal on the 3, but an offensive pass interference penalty on Allison wiped out a short TD pass to Cobb. Rodgers was then sacked by DE Adrian Clayborn for a 12-yard loss, and a shovel pass to Montgomery picked up 15 to make it third-and-goal on the 10. Rodgers pass for Cobb in the end zone was incomplete, and K Mason Crosby was good from 28 yards out to make it 31-10 with 9:33 left in the third. The Falcons got that field goal right back. Freeman ran three straight times for 26 yards to start the drive and added a 10-yard reception. Packers LB Blake Martinez sacked Ryan on third down, but Bryant was still able to make the kick from 53 yards out for a 34-10 Atlanta lead. The Packers chipped away and got across midfield on a fourth-down completion to Adams for 7 yards. A 9-yard scramble by Rodgers put the ball on the Atlanta 38 as the quarter expired.
Fourth quarter: The Packers’ drive eventually reached fourth-and-7 at the Atlanta 33, and Rodgers fired deep to Adams, who made a diving catch in the end zone for the touchdown. The two-point pass attempt for Adams was incomplete, and the Falcons led, 34-16, with 12:42 left. Freeman ran four straight times for 22 yards, but the Falcons’ drive stalled there, and the Packers took over on their own 15 after a punt. The Packers got going again on a 23-yard pass to Montgomery. Passes of 13 and 6 yards to Bennett were followed by a 13-yard pass to Allison for a first down in the red zone. A 17-yard pass to Adams put the ball on the 1, and a shovel pass to Montgomery got it in the end zone. It was Rodgers’ 300th career TD pass, making him the fastest in league history to reach the mark. Crosby’s PAT pulled the Packers within 34-23 with 5:51 left. The Falcons mixed run and pass to kill all but the final 1:13 before punting the ball back to the Packers.
Green Bay Packers running back Ty Montgomery (88) scores a touchdown (Jim Matthews/USATODAY NETWORK-Wi)
Green Bay Packers tight end Martellus Bennett (80) can't hang onto a pass against the Atlanta Falcons strong safety Keanu Neal (22) (Jim Matthews/USATODAY NETWORK-Wi)
NFC NORTH DIVISION STANDINGS
Detroit      2   0   0  1.000    59   33
GREEN BAY    1   1   0   .500    40   43
Minnesota    1   1   0   .500    38   45
Chicago      0   2   0   .000    24   52

AROUND THE NFC NORTH
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 17TH
TAMPA BAY 29, Chicago 7 - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had a built-in excuse for being rusty or ineffective. After nearly a week of Hurricane Irma-forced inactivity, they were seemingly playing from behind as their NFL season finally began Sunday. "We were so eager and excited to play," Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston said. "We just wanted the opportunity." When the Bucs got some opportunities, they pounced. Taking advantage of four first-half takeaways, Tampa Bay struck early and often to defeat the mistake-prone Chicago Bears 29-7 at Raymond James Stadium. "This tells me great things are coming," said Bucs linebacker Lavonte David, who had a game-high nine tackles. "Getting turnovers is the name of the game. That's a huge goal and we got that done today." The Bucs (1-0) led 26-0 at halftime, a team-record advantage at the break in a season opener. It was Tampa Bay's largest halftime advantage since 2001. "Four giveaways in the first half was not good news," said Bears head coach John Fox, whose team slipped to 0-2 after beginning with a home loss against the Atlanta Falcons. "It's tough to win that way, especially against a good team on the road. We did a little better in the second half, but we dug ourselves too deep of a hole." Fox said he planned to continue with Mike Glennon as the starting quarterback. Glennon, Tampa Bay's third-round draft pick in 2013 who played four seasons for the Bucs, completed 31 of 45 passes for 301 yards and played the entire game. Fox was quick to quell any talk of a quarterback controversy as the fan drumbeat already has begun to play rookie Mitchell Trubisky, the draft's second overall selection. "We have to get better as a team at every position," Fox said. "I don't think you can pin this one on the quarterback. The whole team made too many mistakes." Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter said he was pleased with the effort, particularly because the hurricane played havoc with the team's routine and rescheduled its planned opener at Miami into November. "We have an awesome group of guys, the right guys, and there's very good leadership in that locker room," Koetter said. "We can get better, but we'll take a win any way we can get it. "By no means was it perfect, but we took advantage of the opportunities in the first half. That was really good to see." Tampa Bay's offense did its part by turning two of the takeaways into touchdowns -- a 13-yard pass from Winston to wide receiver Mike Evans and a 1-yard run by Jacquizz Rodgers, who started for Doug Martin, serving the final three games of a substance-abuse suspension. Winston was 18 of 30 for 204 yards before giving way to Ryan Fitzpatrick late in the fourth quarter. Winston's favorite target was Evans, who had seven receptions for 93 yards. Meanwhile, Glennon was haunted by a pair of critical second-quarter errors. With the Bucs leading 10-0, Glennon fumbled after being sacked by Noah Spence and it was recovered by David at the Chicago 35-yard line. The Bears stopped Tampa Bay on third-and-goal from the 6, but the Bucs got new life when Bears linebacker Willie Young was flagged for defensive holding. Rodgers scored on the next play, a 1-yard run for a 17-0 advantage. On the next series, Glennon swung a pass attempt to Josh Bellamy in the left flat on third-and-9, but Bucs cornerback Robert McClain stepped in front and sailed into the end zone for a 47-yard interception return. Nick Folk missed the point-after attempt, keeping the score at 23-0, but he made all three of his field-goal attempts, including a 50-yarder on the half's final play and a 42-yarder. Tampa Bay nearly registered the team's second shutout win in the past 13 seasons, but Glennon finally got Chicago on the board by hitting Deonte Thompson on a 14-yard touchdown pass with 1:43 remaining. "I think we could've done a better job of closing out the game," Bucs safety Chris Conte said. "But all in all, when you create turnovers, it's a good formula for winning the game. After what happened (with the hurricane), it's good to win like this for sure." Winston said it was something to build upon for Tampa Bay. "It was good to get out there, have the fans get out there and play some football," Winston said. "When you have something that affects your family like the storm did, you have a chance to reflect. We were determined to get this win."
