NFL 2017 Week 2: Detroit Lions vs. New York Giants preview and prediction

The Giants hope to have their top weapon back against the Lions and red-hot Matthew Stafford in a Monday night dustup.

Week 1 recap

The Lions overcame a terrible start to rally for a comfortable victory at home over Arizona by the score of 35-23. Quarterback Matthew Stafford overcame an early pick-six for a four-touchdown afternoon, with two of those coming to rookie Kenny Golladay. Golden Tate eluded the Cardinals defenders all day to the tune of ten catches for 107 yards. The Lions defense pressured Carson Palmer into three interceptions as part of four forced turnovers, the last of which was a Miles Killebrew interception that was returned for a score to close out the win.

The Giants held out hope that they would get Odell Beckham Jr. back from an ankle injury in time for the Sunday night contest against Dallas. It didn’t happen, and, as a result, the offense never got rolling in a 19-3 loss to the Cowboys. Eli Manning faced pressure all night long and was off target at times even when he had the chance to throw. The Cowboys also bottled up the Giants running game to the tune of just 35 yards. The Giants defense played admirably, but they struggled to keep the Cowboys offense off the field, ending up nearly eight minutes behind in time of possession.

Key areas

Will he or won’t he suit up? – There have been all kinds of mixed signals coming out of New York this week about the possibility of star receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who sat out Week 1 with an ankle injury. While he was able to practice, he also was quoted as saying that the injury was something that could linger for six to eight weeks. The bottom line: If he’s out, New York will once again struggle mightily to move the ball.

Let the defense carry you – The Giants defense, on the other hand, was stingy against Dallas, allowing just one touchdown despite the offense failing to control the ball and constantly putting them back on the field. The Lions are a different kind of offensive team, one that peppers a defense with a lot of passes to many different kinds of receivers, which makes it hard for the opposing team to just take one player away.

A better balance – Matthew Stafford was outstanding in Week 1, putting the Lions on his back with four touchdown passes to engineer a comeback win. But the Giants pass defense is a tough nut to crack, as they possess the kind of defensive backfield depth to combat Detroit’s variety of receiving threats. That means that Detroit must try and muster some semblance of a running game, but the measly three yards a carry they averaged in Week 1 has become their norm.

Matchup to watch

Lions RB Ameer Abdullah vs. Giants RB Paul Perkins – Neither one of these teams has had any success running the ball the past few years, meaning a lot of stress for Stafford and his Giant counterpart Eli Manning, especially against excellent pass rushes like these two teams have. Perkins and Abdullah won’t technically be on the field facing each other, but if either of these two starting runners could get something going, it could make the difference in the game.

Fantasy football tip

Giants WR Brandon Marshall – Marshall was a ghost in Week 1 against Dallas, and surely a lot of his Fantasy owners might be thinking of benching him. But that seems like a premature move. The Giants offense will run many more plays against the Lions, and many of those will be passes. Marshall should start to be more of a factor in this one.

Prediction: New York Giants 23-20 Detroit Lions

If Beckham makes an appearance, the Giants should start to find some offense to match their rugged defense. If not, you might have to change this pick around.

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