New York Giants vs. Detroit Lions
Date and Time: Friday, August 17, 2018, 7 p.m. ET
Location: Ford Field, Detroit, MI
Opening NFL Odds: Lions -3, 41
Giants vs. Lions TV Coverage: Local TV
The Cleveland Browns committed a ludicrous 13 penalties for 141 yards yet still managed to control its preseason opener against the G-Men from beginning to end. That hardly bodes well for the new regime that took over for a terrible coaching staff that overlooked the franchise previously. Still, it’s just one game that doesn’t even count, but New York looked completely disinterested in their new head coach’s debut.
While New York’s ground attack looked efficient on paper due to rookie Saquon Barkley’s 43 yards on four carries with a long of 39 yards, the passing game was flat out embarrassing. As a group, Eli Manning, Davis Webb, Alex Tanney and Kyle Lauletta completed 22 of 45 passes for an unimpressive 193 total yards. We faded the Giants due to their QB rotation last week, and padded the bankroll because of it. Now prized No. 2 draft pick Barkley might be injured after coming up gimpy in practice.
Detroit’s offense was held to 253 total yards and only 10 points last week. You look at that output and cringe. However, take into account that Matthew Stafford and his three favorite targets in Golden Tate Marvin Jones, and Kenny Golladay didn’t see a single snap. With that, it came as no surprise that the run game was the offense’s primary concern.
The Lions ground attack has been pathetic for a long time now. They hoped to have rectified it a bit in this past NFL Draft by selecting Auburn’s Kerryon Johnson in the second round. So far so good after he led the team in rushing against the Raiders with 34 yards on seven overall carries. It would hardly be a shock if his usage remained the same this week with the rash of injuries that took the league by storm last week.
The Giants trotted out one of the worst pass defenses in the league onto the gridiron every passing week last season. So far this season, it looks like New York is going to have a real tough time taking opposing passing attacks evidenced by the whopping 300+ yards it allowed to the Browns last week. It’s one thing to allow the 2018 NFL Draft’s No. 1 draft pick to torch it for a bulk of the yardage, but expected starter Tyrod Taylor didn’t have much of an issue wither in completing all five of his passes for 99 yards and a touchdown. If ever there was a week to fire up his starting quarterback and receivers, this is the week! Whether Patricia does it or not remains to be seen. If so, I’d be inclined to hit the first half over the total on the NFL betting odds.
Giants vs. Lions Free Picks
The previous regime set the Giants’ franchise back a number of years. That’s something Shurmur and his staff will look to rectify, but it’s going to take some time. He’s got the lesser of these two rosters at his disposal, and is being matched up against a new head coach looking to score his first win overall and first in front of the hometown faithful. That’s a tough combo to get in front of if indeed you want to fade the home based Lions in this spot. I won’t be doing that. Detroit has the better overall depth and the starting unit that could put the game out of reach early if given the chance. I don’t love it since it will click for New York at some point, but it still looks to be a bit too soon.
NFL ATS Pick: Lions - at BookMaker.eu
NFL Score Prediction: Lions 24 – Giants 16