EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Defense wins championships, and right now the New York Giants are convincing many that they might be the NFL’s best.

Forget that they’re ranked in the middle of the league. In the last two games, Steve Spagnuolo’s group has limited division leaders Dallas and Detroit to a total of 13 points, and Sunday’s 17-6 win over the Lions came in a game where top cornerback Janoris Jenkins left early in the second quarter because of a back injury.

Add in another one-handed touchdown catch by Odell Beckham Jr. to delight replay fanatics, and the Giants inched closer to their first playoff berth since 2011 with a victory that snapped the Lions’ five-game winning streak.

“This is really exciting, I don’t even know the word to use,” linebacker Jonathan Casillas said.

“It’s starting to be a beautiful thing. Thirteen points the last two weeks, we like where we’re at now.”

The win was the eighth in nine games for the Giants (10-4), and it gave them their best record through 14 games since 2008, when they opened 11-3.

The formula was the one the team has followed in Ben McAdoo’s first season: Just enough offense and a stingy, pass-rushing defense.

Eli Manning (20 of 28 for 201 yards) threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Sterling Shepard on a 75-yard opening drive, then iced the game with a 4-yard TD pass that Beckham caught with his left hand before prancing into the end zone for a 11-point lead with 5:20 to play.

Beckham said catches like that “just kind of happens” for him.

“You practice it and practice it,” he said. “That’s why you practice right-hand layups and left-hand layups. It’s just kind of, I don’t know.”

The Lions (9-5), who had rallied in the fourth quarter to win eight of their nine games, never came close to a comeback in this one as the Giants made them play on a long field all day.

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford didn’t show any major issues playing with an injured middle finger on his throwing hand. He finished 24 of 39 for 274 yards with an interception, and found Golden Tate eight times for 122 yards.

“They’re a good team,” Stafford said. “Their secondary is probably the best we’ve played all year. They’ve got a really good defensive line. We knew it was going to be a challenge going into the day. We just didn’t make enough plays.”

The biggest play for the Lions was a 67-yard throw from Stafford to Tate that gave the Lions first-and-10 at the Giants 11, trailing 7-3 in the second quarter. On first down, Zach Zenner fumbled at the end of a 7-yard run when he was hit by Leon Hall, and Olivier Vernon recovered in the end zone.

“Obviously, we lost the turnover battle, lost the rushing battle. It’s tough to win on the road when you do that,” Stafford said. “We’ve got to look in the mirror and correct what we did wrong today.”