When the New York Giants visit the Detroit Lions on Monday, the Lions will be a 6.5 point favorite, according to Sportsline.com. Both teams ended up with (7-9) records, but arrived at the destination in much different ways.
The New York Giants began the 2013 season with six straight losses, while the Lions were (6-3) before the bottom fell out. They loss six of their final seven games, including an overtime loss to the Giants in week 16. That loss helped ruin the Lions chances of making the playoffs. Now they are under a new coaching regime.
Eli Manning had a horrible season for the New York Giants in 2013. It’s common knowledge that he threw a career high 27 interceptions, but he also threw 18 touchdowns. That’s the least amount of touchdowns since he started seven games in his rookie season.
Due to his lack of production, the Giants made some offensive changes to the approach for the upcoming season. Ben McAdoo is the brand new offensive coordinator, and the Giants are trying to implement the west coast system. During the five preseason games, Eli and the offense has not shown much improvement from day one. However, none of that matters if they start Monday night with some offensive prowess.
Jim Caldwell is the new coach for the Detroit Lions, and he will be looked upon to bring some stability. For all of the accolades that Detroit’s offense receives, they haven’t connected on a championship level yet.
Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson should be the most lethal combination in the NFL. Stafford threw 29 touchdowns and 19 interceptions in a season where they lost four straight games to end the season. Matthew Stafford has been an iron man since only starting 13 games in his first two seasons. He has started all 48 games in the last three years, and now it’s time to reach that elite level.
Mental toughness will be the key for Detroit to break through in the NFC North. With a win over the Giants, the Lions can already get a jump on Green Bay and Chicago. From recent years, every game has been meaningful, and Detroit can’t afford to lose a another home game to a maligned Giants team.
Depending on how the season goes, this could be Tom Coughlin’s last go around with the Giants. New York has been in this situation before, and they’ve flourished. The Giants have won 7 of 10 games, so if they get a win on Monday, the Giants could be showing signs of a much better team in 2014.
According to Sportsline.com, Giants wide receiver, O’dell Beckham Jr. won’t play. He’s been battling injuries all preseason, and that means the Giants won’t have a weapon that they’ll need to be successful.
The Giants secondary has to keep tabs on Calvin Johnson as a unit. Detroit won’t hide their big play receiver on one side of the field, trying to avoid a defensive back. It will be interesting to see if the Giants utilize the same game plan that help them pull out a victory last season. They didn’t face a fully healthy Calvin Johnson, and held the star receiver to three catches for 43 yards.
The Detroit Lions have playmakers all over the field. With Reggie Bush in the backfield, and Calvin Johnson causing double teams, the Giants will have their hands full in slowing down the multifaceted Lions’ offense. The Giants just haven’t shown enough offense to believe they’ll score enough to win the game. Therefore, they’ll need to create turnovers and short fields to pull the week 1 upset.
Detroit Lions 31
New York Giants 20