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Matthew Stafford leads Detroit Lions past New York Giants

Jim Caldwell's time as coach of Detroit started in perfect fashion after the Lions beat the New York Giants 35-14 in the NFL on Monday.

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After spending two seasons with the Baltimore Ravens as a quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator, Caldwell was announced as Jim Schwartz's successor in January.

And Caldwell - the first African American to coach the Lions - had quarterback Matthew Stafford to thank for Detroit's opening win.

Stafford - the 2009 number one draft pick - threw two early touchdown passes to Calvin Johnson and went 22 of 32 for 346 yards against the Giants, who managed to close to within seven points after the Lions raced out to a 14-0 lead.

"We had to make sure we embraced the grind. It's about three and a half hours of agony. It's the NFL. That's what it is," Caldwell said post-game.

"They didn't get flustered. They didn't panic."

Stafford's performance came on the back of Eli Manning's relatively subdued display after the Giants quarterback was intercepted twice and threw 18 of 33 for 163.

Manning, however, did have a touchdown for the Giants.

The Arizona Cardinals staged a fourth-quarter comeback to overcome the San Diego Chargers 18-17.

Carson Palmer (24 of 37 for 304 yards and two touchdowns) threw two TD passes in the Cardinals' 12-point last quarter.

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