PITTSBURGH 26, Minnesota 9 - The Pittsburgh Steelers are getting the breaks when it comes to opposing quarterbacks this season. A week after beating a rookie quarterback in the opener, the Steelers harassed Minnesota Vikings reserve quarterback Case Keenum in a 26-9 Pittsburgh win at Heinz Field. Keenum got the call over Sam Bradford, who developed swelling in his knee during the week and was ruled out after a brief pregame workout. The Steelers recorded only two sacks, but consistently pressured Keenum, the fifth-year veteran who completed 20 of 37 passes for 167 yards without an interception. "Somebody told me this morning, but I wasn't really thinking about it," said Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier. "I was in here getting taped and they said 'Hey, Bradford's not playing.' I said, 'All right, cool, I understand.' Case Keenum has started before in the league and is a good quarterback." But it didn't set off any celebrations in the Steelers' locker room. "We're playing whoever's out there," Shazier said. "If we're playing against the best quarterback in the league or the worst quarterback in the league, we really don't care. We just want to go with the plan we have and do the best we can." The Steelers' plan was to shut down a Vikings' run game that averaged 4.3 yards per carry in the opener, and the Steelers succeeded, holding the Vikings to just 91 yards on 20 carries. "Just?" said Cam Heyward. "That's too much, especially when we had them at 25 yards (at halftime). They're a good offense, a good running game with three really good backs, but we have to hold ourselves to a higher standard." The defense carried a sluggish offense until quarterback Ben Roethlisberger got warmed up. On an emotional day for Heinz Field fans honoring the memory of the late owner Dan Rooney, Roethlisberger charged to midfield carrying a DMR flag upon his introduction and said he had tears in his eyes during the playing of the national anthem. "I had to snap out of it," said Roethlisberger. "The whole day was very emotional." Roethlisberger completed 23 of 35 passes for 243 yards and two touchdowns, both in the first half. Roethlisberger threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Martavis Bryant to cap the Steelers' second possession. The drive was aided by Vikings defensive end Bryan Robison, who jumped offside on fourth-and-1 from the Pittsburgh 31 during what appeared to be a bluff by Roethlisberger. Bryant found separation from cornerback Terence Newman on the crossing pattern for the first-quarter score. Roethlisberger then found JuJu Smith-Schuster for the rookie's first career touchdown catch, a 4-yard shovel pass early in the second quarter for a touchdown and 14-0 Steelers lead. The score was set up by a 49-yard pass interference call against Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes, who tackled Bryant at the Minnesota 12 on a second-and-22 bomb from Roethlisberger. The Vikings answered with a 42-yard Kai Forbath field goal to cut the deficit to 14-3 by halftime. The Vikings attempted a fake punt from their own side of the field early in the second half, but Tyler Matakevich broke up Ryan Quigley's pass to Blake Bell, and Chris Boswell kicked a 46-yard field goal for a 17-3 Steelers lead. Dalvin Cook, who had been held to 3 yards on six first-half carries, put the Vikings back in the game with a 25-yard run to the Pittsburgh 1, from where fullback C.J. Ham scored. A missed extra point by Forbath kept the Vikings behind by 17-9. The Steelers stretched the lead to 20-9 on a 29-yard field goal by Boswell with 5:05 left in the third quarter. It was set up by a 51-yard catch by Bryant, who finished with three catches for 91 yards. Boswell kicked a 37-yard field goal with 3:18 left and a 43-yarder with 1:53 left to cement the win for the Steelers (2-0). Roethlisberger, who called the Vikings "one of the best defenses I've seen in a long time," finished with a passer rating of 104.8. "Early in the week we saw what kind of coverage they were going to be in," Roethlisberger said of the Vikings' man-to-man coverage with a single-high safety. "Even quarters," he added. "The safeties don't get a lot of depth a lot of times so it gave us opportunities. What they do is they get a pass rush. They create the ball coming out of your hands quick. They gave us looks we could've taken advantage of, which we did. We got two big pass interference plays and Martavis caught another one. We made some things happen but that rush was really good. They got in there and made me throw it early sometimes." Le'Veon Bell carried 27 times for 87 yards, or just four yards less than the Vikings gained as a team. "It's extremely frustrating, because we know how good we can be," said Vikings receiver Adam Thielen. "And we did not prove it today. We are going to be frustrated, but tomorrow we are going back to work, watch film and get better. We have to remember it's only Game 2. It's still really early in the season. It's always about how you respond to bad games."
