Hello all of Big Blue View! You guys are in for a treat I have a sixteen game analysis of the each game where I go in depth to see how the Giants will fare against the match ups between each team from week to week. Without further ado let's look at the first opponent the Detroit Lions.
About the opponent:
Well the Lions were a team that went 0-16 a few years ago, and by years ago meaning ancient history, Their last playoff appearance was 2011, three years ago, and the last playoff win was who knows it is only week 1 after all. Well the last opening day loss was 2010 against the Bears on that controversial TD catch by Calvin Johnson. Since then it has been three straight opening day wins, no good especially since it is on Monday Night Football. However the Lions the last four years have only yielded on winning season. Since 2010 the Lions have gone 6-10, 10-6, 4-12, and 7-9, a combined 31 and 37 record which is not good at all. However, this Lions team has a new coach in Jim Caldwell, a new weapons in the offensive game. While the pass rush is very fearsome to say the least, the secondary leaves me thinking it lacks enough to compete with the other receivers, if the rush is not strong enough. Against the Lions for Manning's Career is 3-1 with the only loss being in his rookie season of 2004. So, the odds are definitely in the favor of the Giants.
Last years rankings:
I know it is last years, but it still tells the tale of how it may go. Stats brought to you by Pro-Football Reference.
Team Defense: 15th
Pass Defense: 23rd
Run Defense: 6th
Kick and Punt Return Against: 13th
Scoring Defense: 20th
Team Offense: 13th
Passing Offense: 3rd
Rushing Offense: 17th
Kick and Punt Returns: 20th
Scoring Offense: 13th
What do the stats say:
That the Lions are a pass happy team, with a solid run defense, and a pass rush but they lack in the secondary, offensive line, and in the run game. Also, per game the Lions were 9th with penalties per game, and 10th in penalties for the year. They have proven they can beat themselves. Special teams leaves me lacking as well, especially with Reggie Bush on the team, I know he is not what he was, but he is still a threat. We shall see what Caldwell brings to this team.
QB advantage Giants
I say this with a big asterisk. I do not know what type of Eli will come out will it be the one of 2011 or the one last season. But I also have to consider the match-ups and Eli has an advantage over this secondary it is not that great to begin with, Stafford has to face a secondary that is stronger, and he is just as turnover prone as Eli, if that was even possible. Stafford is also the best Quarterback the Giants beat last year if you do not think the RGIII was, which he looked completely different than the year before. Besides the turnovers, the only other knock on Stafford is the maturity question, he only has one winning season, and I am sure Lions fans are sick of this, and who would not be.
RB advantage Giants
Reggie Bush is a solid player, but the Giants have a stable of running backs that will wear them down. While the run game itself was lacking for the Giants, they have solidified it with the signing of Rashad Jennings, and drafting Andre Williams.
Receiving advantage Lions
Megatron is just an amazing talent, while the Giants best receiver is their slot man Victor Cruz, for now, plus their are question marks at the tight end position for the Giants. Meanwhile the Lions have a solid tight end in Giants fan Eric Ebron. The Giants stable of wide receivers is going to improve, but it is going to take some time before we see any improvement.
Offensive Line: advantage Lions
I do not know what the offensive line of the Giants will bring, and the Lions also have questions at the offensive line as well, the Lions line was ranked 8th by pro football focus, and 13th by football outsiders, a young strong line makes it tough to pressure Matthew Stafford. The Giants offensive line was among the five worst offensive lines in the game last year, with injuries, a consistent shuffling of players and under performing from Will Beatty. I will say this the Offensive Line will make Eli stand more upright this year, and not put him into a hospital.
Defense: advantage neutral
Both defenses have their strengths and weaknesses the Giants have a stronger secondary, while the Lions have a stronger front-seven either way its a coin flip on who will win at this point. It all depends on what you like.
Coaching: advantage Giants
Give me Tom Coughlin over Jim Caldwell any day, *Caldwell was not a good coach or a coordinator, look at what happened when he left Baltimore*, they won the Super Bowl, and he could not win the big one with Peyton Manning at QB, as a head coach at the end of the day Coughlin while he has his flaws with developing players, winning games is something that he has done in his lifetime 26 wins for Caldwell as opposed to 158 wins for Coughlin, and there is a reason why he has been coaching longer than Caldwell.
The Giants, and I am not saying that because of fandom, I am saying this because the Lions have to learn a completely different system than Schwartz, in Caldwell, while the Lions will probably be better as the season goes on. The secondary of the Lions will be the X factor for them can they stop the speedy receivers of the Giants. For the Giants, their X factor is the pass rush, can they put Stafford into the turf. I do not expect the Lions to blow by the Giants, and vice-versa. Giants win 28-23.
Let me know what you think in the comments.
*EDIT 1: Mistake made on Caldwell leaving Baltimore he actually replaced Cam Cameron. They, Baltimore actually got worse when he left.