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Giants vs. Lions Storylines: What to watch for

Posted Sep 13, 2017

 Here are the storylines to follow as the Giants prep for Week 2 against the Lions:


Overreaction Monday has come and gone.

It’s an annual exercise that swirls around the NFL on the day after the first full slate of games. With the start of the 2017 season, the hype traveled in every direction: the good, the bad and the ugly. The truth is that teams don’t really take shape until a month into things.

With that said, Week 2 is no less important. After dropping their opener in Dallas, the Giants look to avoid the 0-2 hole with the Lions and “Monday Night Football” coming to town. Here are five storylines to follow this week:

1. SHIFTING OFFENSE INTO GEAR

In Week 1, the Giants played into the hands of the Cowboys, the best clock-killing team in the league. The Giants managed just 13 first downs and lost the time of possession by nearly 10 minutes in a 19-3 loss. The Giants have not eclipsed 20 points since Week 12 of last season in Cleveland.

“Where we go from here – have to make a big jump from Week 1 to Week 2,” coach Ben McAdoo said. “We’re blessed to have a long week this week. Have to play complementary team football and take care of each other in all three phases, something we didn’t do [Sunday] night.”

2. WHAT’S ODELL’S STATUS?

Playing without one of the most dynamic players in the NFL didn’t help matters in Dallas. Three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has not suited up since injuring his ankle in the second preseason game, and his status remains day-to-day. Sticking on the injury front, right tackle Bobby Hart has an ankle injury. It’s still early in the week to project their game statuses.



3. TAMING THE LIONS

Just like last year, the Giants play the Cowboys and Lions in back-to-back weeks. In Week 15 last season, Eli Manning threw two touchdowns in the Giants’ 17-6 victory over Detroit at MetLife Stadium. Three weeks later, the Giants and Lions were the NFC’s wild card playoff teams. The Giants have won four of their last five games vs. Detroit, but the all-time series in the regular season is tied, 21-21-1.

That’s ancient history, though. The Lions defeated the Arizona Cardinals, 35-23, in their 2017 opener thanks to four touchdown passes by Matthew Stafford and a 35-yard pick-six by safety Miles Killebrew.


4. GOODSON BREAKS OUT

On a defense that includes All-Pros and Pro Bowlers, the Giants asked B.J. Goodson to step into the middle linebacker role and make the calls on the field after playing just 13 defensive snaps as a rookie in 2016. He earned the trust of his coaches and teammates in training camp and carried it over to the regular season. In his first career start, the former fourth-round draft pick racked up 18 tackles (14 solo), more than double any other player on the field at AT&T Stadium on Sunday night.

5. SUPER BOWL XLII ANNIVERSARY

All year long, the Giants are celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the 2007 team that upset Bill Belichick and the undefeated Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. The high point will be a special halftime ceremony on Monday night at MetLife Stadium, when more than 50 players and coaches from the team will be honored, including Tom Coughlin, Michael Strahan, Plaxico Burress, David Tyree and Justin Tuck. Leading up to it, there is a full reunion weekend scheduled. The events include: the annual Champions for Children gala to benefit the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund on Friday, a ceremony prior to Saturday’s Yankees-Orioles game at Yankee Stadium, and a team dinner on Sunday evening. If you’re not making it to the game, Giants.com has you covered. Stay tuned for highlights from the weekend as well as “Where are they now?” features and an oral history on the game-winning drive of Super Bowl XLII.