The Giants will be looking to make it two straight wins out of the bye week before they get down to business with a very intense schedule to follow after the Detroit Lions come to town on Sunday. At 7-2, New York is sitting in second in the NFC East behind the Philadelphia Eagles and could be looking at their eighth win of the year if all goes well.
Similar to last week’s game, this one is viewed as a winnable one for the Giants, but the Lions are coming off back-t0-back wins over the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears. The Lions may not have a great record, but they continue to be a team that can give others a hard time.
Here are three keys to Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions.
Detroit Lions (3-6) at New York Giants (7-2)
- Location: MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
- Time: Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET
- Channel: Fox
- Radio: WFAN 101.9 FM/660 AM, WADO 1280 AM (Spanish language)
- Spread: NYG -3
- Over/Under: 44.5 points
- Moneyline odds: DET +140, NYG -165
Keeping the focus on Sunday
Giants head coach Brian Daboll has done an outstanding job of getting the Giants to buy into the mentality of focusing on one game at a time and New York will need to keep that focus this weekend. The sub-.500 Lions would be an easy team to overlook with a big Thanksgiving day meeting with the Dallas Cowboys on the horizon, but coming off back-to-back wins the Giants can’t afford to look past Detroit.
The four weeks after Sunday’s game are all against divisional opponents, but a win over the Lions will put the Giants in the best possible circumstances going into the toughest part of their season.
Keep it from becoming a shootout
The Lions may not have had a great year, but their offense knows how to score. Detroit is averaging 24.3 points per game this season and has scored fewer than 20 points just three times all year. In their Week 10 win over the Bears, they scored 31 points against Chicago and have put up 30 or more points four times.
New York is not a team that puts up a ton of points in most games — they’re averaging 20.8 this season — and going score for score isn’t their strong suit at times. The Giants are well aware of the challenge in front of them.
“Look, they create explosive plays,” Giants head coach Brian Daboll said. “The other thing they’re really good at is down in the red zone, finishing drives. It’s a team effort every week of how you need to play a game. But they’re an explosive team – no question about it. It kind of all works together with special teams, offense, defense. We’re going to have to do a good job of trying to slow them down and make sure we’re tackling and not giving up 50-yard runs that they break through, taking care of the deep part of the field and things like that on defense.”
Red Zone defense
The Giants’ defense in the red zone has been one of the best in the league. They’ve allowed opponents to score from the red zone just 38.24% this season, which is second only behind the Denver Broncos. They’ll need to continue that trend against a Lions team that can punch it into the end zone quite a bit from inside the 20-yard line.
They’re fifth in the NFL in red zone scoring percentage. That means it will be a real showdown when the Lios get in the red zone on Sunday.
Daboll has credited the Giants success there to their execution.
“They execute well. It’s not very complicated in terms of if you do your job, you give yourself a chance to make a play or execute a particular (play),” Daboll explained. “Whether it’s offense, defense – whatever it may be – those guys do a good job each week of honing in on the game plan. Coaches do a good job of installing the game plan, and at the end of the day, the players got to make the plays down there. It’s been important. They’ve done a good job of holding them out (of the end zone).”