As bad as last week was for the New York Giants, now is way too soon to write them off.
Even with a pitiful offensive performance in a 19-3 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in their season opener in Texas, it’s hard to imagine Big Blue playing so poorly very often. In other words, Week 1 may prove to be the nadir of their 2017 season.
Monday night’s home opener against the Detroit Lions represents a chance to wash the bad taste of last Sunday out of the Giants’ mouths. Here are three keys to the matchup.
Will Beckham be there?
Odell Beckham Jr. is a transcendent talent, so his absence last week while dealing with an ankle sprain dramatically hampered the Giants’ ability to be competitive.
Unlike the leadup to last weekend, Beckham has spent some limited time practicing for the Lions. He’s listed as questionable, and observers believe he will be good to go. His status for the game is the biggest X factor on either team in this matchup.
A little blocking, please
Big Blue’s offensive line looked every bit as bad as feared entering the season. Quarterback Eli Manning was under pressure much too often considering the Cowboys’ pass rush is thought to be little more than above average.
Detroit isn’t known for its tremendous edge rushers either, so left tackle Ereck Flowers and crew must show they are better than many people worry they are.
Contain Mr. Clutch
Manning has led his share of comebacks in his lengthy career, Lions passer Matthew Stafford is the reigning king of rallies after leading the NFL with eight game-winning drives in 2016. He notched another one last week as Detroit topped the Arizona Cardinals, 35-23, thanks to a late surge.
Stafford possess plenty of reliable pass-catching options, including wide receiver Golden Tate. With top cornerback Janoris Jenkins questionable to play, the rest of the Giants’ secondary may have its hands full with a dangerous QB.
Giants 23, Lions 17