NFL Sneak Peek – Week 1 – Giants vs. Lions

The Giants and Lions both fell short of the playoffs last year each playing in divisions that earned just one postseason slot. Detroit was alive until the Giants beat them 23-20 in overtime during week 16 in Michigan. It also put the final nail in Lions coach Jim Schwartz’s coffin. Detroit seemed on their way to victory leading 20-13 late in the fourth quarter but New York scored a defense touchdown to tie the game, and kicked a game winning field goal on their second possession of overtime. The Lions final five chances with the ball ended with four punts and a defensive score. New York was limited to just 41 yards on the ground on 21 carries while the Lions scampered for 148 yards. The teams combined for five turnovers.

giants-lions-previewThe Giants and Lions both fell short of the playoffs last year each playing in divisions that earned just one postseason slot. Detroit was alive until the Giants beat them 23-20 in overtime during week 16 in Michigan. It also put the final nail in Lions coach Jim Schwartz’s coffin. Detroit seemed on their way to victory leading 20-13 late in the fourth quarter but New York scored a defense touchdown to tie the game, and kicked a game winning field goal on their second possession of overtime. The Lions final five chances with the ball ended with four punts and a defensive score. New York was limited to just 41 yards on the ground on 21 carries while the Lions scampered for 148 yards. The teams combined for five turnovers.

Detroit went 7-9 last season falling in four straight and six of seven to close the year. In each of the six loses they coughed away a forth quarter lead. Former Colts coach and quarterback mentor Jim Caldwell is now in charge of the Lions. He’ll need to improve a team that went 2-6 in games decided by four points or less last year. Detroit was the third best passing team in the NFL during the 2013 campaign and did a solid job stopping the run, ranking sixth overall. They did not stop the pass all that effectively. The Lions were -12 in turnover margin, third worst in the league.

After an 0-6 start, the Giants bounced back and finished 7-9 last year. Six of their nine setbacks came against playoff teams. A big part of New York’s trouble came on offense. The Giants were 29th in the NFL rushing for fewer than 90 yards a game, and Eli Manning threw a league high 27 interceptions. They finished 10th in the NFL holding opponents under 250 yards a game through the air. Despite ranking eighth best in the league in yards allowed, New York gave up almost 24 points a contest, 18th best in the NFL.

The Lions played the second most difficult schedule in the league last season and were 6-10 against the spread. The finished 3-5 against the number both at home and on the road. The Giants played the eighth toughest slate in the league, went 7-9 against the number, and were 4-4 away from home. In three seasons coaching the Colts Caldwell went 23-23-2 against the spread.