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Keys to Victory

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Giants vs. Lions: 3 Keys to Victory

The Giants and Lions enter their Week 8 matchup each looking to snap a three-game skid.

Big Blue has fallen to Minnesota, New England and Arizona, while Detroit dropped games to Kansas City, Green Bay and Minnesota. For both teams, the losing streaks came on the heels of back-to-back wins.

"There is certainly a sense of urgency in the building, amongst the players, that we need to get a win," quarterback Daniel Jones said. "It was that way last week. I think that's just the way we attack the week, the way we approach each game, and we certainly expect to win. I think you feel that sense of urgency, everyone is working hard, and everyone expects to win."

Here are three ways the Giants turn that expectation into reality on Sunday at Ford Field:

1. Secure the football. This was an easy one. The Giants have turned the ball over a league-high 18 times for a turnover differential of minus-10, second-worst ahead of Miami. Detroit is plus-four, tied for fifth in the NFL. The Lions have recovered eight opponent fumbles, the most in the NFL. Rookie quarterback Daniel Jones has turned the ball over three times in each of the last two games, which increased his total to 11 giveaways in five starts.

"You want to see coverage, feel pressure," offensive coordinator Mike Shula said. "Each quarterback gets better with experience in that regard, too. Those are the things that you try to simulate in practice as much as you can. But obviously, you can't because the only way to do that is to go full speed, and because of the physical nature of our game, as we know, we can't do that."

2. Get off the field on third down, especially early in the game. The Cardinals took the wind out of the Giants' sails from the very beginning of last week's loss. Arizona converted two third downs and a fourth down on a 13-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to start the game. The cycle repeated itself as the Cardinals gained 10 first downs in the first quarter alone and built up a 17-0 lead.

"Coming out of last week, the beginning of the game is a thing we have to improve ourselves in," defensive coordinator James Bettcher said. "You go look at the tape and you judge the tape, you don't just sit back and say 'we started flat', 'we weren't playing', whatever it was."

The Giants will go against a Lions offense that last week gained 21 first downs through the air, their most since 2015, against a stout Vikings defense. Seven of those were to wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr., who caught all four of Matthew Stafford's touchdown passes.

3. Giants need "NFL" Barkley. In his first game back, Saquon Barkley was tackled for a loss on four of his 21 touches (three rushing, one receiving). There were multiple reasons for those plays, but Barkley admitted that he reverted to some of his "college habits." In fairness, the desire to make all 11 defenders miss worked more often than not at Penn State. But this is the NFL.

"The only thing I felt personally, in the beginning I think I tried to do a little too much," Barkley said of his return from a three-game absence due to an ankle injury. "I went back to my college habits, my old habits a little bit, but I guess that was just more excitement. But as the game went down, I felt like I settled down in the run game, but I didn't make enough plays to help my team win. That happens, so you go back and you watch it, you learn from it and move on. Now you get ready for Detroit on Sunday."

In his last game in the state of Michigan, Barkley had 136 yards from scrimmage for the Nittany Lions against the Wolverines. This time, he faces a Lions defense allowing 139.2 rushing yards per game.

Giants vs. Lions Broadcast Info: TV channel, Radio Station and Live Stream.


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