Defensive Player of the Game: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
One could make the case that Olivier Vernon was the Defensive Player of the Game for the New York Giants. He put constant pressure on quarterback Matthew Stafford and was one of the truly dominant forces during this game.
With Janoris Jenkins leaving the game early with an injury, however, it was Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie who picked up the slack.
Rodgers-Cromartie was burned for 67 yards by Lions wide receiver Golden Tate, but that was just about the only bad play he had all game. He was clutch as can be as he shifted from the slot to the outside to cover up for Jenkins’ absence.
To be able to make that type of shift mid-game and still play at a genuinely elite level is what makes DRC nothing short of special.
Aside from Tate’s explosive play, Rodgers-Cromartie faced eight non-garbage time targets. On those plays, he held opponents to four receptions for 23 yards with a broken up pass and an interception in the end zone.
New York’s defense could’ve fallen to pieces without Jenkins on the field, but Rodgers-Cromartie saved it from a potentially disastrous turn of events.
That was true in Rodgers-Cromartie both covering up for Jenkins’ injury and preventing a potential Lions touchdown.