Sun Sentinel
National Football League
     === Giants play spoiler, knock Lions out of contention with OT win ===
 Detroit,  MI (  -  Josh Brown's  45-yard  field goal  midway
 through  overtime  officially knocked the  fading Detroit Lions out of playoff
 contention, while lifting the New York Giants a 23-20 victory at Ford Field.
 Brown  hit three  field goals in all  for a Giants team that prevailed despite
 mustering just two first downs and 57 total yards in the second half.
 New  York  (6-9) overcame  its offensive  woes by scoring  17 points off three
 Detroit turnovers, none bigger than Will Hill's 38-yard touchdown return off a
 Matt  Stafford interception  that tied  the game  at 20-20  with 4:57  left in
 Stafford  threw a pair of picks while putting up 222 yards on 25-of-42 passing
 in  the loss,  the fifth  in six  games for  Detroit (7-8).  The Lions  blew a
 fourth-quarter lead in each of those setbacks.
 "This  is very  disappointing," said Lions head coach Jim Schwartz. "It's hard
 to take when every game is close. That's the thing that makes it difficult."
 Eli Manning completed 23-of-42 throws for 256 yards with an interception and a
 touchdown to Jerrel Jernigan, who posted a career-high 80 yards on six catches
 filling in for an injured Victor Cruz.
 "It's  nice  to win," said  Giants head coach Tom  Coughlin. "That was a very,
 very  nice  ending for a bunch  of guys that  worked their butts off this week
 despite all that was being said about us."
 Joique  Bell was  one bright  spot in  the Lions'  latest frustrating  defeat,
 tallying  154  yards from scrimmage and  a touchdown that included a 10-catch,
 63-yard effort.
 Detroit  bounced back  from a  sloppy first  half, erasing  a 13-3  deficit by
 putting  up 17 straight  points after the break, and appeared to be in control
 with the Giants failing to mount any threat on offense.
 The  game began to  slip away with just under five minutes to go in the fourth
 quarter,  when Stafford's  off-target pass bounced off Joseph Fauria's fingers
 and  into  the arms  of Hill, who  raced untouched down  the right sideline to
 suddenly draw New York even.
 After  neither  team mustered a credible  scoring chance over the remainder of
 regulation, the Giants' offense came back to life in the extra session.
 A Detroit three-and-out was followed by a pair of huge completions by Manning,
 one a 26-yard deep throw to Rueben Randle on 3rd-and-9 and the other a 15-yard
 bullet  that Jernigan snared on 4th-and-7 to put the ball inside the Lions' 30
 and allow Brown to come on for the deciding kick.
 New  York had  built a 13-3 halftime  advantage largely on the strength of its
 defense,  which tallied  a pair  of second-quarter  turnovers that  led to  10
 Mathias  Kiwanuka jarred the ball loose from Reggie Bush on the first of those
 takeaways,  with  Antrel Rolle taking  the fumble  to near midfield. A 14-yard
 catch by Andre Brown on 3rd-and-13 kept the drive alive, and Manning capped it
 shortly  afterward with a 20-yard down-the-middle strike to Jernigan that gave
 the Giants a 10-3 lead with 2:19 remaining in the half.
 Defensive end Justin Tuck then dropped into coverage to make a leaping grab of
 Stafford's  attempt  for Joseph Fauria, giving  New York the ball back with 47
 seconds  left.  Two Manning  completions, one  to Hakeem  Nicks and another to
 Jernigan, put the Giants in position for Josh Brown to knock through a 52-yard
 field goal just prior to the break.
 A  big  play on special  teams enabled  Detroit to close  the gap early in the
 third quarter, with Jeremy Ross breaking free for a 50-yard punt return before
 being  brought down at  the New York 30. Bell later came up with a key 14-yard
 catch-and-run on 3rd-and-7 to bring about a 1st-and-goal, then powered in from
 a yard out two plays afterward to pull the Lions within 13-10.
 The  defense got  in the  act  later on,  as  Nick Fairley  and Ndamukong  Suh
 converged  on Manning  in the  end zone  for a  sack and  safety that  cut the
 deficit  to one with  1:01 to go in the third quarter. Bell broke off a couple
 of  sizeable runs  following the  change  of possession,  and Fauria's  9-yard
 third-down grab moved the chains to set up Theo Riddick's 1-yard run that sent
 Detroit in front.
 Stafford  hit  Fauria on the  ensuing 2-point try,  putting the Lions up 20-13
 with 11:50 left to play.
 The  Giants  were able  to move  the ball effectively  on their opening drive,
 marching  69 yards  in 15 plays before settling for Josh Brown's 41-yard field
 goal  after the trek stalled. Jernigan hauled in a pair of Manning passes that
 converted third downs to help put New York in scoring range.
 Detroit  countered with  an extended  series of  its own,  a 12-play,  63-yard
 sequence in which Stafford hit on 5-of-7 throws to set up David Akers' 37-yard
 field goal that knotted the score at 3-3 early in the second quarter.
                                   Game Notes
 Lions  star wideout Calvin Johnson was held to 43 yards on three catches while
 dealing with a knee injury that rendered him a game-time decision ... Stafford
 has  committed 14  turnovers, including 11 interceptions, during Detroit's 1-5
 stretch ... Detroit played without cornerbacks Chris Houston (toe) and Rashean
 Mathis  (illness), then lost replacement Bill Bentley to a possible concussion
 on Jernigan's TD catch ... Both Jernigan and Riddick scored their first career
 touchdowns  ... The  Giants  improved to  3-0 all-time  at  Ford Field,  which
 includes  a 21-3  win over Minnesota in  a 2010 game that was moved to Detroit
 when the Metrodome roof collapsed following a heavy snowstorm.
 12/22 23:33:37 ET