Giants (2-5) Lions (2-3-1)
Last Sunday, just before the first half ended,
the Detroit Lions scored a touchdown to tie the game with the Minnesota Vikings.
In the second half, they couldn't keep up the pace and lost to the Vikings 42-30.
Giants trailed the entire time they played with the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
On their last drive of the game they had the opportunity to pull it out, but executed
poorly and lost 27-21.
Lions have not won a playoff game since 1991. They did win (at that time) the
NFC Central Division title that year, and again in 1993, but since then they have
been to the playoff games seven times, and lost each one. In 2008 the team went
0-16, and that gave them the first overall pick in the 2009 draft. The Lions selected
Matthew Stafford, and he's taken them to the playoffs three times. No wins there,
but just last week, Stafford became the fastest quarterback ever to reach 40,000
The Lions didn't get off to a great start last year under their
new head coach Matt Patricia. They finished the 2018 season last in their division
with a 6-10 record. Patricia had spent 14 years with the New England Patriots,
and was their defensive coordinator in his last six years there. As expected,
the Lions defense improved in most areas after Patricia became the head coach,
but those numbers are all down now. After six games this season they closely match
what they were before he took over.
After a down year, the offense is back on track, but even if you have a top quarterback,
it doesn't guarantee wining games. Matthew Stafford can't do it all. Stafford
so far has thrown 13 touchdowns with only 3 interceptions, and his average pass
completion goes for 8 yards, which is the best in his career. That has the Lions
passing game averaging 277 yards a game, the highest it's been in five years.
Marvin Jones Jr. is the top receiver on the team, and he benefited from Stafford's
skills last week, with 4 touchdown catches. Kenny Golladay had led the team in
touchdowns with 4, but Jones now has 5. The Lions ground game improved dramatically
last year from 32nd ranking to 23rd after they drafted Kerryon Johnson. He averaged
the second-most yards per carry in the league. The Lions improved to 18th, but
Johnson was placed on injured reserve earlier this week with a knee injury,
Former Giants lineman Damon 'Snacks' Harrison will be up against his former teammates
for the first time since being traded to Detroit last year. Snacks has two sacks,
and another former Giant, linebacker Devon Kennard leads the team with three.
Lineman Romeo Okwara, another former Giant, led the team in sacks last year. The
team has only 10 sacks on the year, which should come as good news for the Giants
offensive line, who gave up 8 in one game to the Cardinals last week. Or the good
news could go either way, and we'll find out this Sunday.
The Lions defense
is allowing 139.2 rushing yards per game, so they know the Giants will test that
with Saquon Barkley to help make things easier
for rookie quarterback Daniel Jones. The Giants
will have taken notice that the Lions just traded their starting safety Quandre
Diggs to the Seattle Seahawks. Also, top cover corner Darius Slay is dealing with
a hamstring injury and may miss this game.
was obvious last week that Daniel Jones is still in learning mode. He took 8 sacks
last week, and lost 67 yards in the process. Many complained that Eli Manning
would check down too quickly and get rid of the ball too fast, missing opportunities,
Well, the Giants need to find a good middle ground, and to be fair, not all the
sacks were Jones fault. The offensive line has to get used to working with a quarterback
who has more mobile skills. Last week Jones committed 3 turnovers, which led to
17 points for the Cardinals.
The Lions have seen in the last two Giants games,
that the rookie quarterback can be fooled by masked coverages and false blitzes.
Tight end Evan Engram will have to do a much better job than he did last week,
where he was targeted 5 times but came away with only 1 catch for 6 yards. In
that game, Saquon Barkley led the Giants with 72 rushing yards on 18 carries,
and he caught 3 passes for 8 yards. Detroit has the league’s 28th-ranked defense
against the run, but Barkley is dealing with a sprained ankle, and may not be
able to take full advantage of that.
Last week the defense got off to
a poor start, allowing the Cardinals to take a 17-0 lead with their first three
possessions. After that, they allowed only 10 more points, those coming after
the Giants fumbled twice, forcing them to defend from midfield, and their own
17 yard line. All in all, they allowed 245
net yards, 89 net yards passing, but the Cardinals rushed for 156 yards without
relying on their starting running back. Chase Edmonds filled in for David Johnson,
and he had 3 rushing touchdowns, each one for 20 or more yards. You have to wonder
how much of a break it will actually be, having the Lions stuck in a similar situation.
The Giants didn't sit still this week. They've signed on linebacker Deone
Bucannon, who was a former first-round draft pick who had previously worked under
Giants defensive coordinator James Bettcher when he was in Arizona. Bucannon's
a safety who's good at run and pass protection. The Giants can use the extra help,
as Matthew Stafford is effective hitting
for first down catches. Of his 25 receptions,
22 have produced first downs. The Giants corners
will have to stay sharp. Stafford throws about 7 deep balls a game, and has 28
completions of 20 or more yards this season. His top receiver, Marvin Jones Jr.,
leads the team in that area.
Both teams are on a three game losing streak, and at or near the bottom in their
divisions. That streak will end for one of them. The only solace the Giants would
have with a loss is that the teams that are above them have not been playing well.
That's not the case at all for the Lions.
Thursday at 8:20pm Redskins
(1-6) at Vikings (5-2). - Vikings win 19-9, Vikings (6-2), Redskins (1-7).
at 1:00pm Giants (2-5) at Detroit (2-3-1).
Sunday at 1:00pm Eagles (3-4) at
No NFC East team is favored to win in these games.
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Tate had 13 100-yard games in his 4˝ seasons with the Lions.
Jones is the first Giants QB to throw at least one touchdown in each of his first
five NFL starts.
Giants average length
of scoring drives is - 71.7 yards, the longest in the NFL.
Nov 4 Cowboys at Giants.
Giants Tickets - Buy
Nov 10 Giants at Jets.