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Punchless Giants Host Lions As OBJ Remains Questionable

by admin on Monday, September 18th, 2017

matthew stafford detroit lions 2017The Detroit Lions will look to keep things going on Monday Night Football as they visit the New York Giants after opening the season with a home win (35-23) over the Arizona Cardinals.

They get a Giants football team that looked punchless offensively as they lost on the road in week 1 to the Dallas Cowboys 19-3. It seems like New York’s attack will be overly dependent on star receiver Odell Beckham Jr this season.

Beckham missed the week one game with an ankle injury and his status for the game against the Lions remains questionable.

Coming into the season the Giants were one of the worst running teams in football, and they weren’t any better in the opener against the Cowboys as leading rusher Paul Perkins finished with just 16 yards on seven carries.

More troublesome is the fact that they kept the score of the game close most of the way and still they did not try to establish a running game. If Perkins fails to get going against the Lions the Giants might turn to Orleans Darkwa, who finished with 14 yards on three carries against Dallas.

The Giants can’t abandon the run again in week 2 if they want to defeat the Lions, especially if Beckham fails to start for the second straight game. In week 1 the Giants offense looked completely lost without him.

OBJ’s absence allowed the Cowboys to sit back on defense and blitz Giants quarterback Eli Manning on about seven percent of pass plays, and even without the extra pressure, they managed to sack Manning three times.

Although Manning completed 29 passes, the Giants totaled just 220 yards as most of his passes were underneath and his top target was running back Shane Vereen. If Beckham can’t go or isn’t 100 percent fit, expect the Lions to use a similar strategy to challenge the Giants’ offense.

The real test for the Giants will be how their secondary contains Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. He torched Arizona in the second half going 12 of 16 for 180 yards and three touchdowns. Interestingly the Cardinals only blitzed 21 percent of the time despite the fact that they led the league in blitzing last season.

The Cardinals lack of pressure resulted in Stafford being sacked just once. In this game expect the Giants to try and apply more pressure throughout the game since sitting back on Stafford doesn’t seem to work.

If OBJ recovers and plays the Giants may get a chance to improve to 1-1, if he’s out, expect the Lions to take this game and improve to 2-0.

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