Two surprise teams that not many expected to be playing a game this big in December, The Lions are trying to stave off the red-hot Green Bay Packers and the Giants are working to secure a Wild Card spot.
Detroit Lions- The Lions have made a habit of coming back to win games all year. QB Matthew Stafford has had the best season of his career, and surprisingly it has come without Calvin Johnson playing. He is no longer forcing passes into coverage as he once did, he is spreading the ball around. The Lions have prevailed in eight of their last nine games after opening 1-3. During their current five-game winning streak, they have limited the opposition to fewer than 20 points in each game.
New York Giants- The Giants had one of the worst defenses in the NFL last year, this year all of the sudden they have one of the best. The Giants have won seven of its last eight games. The offense has been erratic, and that’s being kind. The Giants offensive line has been terrible all year, and as long as guard Marshall Newhouse is starting Eli Manning’s health is in danger.
Keys to the game
Matthew Stafford’s health?- Stafford’s injured hand has to be a huge concern for the Lions, he did not play as well last week as he had been. But, when the game was on the line he leads the Lions on the game-winning drive. Stafford has thrown more than three times as many touchdowns passes (22) as interceptions. He’ll try and outplay Eli Manning, who’s thrown more TD passes this season (23) but has also turned over the football 17 times.
Can the Giants offensive line protect Manning?- The Giants offensive line is the thing that may keep this team from making a deep run in the playoffs. If Manning has time to throw the Giants can beat anybody.
The Giants secondary is playing as well as any in the NFL, can the slow down the Lions passing game? I think they can, playing outdoors is a lot different than playing indoors, and Stafford’s hand is a huge concern here. The Lions best chance to win this game is to pressure Manning and force a few turnovers. I think in the end I will lean towards the home team here in a close game, but don’t be surprised if the gutty Lions pull another one out at the end. Giants 17 Lions 16