(7-2) Lions (3-6)
The Detroit Lions are
coming off a 31-30 win over the Chicago Bears, after trailing them by 14 points
in the fourth quarter. The Lions tied the game up with two touchdowns, and after
Chicago pulled ahead with a touchdown and missed an extra point, the Lions scored
again for a one point win. The Giants were coming off a loss in Seattle before
going on their bye week. They played a run heavy game last week against the Houston
Texans, and got back on the winning track with a 24-16 win.
You have to give credit to
the Lions fans. The team seldom gets to the playoffs, and the last time Detroit
won one was 1957. In 2008 the Lions lost every game, and their 0-16 record gave
them the first overall pick in the 2009 draft. The Lions selected Matthew Stafford,
and in the 12 years he was with them, they were in the playoffs three times. In
2021 after three straight last place finishes, the Lions replaced their general
manager and head coach. A major rebuild was in effect, and Stafford was traded
to the Los Angeles Rams for three draft picks and Jared Goff. Why did general
manager Brad Holmes pick former Giants tight end Dan Campbell to be the head coach?
Most candidates for that position usually have coordinator experience for
the offense or defense. Campbell became the tight ends coach for the Miami Dolphins
in 2015, and was tapped to become the interim head coach when the head coach was
fired. In the next season Campbell signed on with New Orleans as the tight ends
coach, and assistant head coach. In his first year as head coach with Detroit,
the team finished last once again, with a 3-13-1 record. This year they have shown
an improved offense, but the defense is still lagging and holding them back.
Goff did what he needed to do last week, leading the team on two touchdown drives
in the fourth quarter to give his team its first road win in two seasons. The
former number 1 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, led the Los Angeles Rams to
a Super Bowl game before coming to Detroit on a trade deal. Goff has thrown 15
touchdowns and 7 interceptions, and is second in the league in 20-plus yard completions.
When it comes to big plays, 36 of their 42 have been pass completions. The Lions
have a balanced attack fielding three former first round picks, and they are ninth
in the league in average points per game.
Last year, running backs D'Andre
Swift and Jamaal Williams were neck and neck as leaders of the team in rushing
yards, carries, and touchdowns. Jamaal Williams is tied for second in the NFL
with 9 touchdowns, and Swift has been limited in the last two games, dealing with
knee and shoulder injuries. Goff likes to target slot receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown.
He leads the team in yards, catches, and first downs. Josh Reynolds is the second
leading receiver, but has missed the last two games, and was ruled out for this
certainly have their eyes on running back Saquon Barkley, especially coming off
the game last week where they gave up 258 rushing yards. This defense is ranked
31st against the run, and after seeing how the Giants handled Houston's 32nd ranked
team last week, they'll be expecting to see about the same kind of offense coming
at them. The Giants are averaging 164.8 rushing yards per game, and Barkley leads
the league with 931 rushing yards, and 1128 yards from scrimmage.
can run with the ball as well, and though the Giants haven't had him do that very
much in the last two games, the added distraction might help at times to keep
the focus off Barkley. What works in the Lions favor is that the Giants are not
scoring a lot of points even with a successful running game. The Lions can afford
to give up those running yards as long as they keep the Giants off the board.
That's still asking a lot, as the Lions are last in the NFL in yards allowed per
game, as well as points.
The Giants one-sided attack could get a boost if they
sleep on Darius Slayton, who has stepped up his game, and was there for Jones
last week, catching 3 passes for 95 yards, and one touchdown. The Lions have four
rookie starters on defense, and one of them is linemen Aidan Hutchinson, the second
overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. The Giants will have to watch out for Hutchinson.
The talented lineman leads his team, and all rookies with 5.5 sacks.
The Giants biggest deficiency
on the offense is at the wide receiver position. Put your top cornerback on Darius
Slayton, and what's left to do? Slayton is the leading receiver for the Giants,
with 19 receptions for 327 yards and 2 touchdowns, and running back Saquon Barkley
has 10 more catches than he does. Richie James is the next wideout on the list
with 20 catches for 191 yards. Wan'Dale Robinson, David Sills, Marcus Johnson,
and Kenny Golladay all trail Sterling Shepard, whose numbers still stand after
playing in only three games before suffering a season ending torn ACL.
was thought to be one of the main targets when the season started, but has had
injury issues, and hasn't had a catch since Week 1 when he caught only two of
8 passes for 22 yards. Golladay had the best year of his career in 2019 with 11
touchdowns when he played with Detroit, and he might miss this game against his
former team, as he and Robinson are listed as questionable.
So where does Daniel
Jones turn to aside from Barkley? Rookie tight end Daniel Bellinger was doing
it all, having caught 16 of Jones 18 passes for 10 first downs, and 2 touchdowns.
Unfortunately, Bellinger will miss his fourth straight game due to his fractured
left eye socket. This all leaves Jones and the offense relying on a strong running
game, and they are getting it from Barkley, and even from Jones himself. Barkley
leads the league with 931 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns, and Jones has 387 yards
and 3 touchdowns. They have the advantage this week of being up against a 31st
ranked team against the run that gives up 161 yards rushing per game.
Despite their losing record, the
Lions have scored 30 or more points in four of their games. The defense will have
to avoid making costly mistakes, and continue to force opponents to make them
as they have done. They currently lead the league with 10 recovered fumbles. It
hurts that the defense lost safety Xavier McKinney over the bye week due to a
hand injury he incurred on his travels. Rookie Dane Belton stepped up, and had
his first interception last week, and almost another, but he's still learning
The Giants played well in that game, but also gave up some big
Linebackers Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence are on top of their
game, and count Kayvon Thibodeaux, who the Giants selected fifth overall in the
2022 draft, in that mix as well. They and the rest of the defense are the reason
the Giants have been winning games with a low scoring offensive unit. The Giants
are the second best defense inside the 20, allowing just 13 touchdowns on 34 attempts.
This week will be a challenge as Detroit is fifth in the NFL with their red zone
offense, scoring touchdowns close to 70 percent of the time. They have done it
23 out of their 33 opportunities. The Giants can't afford mistakes in this game.
The Detroit Lions have won their last two games.
Most teams see that as a common occurrence during their season as 23 teams right
now have those wins and more. Still, it means a lot to the Lions and their fans.
It was the first time the Lions had back to back wins in two years, and last week
the one over Chicago, was their first road win in two seasons.
The Lions haven't
won three games in a row since 2017, and are looking to do so this week against
the Giants. The Giants can't take Detroit for granted. They may like to, as they
have to plan for a visit to the Dallas Cowboys on a short week on Thanksgiving
Day. We think the coaches won't make that mistake, and get the best from the team
as they usually do.
Sunday at 1:00pm Lions (3-6)
at Giants (7-2).
Sunday at 1:00pm Eagles (8-1) at Colts (4-5-1).
at 1:00pm Commanders (5-5) at Texans (3-6).
Sunday at 4:25pm Cowboys (6-3)
at Vikings (8-1).
All the NFC East teams are favored to win in these games.
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24 Giants at Cowboys
Dec 4 Commanders at Giants