Over the last three games, the Detroit Lions have surrendered 109 total points to their opponents. Now, imagine how bad the New York Giants defense has been in that same time frame — they have allowed just 90 points.
Big Blue should run all over a fragile Lions defensive unit, and breaking the 300-yard mark for rookie quarterback Daniel Jones should be a walk in the park. However, we know the Giants find ways to beat themselves, as we highlighted last week in regards to Pat Shurmur’s numerous mental mistakes.
Time management, lousy play calls, predictability, you name it. There have been a ton of negatives to complement the minimal positives this season, but it’s a work in progress, nonetheless.
Here are the three keys for the New York Giants to overcome the Detroit Lions:
1.) Coaching must be impeccable
Despite the Detroit defense being worse than the Giants’, the coaching mistakes need to come to an end. Proper time management, the urge to challenge a pass interference when the league has secretly banned referees from overturning a call (loss of a timeout), and predictable play calling.
Shurmur needs to do a better job in all of these categories, considering he played a large part in the loss last week to the Arizona Cardinals at home. The players will rise to the occasion if he coaches a clean game with minimal mistakes. Giving the team the best chance to win starts with Shurmur, and they will follow in his footsteps.
2.) Daniel Jones must bounce back from three tough losses
The Giants offense has scored just 45 points in three weeks, half of what their defense has allowed. While Jones has struggled at times and forced throws, he’s learning and gaining essential experience. He has continued to state that the team has not given up, and they’re ready to keep fighting.
Sunday could be an offensive battle, and Jones is more than capable of playing to his potential. I expect to see a hefty dose of Saquon Barkley and a more efficient Evan Engram indoors. Engram had trouble catching passes against Arizona due to the rain. With his gloves back on, the Giants will undoubtedly utilize his services, and Jones will be the beneficiary.
3.) The defensive line must how up
The Giants logged two sacks in week seven against the Cardinals, but one came from linebacker, David Mayo. The defensive front was mostly ineffective against an uber-mobile, Kyler Murray.
This week, they will face off against a pocket passer in Matthew Stafford that can extend plays with his legs. He’s one of the league’s top passers when in a groove, but putting hits on him is the way to rattle his game. The outside linebackers need to have a big game in this one, and they’ve impressed this season so far.
Interior rookie Dexter Lawrence will need to be a force in the middle against center, Frank Ragnow, one of the best in the game. He struggled in week seven as well with the rest of the defense, but performing indoors should give him his leverage back.