By Imperical Evidence
The Lions will take on the Giants on the road later on today, and the Giants have the edge in almost every area except maybe special teams. If it is a close game, the defense of the Lions is playing great. I expect the mistakes to be on the offensive side of the ball for the Lions and the Giants.
The Lions are rushing an average of 22.6 times per game, and throwing 42 times per game. For Peyton Manning, that might be about right, but I am talking about Shaun Hill here. The Giants know Hill will get the start for the Lions at quarterback, and Hill has more tape than Stafford. Hill has been getting more comfortable in the Scott Linehan offense, but the Giants will be ready for the short passing game with the best pass defense in the NFL. I almost expect Hill to force a few bad throws here and there.
The Lions would have a better chance if they could run the ball. Jahvid Best will get the start for the Lions at running back, but he will still be hindered by turf toe. That condition will continue to bother him for the remainder of the season. Best is 24th in rushing yards, with 241. He has 4 rushing TDs, and 1 fumble. He has 1 run of more than 20 yards. I know, you were all thinking he had more. Best needs to find open field in the running game, and the offensive line has not allowed him to do that yet. If Best feels near 100%, he can make the offensive line look better at run blocking than they really are. If he breaks any runs it will be in the first half, unless Linehan is using him too much as a receiver in the passing game. That might work against the Rams, but not the Giants. Best needs to get his touches early if the Lions are going to establish anything on the ground.
The Lions, as a team, are 27th in rushing yards. They are getting around 82 yards per game on the ground. The Giants are 11th in rushing as a team, gaining over 130 yards per game. The Lions need to run 15 times in the first half, then maybe think about passing.
The Lions defense is improving, and fast. They allowed 0 touchdowns to the Rams, and two field goals. Ok, so that is just the Rams. The Lions defense also held the Packers to 0 TDs in the second half of that game, and held Aaron Rogers to under 200 yards passing. The Lions defense has their work cut out for them playing the well balanced attack of the Giants. The Giants have two running backs in the top 50 for yardage in the NFL. Ahmad Bradshaw is 4th in rushing yards, with 449. He has 7 runs longer than 20 yards. 3 TDs, 3 fumbles. Brandon Jacobs is 34th in rushing yards. he has 2 TDs rushing, no fumbles. The Lions defense needs to try to get Bradshaw to cough up a fumble or two, and maybe force Eli Manning to throw an interception or two. This could very well happen, the Lions defensive line has caused problems for every team they have played this season so far and I don't think that will change.
If this game is about running and stopping the run, the Giants win. That would mean the Lions would tie the franchise record with 24 consecutive road losses. The Lions Special Teams will have to produce some big plays again this week.
I'll write this again, just so everyone knows. Matthew Stafford will not start later today. Before Stafford returns as the starter for the Lions he will need one full week of practice with full participation. That should mean he will return after the bye week.
Calvin Johnson might see a few plays but I don't think the Lions will be able to rely on him as much as they have in the past. Johnson is still hurting from that shoulder injury he suffered in the fourth quarter against the Rams.
DeAndre Levy will not play, but I think he could also return after the bye week, in a limited role. Levy has been n ursing a sore groin and high ankle sprain.
Nate Burleson will play today against the Giants.
Turk McBride is out.
Landon Johnson is listed as questionable, but I think he will play.
The Lions have signed Shaun Hill to a one year contract extension, that move happened earlier this season.
The Lions also signed Rob Sims to a four year contract extension. Sims was acquired from the Seahawks for a fifth round draft pick. He has started every game at left guard andt the Lions obviously think he is the answer to what the offensive line has been missing. I'll believe that when I see a running game that is even average.
Detroit Lions agree to three-year extension with Tony Scheffler, leads the NFC in receptions.The extension includes a $2 million signing bonus. I like this move, now back to working on that running game guys.
Will not happen:
Shawne Merriman is not a good fit for the Lions defense, give it up Lions fans.
New to my blog, what does Killer Kowalski think about this game?
"The 1-4 Lions certainly have their issues, but they've scored more points than any other team in the NFC and, defensively, they're tied for the NFL lead in takeaways with 14 and their 14 sacks ranks them sixth in the NFL."
Killer picks the Giants, 31 to 17, over the Lions
I think he is close here, Giants win. He was way off on the Rams game though.
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