MONDAY SEPTEMBER 18TH
Detroit 24, NY GIANTS 10 - On a night when the New York Giants honored their 2007 Super Bowl championship team at halftime, the current Giants once again looked like chumps. Detroit rookie Jamal Agnew returned a punt 88 yards for a fourth-quarter touchdown, and Matthew Stafford threw two touchdown passes to help the Lions earn a 24-10 win over New York on Monday night at Met Life Stadium. Agnew's punt return, the fifth longest in team history, broke open the game. The touchdown gave the Lions (2-0) a 14-point lead. "We put this game on me," said Giants coach Ben McAdoo, who saw his team flop not just on special teams but on offense and defense as well while falling to 0-2. "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." Stafford finished 15 of 21 for 122 yards with no interceptions. Both his touchdown passes came on third-and-long plays in the first half and gave his team a 17-7 halftime lead. The Giants, who have now gone eight consecutive games scoring fewer than 20 points, got a third-quarter, 25-yard field goal by kicker Aldrick Rosas, cutting the deficit to 17-10. New York might have had more on that possession, but after driving all the way to the Lions 1-yard line, the Giants had a series of miscues that began with left guard Brett Jones being flagged for holding. The Giants made up most of the penalty yardage, getting back to the 2-yard line, but on fourth down with the offense prepared to go for it, quarterback Eli Manning was flagged for a delay-of-game penalty. That led to the field goal. New York did have opportunities to keep it closer but failed to cash in. In the second quarter, the defense forced and then recovered a fumble by Stafford, who was sacked and stripped of the ball by defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. But on the ensuing possession, the Giants gave the ball right back to the Lions when Manning's pass intended for Evan Engram was picked off by Tahir Whitehead. The biggest missed opportunity for the Giants came in the fourth quarter. Receiver Brandon Marshall, who had his man beat on a long pass that would have put the Giants deep into Lions territory, dropped the ball. After the Giants failed to extend that drive, Agnew scored his punt-return touchdown. "That was the biggest play of the game," Marshall said of his drop. "I got an opportunity to make a big play and change the momentum, and I lost it." Marshall said that he lost the ball momentarily in the stadium lights. "It was a perfect pass and I beat the guy," he said. "I knew the ball was coming but lost it in the light and then I picked it back up and I dropped it when it came down. "That can't happen. When you get a big opportunity in a big game like this, in that situation when you're down and you have an opportunity to go down the field and score, that can't happen." Stafford, who was 12 of 17 for 107 yards at the half, connected with tight end Eric Ebron on a 7-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. The drive was set up when by the Whitehead interception. Manning finished 22 of 32 for 239 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Ebron was Detroit's leading receiver, catching all five of his first-half pass targets for 42 yards and a touchdown. He did not have any receptions in the second half. The Lions also managed to sack Manning five times, three of which were recorded by defensive end Ziggy Ansah, who abused Giants left tackle Ereck Flowers. "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." Stafford praised his defensive teammates for making his job easier this week. "They're doing a heck of a job," Stafford said. "Getting after the quarterback a bunch, shutting down the run early and creating turnovers and close on a couple more. Guys made big-time plays." The Lions' first score of the game came in the first quarter when Stafford avoided pressure by New York's defensive front and gained 13 yards up the middle. Three plays later, Stafford hit receiver Marvin Jones for a 27-yard TD and a 7-0 lead. Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who was active after recovering from an ankle injury, had a quiet game, finishing with four catches for 36 yards. Meanwhile, Engram caught New York's lone touchdown pass, that coming in the first half. However, he then hurt his team when he drew an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty following the score, a mistake that was further exacerbated by a Rosas kickoff that went out of bounds. Lions kicker Matt Prater nailed a 56-yard field goal with 45 seconds left in the half, the ball hitting the cross bar and bouncing over. The Giants will head out to the road for the next two weeks, starting with a trip down the turnpike to visit the Philadelphia Eagles (1-1). The Lions will be home in Week 3 to host the Atlanta Falcons (2-0).
Atlanta Falcons (2-) 34, Green Bay Packers (1-1) 23
Sunday September 17th 2017 (at Atlanta)