Coming off of a destruction of the Houston Texans last weekend, the New York Giants are set to host the 1-4 Detroit Lions on Sunday. New York is set for three division matchups in their next four games after this week, but have insisted all week that their focus is on the Lions and the Lions only. At first glance, a historically bad, 1-4 team doesn’t seem like much of a threat coming into the New Meadowlands Stadium, particularly with the way the Giants defense has performed over the past two weeks – but three of the Lions four losses have come by five points or less. You can be sure Tom Coughlin has his team focused on this football game – and a 4-2 record going into a string of divisional games would certainly work in the Giants favor in the NFC East. Regardless of the media’s attack on Coughlin after a couple of frustrating losses in weeks two and three, he continues to show that his football teams will never quit, and the Giants find themselves back in position to take control of the division.
GIANTS KEYS TO VICTORY
Get after Shaun Hill
The Lions are a team that likes to put the ball in the air and play a wide open football game, and the Giants can knock them right out of their comfort zone if they get pressure on the quarterback the way they did against Chicago and Houston – two teams that like to play a similar style of football game. The Lions will very likely find themselves in a hole if they can’t get their passing game going early, as they have struggled to run the ball all season and go up against one of the league’s best rush defenses in the Giants.
Stop the turnovers!
The Giants have had trouble holding on to the football on offense, and are in the bottom of the league when it comes to interceptions and fumbles so far this season. If the Giants drop this game at home to the Lions, you can be sure that one of the main reasons will be turnovers that take the crowd out of it and give Detroit confidence early in the game.
Nicks and Bradshaw have been the Giants two biggest playmakers so far this season, and the Lions defense has certainly struggled with tackling and giving up big plays week in and week out. The Giants need to get the football into the hands of their two physical, electric talents and allow them to frustrate the Detroit defense early and put a dent in their confidence right from the opening drive.
Focus on taking away Calvin Johnson and Jahvid Best in the passing game
These are the two guys that really make everything go for the Detroit Lions offense – and Best has been more of a threat as a receiver out of the backfield than a runner to this point. Johnson is questionable with a shoulder injury, but the Giants will of course be prepared for him to play – and safety help over the top on Johnson will be necessary to contain him and avoid giving up the big play. Best is a threat to break out on flares and screens out of the backfield so the Giants front seven has to be disciplined and make sure they don’t lose track of #44 when looking to get after the quarterback.
Take a patient approach on offense
The Giants have a favorable matchup against this Lions offense, and forcing things early will only work in the Lions favor. New York should have plenty of opportunities to put points on the board, and have plenty of reason to be confident in their defense early in the game. Many of their turnovers this season have come from trying to force the issue at points in the ball game where it was not necessary, and that should be a focus for them this week.
BIG GAME FOR..
QB Eli Manning
Manning has had a very up and down start to the 2010 season, but if you’ve seen every snap of Giants offense this year – you know that outside of a handful of questionable decisions, Manning has been very sharp in leading the offense. He’s putting the ball on the money, and his passes look as tight as they’ve ever been at any point in his career. He’s on the brink of a tear if he can just avoid those 2-3 overly aggressive decisions he makes a week, and I think that tear starts against a struggling Lions secondary.
The Giants are absolutely roaring with confidence after their thrashing of Houston, and Perry Fewell has this defense believing in itself again. With the team this focused and driven, the talent is starting to show and opposing teams are being overmatched by the Giants defensive line and offensive skill players. The Lions are banged up, and they do not match up very well with this Giants football team.
Giants 28, Lions 17Ahmad Bradshaw, Detroit Lions, Eli Manning, Football, Game Preview, Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants, NFL, Perry Fewell, Tom Coughlin
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