The New York Giants face the Detroit Lions on Monday night. The Giants saw Detroit at the end of last season, but there are some new faces. So, let’s turn to SB Nation’s Pride of Detroit for some information. Chris Perfett answers our questions.
Ed: Matthew Stafford did it again last week, leading the Lions to a come-from-behind victory. What makes him so good in those late-game situations?
Chris: It's going to go down in the books as another fourth-quarter comeback, and I suppose it's technically that but 2016 brought us far more "oh crap oh Christ oh God oh Christ oh God oh man" moments that the start of the season felt fairly smooth. The pleasant surprise comes in that Stafford looked bad early on.
I think Stafford is great in tempo, especially once he's gotten comfortable and warmed up with his receivers. The NFL doesn't seem to really like doing tempo unless the poop has really gotten strewn about, so when the team gets down and starts to get panicked, the play opens up for Stafford to find his stride, make quick reads and generally ruin someone's day. With this offense, he especially thrives with having a smorgasbord of options with guys like Golden Tate (who can play wideout, slot or come out of the backfield), Theo Riddick and Marvin Jones.
Ed: If you were the Giants, how would you attack the Lions -- offensively and defensively?
Chris: Very carefully.
(Offense: Short passing seems to really mess the Lions up?)
(Defense: Just abuse the left side of the line to get to Stafford. This team can't run the ball so just pressure the hell out of him.)
Ed: Tell us about young players we may not know much about who we should be aware of.
Chris: Anthony Zettel is in his second year, still tackling trees as far my brain tells me, and he's doing better among a defensive end group that is about as shallow as a kiddie pool. Likewise, if you don't know about second-year defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson and how damn big he is, he's liable to remind you with a big meaty swat of his hand against a ball Eli tries to throw.
Jarrad Davis is the new entry to the linebacker corps and he's already proven himself as a leader. The linebackers were the worst part of the Lions defense last year and he's slid right in at mike and really tried to make his mark. He also suplexed a dude. Suplex city.
Lions fans will probably hurt me if I don't mention Kenny Golladay. He's the newest receiver and the hype train is bonkers BUT he did lay out for an insane touchdown last week, one of two he had. There's a civil war among Honolulu Blue Kool-Aid drinkers about what his nickname should be. Kenny G is too easy. I've taken Doc Golladay because it supplies me with a wide array of Val Kilmer gifs.
Ed: If you could take one player NOT NAMED ODELL BECKHAM out of the Giants lineup and put him in Detroit's lineup, who would it be? Why?
Jason Pierre-Paul may have been murdered by La'el Collins and was already missing a few pieces, but I will gladly take his mangled corpse up to my mountain castle and zap him with lightning until he lives yet again. I will put that beautiful monster on the edge and let him create anarchy and death. I am God, creating new life.
Ed: I never really thought Jim Caldwell would be a successful head coach in Detroit. What are your thoughts on Caldwell and the job he has done?
Chris: He a'ight.
That's surprising to say about a guy who has the best record among Lions coaches in the Super Bowl era. I'd probably put him in an upper half of NFL coaches right now. The best strength has come in how he's assembled his staff, with a team of coordinators and coaches that make me feel confident of how the personnel is being handled. We can dunk on Caldwell for his clock management early on in Detroit, but honest to god show me a NFL coach who doesn't screw the pooch when it comes to a principle like time. Caldwell's got two watches now (not a joke) and he's got a grasp on this.
This is a guy the entire fan base wanted gone a few years ago but I think there's enough people who know that Caldwell is here to stay. He's got the loyalty of the locker room and the approval of new general manager Bob Quinn.
In sandwich terms I'd rate him as an adequate Italian hero.