In the NFL, there’s no such thing as a must-win game in Week 2. However, the New York Giants need to come away with a win in their home opener against the Detroit Lions on Monday night.
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Sure, teams have gone on to make the playoffs after starting the season 0-2, and some—including the 2007 Giants—have even gone on to win a Super Bowl. But if you’re the 2017 Giants, you can’t afford to dig yourself into a 0-2 hole with the five-game stretch that awaits Big Blue after Week 2.
In week 3 the Giants will have to travel to Philly to take on one of their biggest rivals, the Philadelphia Eagles, on a short week. Not only have the Giants not won in Philly since 2013, they’ve only scored a combined 26 points in their last three meetings.
Following the Eagles game, New York travels to Tampa to take on Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers, who will be a fresher team than the Giants since their Week 1 game against the Miami Dolphins got postponed due to Hurricane Irma.
Big Blue heads back to MetLife Stadium in Week 4 to host the Los Angeles Chargers, one of only two teams that Eli Manning has yet to defeat in his Hall of Fame career.
Following the Chargers game, the Giants will face two of the toughest defenses in the NFL in the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks. Considering how poorly the offense, in particular, the offensive line looked against the Cowboys, the idea of facing these two defenses is concerning.
Players and coaches will say they don’t look ahead at the schedule and that they just take it one game at a time. But facts are facts, and it’s impossible to say that the Giants don’t have a tough schedule ahead. As a result, it would behoove them to defeat the Lions on Monday.
The Giants defeated the Lions 17-6 in their Week 15 matchup last season. One of the reasons the Giants were victorious was the performance of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who had six catches for 64 yards and a touchdown.
Beckham is listed as questionable for the game due to the high ankle sprain he sustained on Aug. 21 against the Cleveland Browns.
Even if OBJ plays, he won’t be close to 100 percent. The Giants will need for their other skill position players, and their offensive line, to step up.
It might be too much to ask the Giants defense to hold the Lions offense to six points as they did last year, considering that the Lions put up 20 points in the fourth quarter last week in a 35-23 win over the Arizona Cardinals.
Bottom line: Whether it’s an ugly win or not, the Giants need to come away with a win on Monday. Or else next week they will be facing a must-win game against the Eagles.