New York vs Detroit NFL Handicapping
If Matthew Safford and the Detroit Lions want any shot at the playoffs, they will need a big win over the struggling New York Giants on Sunday.
When: Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013 at 4:05 p.m. EST
Where: Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan
LINE: -9.5 (Lions), O/U 49
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The Lions who were once in control of the NFC North, have no shot at a wild card finish and must win the division after losing four of their last five contests.
On the contrary, New York (5-9) has no hope of playing past December, and after two consecutive 23-point losses can only play for pride.
While his older brother is having a career year, Eli Manning ‘s season has been a disaster, and it just keeps getting worse. He threw a career-high five interceptions in a 23-0 home loss to Seattle last week. While as a team the Giants managed only 181 total yards of offense against the Seahawks.
After that poor outing, Manning boosted his INT total to a league-worst 25, and it doesn’t figure to get any better with leading receiver Victor Cruz out with a concussion and a sprained knee.
Hopefully, the G-Men can get some help from their running game, which has also been anemic. Andre Brown was held to 17 yards rushing by the Seahawks.
Defensibly, New York has played fairly well, but will have their hands full with Lions’ running back Reggie Bush, who needs only 60 yards to become the first Detroit player to rush for 1,000 yards since 2004.
Bush along with Safford have fueled Detroit’s (7-7) offense, which has it sitting just one game back of Chicago and a half-game back of Green Bay with two games left to play.
Stafford went over 4,000 yards for the third straight season last week in a 18-16 loss at Baltimore, but like Manning has struggled with turnovers, being picked off 10 times in the past five games.
The Lions’ defense has had its share of troubles as well, and its inability to protect a fourth-quarter lead has led to four defeats.
Still, the Lions are more than capable of winning out the season and wide receiver Calvin Johnson , who is second in the league with 1.449 yards, should have a field day with the Giants secondary.
Matt’s Free Prediction
The Giants are in trouble and a late season game on the road in Detroit just doesn’t bode in their favor.
Look for the Lions to run the ball right at New York’s front seven, opening some opportunities for Safford and Johnson to connect on a couple of big gains that will set up a tight finish.
Lions 24, Giants 20