The New York Giants will look to win their 10th game of the season as they take on the (9-4) Detroit Lions in their regular season home finale.
These two teams are tied for the best record in the conference, and are both looking to clinch playoff berths this week with a win and some help.
As was mentioned in one of our features earlier this week by Skylar Darel, these two teams have a lot in common, and one of the similarities is winning close games. The Giants are 8-2 in games decided by seven points or less, and the Lions are 8-4.
In another game that’s expected to be close, the Giants will need to play one of their best games of the season.
Here are the keys to victory for the Giants:
1. Get Pressure on Matthew Stafford
Just like the Giants, the Lions rely heavily on their passing game as they’re 14th in passing offense but have the 30th ranked rushing attack. Matthew Stafford who will play despite having a dislocated middle finger is having one of the best seasons of his career completing 66.7% of his passes and has a quarterback rating of 97.8.
In the Lions four loses this season, Stafford has been sacked 10 times and is completing 63.27% of his passes. The Giants pass rush has been outstanding over the last month sacking opposing quarterbacks 19 times over the last five games.If defensive ends Olivier Vernon and Romeo Okwara are able to pressure Stafford the way they pressured Dak Prescott last week, it will be a long day for Stafford and the Lions offense.
2. Ball security
As with all games ball security is crucial especially when there’s a good chance of rain on Sunday. The Giants have turned the ball over 24 times this season, and are minus five in turnover differential. The Lions have only turned the ball over 10 times and are plus four in turnover differential. The Giants have turned the ball over six times over the last three games. Giants can’t afford to keep turning the ball over, especially against a team that seldom turns it over themselves.
3. Try to establish the run
As we mentioned the game might played in inclement weather so the Giants will need to establish the run with Rashad Jennings and Paul Perkins. The return of guard Justin Pugh will give the Giants 31st rushing attack a much needed boost against the Lions who are giving up 97 yards per game on the ground. Giants should look to give Jennings and Perkins at least 12-15 carries a piece.
4. Get the ball to OBJ
Has we saw last week against Dallas, anytime Odell Beckham Jr has the ball in his hands, he is a threat to score. The Lions will use their three safety scheme often, but there’s no defense that can shutdown Beckham. Look for Eli Manning to target Beckham anywhere from 10-15 times on Sunday, and for him to have a couple of big plays.
5. Have a tight end help Ereck Flowers
The struggles of left tackle Ereck Flowers have been well documented all season. Last week in the second half against the Cowboys, the Giants had their tight ends Will Tye and Jerell Adams help Flowers in pass protection. The Lions only have 22 sacks on the season but expect the Giants to continue to give Flowers help by using their tight ends.