#289 Detroit Lionsvs.#290 New York Giants
Written by Benjamin Hayes
Detroit Lions (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS, 1-0 O/U) at New York Giants (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS, 0-1 O/U)
When and Where: Monday, Sept. 18, MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J., 8:30pmET
Line: New York Giants -5
The New York Giants struggled in their opener without star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., falling 19-3 at Dallas on Sunday night. Detroit upset Arizona at home, 35-23, coming back from a 17-9 deficit in the third quarter. Last season, the Giants won this game at home, 17-6 on mid-December.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford deserved a new contract, though maybe not the biggest deal in the NFL. He received a five-year, $135 million deal last week and didn’t exactly live up to that in the first half against Arizona. Stafford was picked off early in the first quarter by Justin Bethel, who returned it 82-yards for a touchdown to stop a Lions’ drive and give the Cardinals early momentum. Stafford came back with a 6-yard TD pass to Marvin Jones Jr. late in the half to cut the lead to 10-6 after they missed the two-point conversion. After Arizona took a 17-9 lead with 5:37 left in the third quarter, Stafford hit Theo Riddick for a 7-yard score, and rookie receiver Kenny Golladay for two touchdowns. Miles Killebrew capped it off with a 35-yard interception return off of Carson Palmer to ice the game with 4:03 left.
After a slow start, Stafford shined, completing 29 of 41 for 292 yards for four TDs and a pick. They got very little from the ground attack, but what else is new in Detroit? Last year, they ran for just 81.9 yards per game on the ground to rank 30th in the league. Veteran receiver Golden Tate led the Lions with 10 catches for 107 yards. He caught 91 passes for 1,077 yards in 2016.
Odell Beckham sprained his ankle in the preseason and the fear was that he would miss time in the regular season. That came true on Sunday night, when the Giants scored just three points in a 16-point loss at Dallas. Beckham caught 101 passes for 1,367 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. Despite adding Brandon Marshall, the Giants looked inept on offense. Marshall caught just one pass for 10 yards, while Roger Lewis Jr. was the leading receiver with four catches for 54 yards. Due to intense pressure on Eli Manning, he had to settle for many dump off passes to running back Shane Vereen, who caught nine passes for 51 yards. Manning finished with 29 of 38 for 220 yards and one pick. New York never had a chance on the ground and basically gave up on the run early on. Paul Perkins led the Giants with seven carries for just 16 yards. Just like the Lions, the Giants lack a strong running game (88.3ypg last year).
The defense was not bad on Sunday night, holding the Cowboys to under 20 points and 392 yards. They kept the Giants in the game but could not force a turnover and had just one sack on Dak Prescott. Even though the Giants held the Cowboys to just three points in the second half, they basically lost the game in the first half, allowing 16 points.
New York Giants are:
The Giants won this game last season, but will OBJ play in this one? He had six catches for 64 yards and a TD in last season’s game. All signs point to him playing but will he be healthy? The Giants look solid on defense but the Lions have weapons in Tate, Marvin Jones, Riddick, Eric Ebron and now Golladay. Take the points.
This game was way under the total last y ear. I expect the score to be higher but this should go under the total. The Giants have an improved secondary as does Detroit, who couldn’t be worse last season. The Giants are 7-2 Under their last 9 overall, while Detroit is 20-7 Under their last 27 road games and 8-3 Under their last 11 on Monday night.
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Ben has been a sports writer for over 30 years, dabbling in college and pro basketball, college and pro football, baseball, college lacrosse, minor league baseball and even college gymnastics. He's also been involved in the gaming industry for over 25 years and has been looking to beat the books since he was 13!