The Lions head to New York to take on the Giants and this could be their toughest game yet. The Giants are coming off a huge win against the Cowboys on Sunday Night and need to keep winning to hold onto a Wild Card spot. The Lions have won five in a row and are sitting atop the NFC North, but with the Packers hot on their heels the Lions need to win this game just as much as the Giants do.
It’s not going to be easy; these are two very similar teams. The Lions are 29th in the league rushing the ball, with only 83.7 yards per game and the Giants are resting at 31st with 78.7 yards. Both of these teams rely on the short passes and strong defenses to win games and with the stakes as high as they are this is a game that should have playoff intensity.
Players to Watch
Detroit Lions: Matthew Stafford
Stafford injured his hand last game and has been playing and practicing through it, but it’s definitely something to keep an eye on.
Lions QB Matthew Stafford now will have to play rest of season with a glove covering dislocated thumb and torn ligaments, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 11, 2016
Stafford is the glue that’s holding this offense together and the Lions don’t have a running game to lean on. His comeback prowess has launched him into the MVP conversation but he still has a lot to prove if he wants to win it, so keep an eye on his hand and his stat line throughout this game.
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New York Giants: Odell Beckham Jr
If the Lions can contain Beckham they can stop this entire Giants offense. In the games the Giants have lost he’s only caught one touchdown pass, and in the games the Giants have won he’s caught eight. Shepard and Cruz provide some talented depth to the receiving core, but this entire Giants offense hangs around the performance of their biggest star. If the Lions can keep Beckham out of the end zone they can win this game.
It’s hard to favor the Lions in this game. They’ve been winning games but they haven’t been doing it convincingly. This Lions fan base has prided themselves all year on their whole “comeback swagger”, but good teams shouldn’t need to comeback every game. I would pick the Lions if they hadn’t just played poorly against the Bears, and that combined with the Stafford injury means that I give the edge to the Giants in this game.
Detroit Lions: 14
New York Giants: 17
These are two teams with great defenses and middling offenses, but the edge goes to the home team and the quarterback that has a healthy hand. The Giants and the Lions are both playoff caliber teams right now but with how shaky their seasons have been this is a big game for both teams to go out and prove that they belong in the playoffs.