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Giants 23, Lions 20 (OT): Giants End Detroit's Playoff Hopes With One Of Most Impressive Victories Of Season, Handing Out Game Balls & Falls

Will Hill celebrates his pick-six with teammates. (AP photo)
  By Brad Carroll  
Looking at the big picture, the New York Giants overtime victory over the Lions Sunday didn't mean much. The Giants have long ago been eliminated from the postseason, leaving most of this season to be played for nothing more than pride. But the Giants 23-20 win was one of the better moments of the season.

The Giants came into this game in Detroit 10-point underdogs with little chance to win considering the Lions were playing for their postseason lives. But the Giants were the ones to answer the call in the first half, leading 13-3 going into the break. When the Lions scored 17 straight points to take a seven-point lead with five minutes to play in the game, it was the Giants that again came up with the big play, as Will Hill returned an interception for a touchdown to tie the game.

Josh Brown kicked the Giants to victory in overtime from there. The Giants are 6-9 and have one game left against the Redskins at home. Finishing 7-9 after starting 0-6 would be a tremendous turnaround for the Giants. But before we move on to Washington, here's a look at those players who stood out in the win over Detroit, as we hand out Game Balls. We'll also hand out Game Falls.

Game Balls
Will Hill: The Giants safety was reportedly arrested on charges of failing to pay child support Friday night, but he made all that drama go away, at least for the moment, by making the biggest play of the game Sunday against the Lions. After the Giants allowed 17 straight points and the Lions had taken a 20-13, Detroit had the ball again with under five minutes to play. But Hill stepped in front of a Matthew Stafford pass and returned it 38 yards for a touchdown. The pick-six tied the game at 20-20, the only points scored by the Giants in the second half. The game eventually went to overtime, where the Giants won on a field goal. The victory was all on Hill, as the Giants offense could do nothing with the ball in the second half. Hill was also tied for the team lead with Jon Beason in tackles with 11.

Jerrel Jernigan: With Victor Cruz out with an injury, the Giants needed somebody to step up from the receiver position against the Lions. Jernigan, not Hakeem Nicks nor Rueben Randle, was the guy Sunday. Jernigan, playing his way into a role with the team next season, had a team-high six catches for 80 yards and a tremendous touchdown on a 20-yard strike from Eli Manning. Jernigan had seven receptions for 67 yards last week against Seattle.

Mathias Kiwanuka: The Giants defensive end had a huge game, collecting two sacks and forcing a fumble in the victory. He had six tackles, two behind the line of scrimmage, with a pass defense and five quarterback hits. It was by far Kiwanuka's best game of the season.

Dallas Reynolds: Starting guard David Diehl was inactive due to injury, which forced Brandon Mosley into the starting role. Then, on the first possession, Mosley broke his hand and was lost for the game. That meant Reynolds, the third stringer, would be forced into duty. Reynolds, facing what should have been an overwhelming task, played well against the big pass rush of the Lions and was praised for his effort by coach Tom Coughlin. The offensive line allowed two sacks and a safety, but Reynolds didn't allow Ndamukong Suh to sack Manning, a victory for the backup. Suh had just one tackle in the game.

Justin Tuck: He continued his outstanding play over the second half of the season with two solo tackles, a pass defense and an interception. This time it was more his toughness that stood out, as he didn't miss any game time despite getting injured during play.

Josh Brown: He was 3-for-3 on field goal attempts, including the game-winning 45-yarder in overtime to win the game. Brown also hit field goals of 41 and 52 yards. He had 11 points overall.

Game Falls
Andre Brown: He was held to 40 yards on 16 carries and had what could have been a game-changing fumble in overtime. But the Giants obviously rebounded to win the game. To add injury to insult, Brown suffered a concussion on the fumble and might miss next week's season finale.

Adrien Robinson: He finally got off the injury list and made his debut for the Giants Sunday. It lasted just one play. On the opening kickoff of the game, Robinson sprained his knee and did not return. Not exactly what he had to be thinking when he finally got on the field.

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