TALE OF THE TAPE

Tale Of The Tape: New York Giants At Detroit Lions

New York Giants
Detroit Lions
(credit: Al Bello/Getty Images)
(credit: Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(credit: Al Bello/Getty Images)
(credit: Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Quarterback
While the Giants and Lions first played in 1934, these two teams rarely get together. This will be their second meeting in Detroit since 1997. Eli Manning hopes to make the trip a successful one for the Giants, but his main goal is to finish this disastrous season healthy. Manning is coming off a five-interception game against the Seahawks.
Winner The Lions need help to win the NFC North after losing to the Ravens in their Week 15 Monday night game. Matthew Stafford threw two fourth quarter interceptions that gave the game to the Ravens and may keep the Lions out of the postseason. Stafford certainly has the arm strength and quick release scouts want, but that’s not enough to be successful in the NFL.
Offense
The Giants need to get some semblance of their running game going against the Lions. They couldn’t against Seattle, and it proved disastrous against the Seahawks. Andre Brown had just 17 yards on 11 carries, but he should be able to be much more productive against the Lions. Wide receiver Victor Cruz (knee sprain and concussion) may not be available.
Winner The Lions are one of the most talented offensive teams in the league, but Jim Schwartz has rarely been able to get his offense to play consistently. Wide receiver Calvin Johnson is the best at his position in the league and he can defeat double coverage. The Lions are hoping that Reggie Bush has an explosive game and takes the pressure off of Stafford.
Defense
Winner Almost shockingly, the Giants have risen to 10th in the league in overall defense. Strong safety Antrell Rolle is certainly the best overall player on the unit. He leads the team with 86 tackles, but he also has 17 passes defensed and six interceptions. Linebacker Jon Beason has made a solid contribution since signing with the Giants. He has 73 tackles this season.
The Lions rank 16th in overall defense, but they are a solid fifth against the run. Defensive tackles Nick Fairley and Ndamukong Suh are a formidable duo who can keep any opponent from establishing the interior run. Middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch is one of the NFL’s most underrated performers. He leads the Lions with 107 tackles and he also has 3.0 sacks.
Special Teams
The Giants have been beaten up and bruised this year, and they have gotten no relief from their special teams. They have given up three punt returns for touchdowns this year. Josh Brown is a decent kicker who has made 18-of-20 FG attempts. Steve Weatherford gets excellent distance on his punts.
Winner The Lions have been ordinary in their special teams coverage, but they have gotten quite a lift from return specialist Jeremy Ross. He has returned both a punt and kickoff for a touchdown. David Akers has made 15-of-20 FG attempts, including 2-of-2 from 50 yards and beyond.

The Winner Is

(credit: Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Winner Detroit Lions
3 out of 4

If the Giants are interested in competing hard, they could push the Lions in this game. If they are more interested in heading on vacation, the Lions should win easily.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 25:  Odell Beckham #13 of the New York Giants breaks a tackle by Josh Norman #24 of the Washington Redskins in the second half at MetLife Stadium on September 25, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 25:   Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers runs the ball against Everson Griffen #97 and Tom Johnson #92 of the Minnesota Vikings in the 1st half during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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  2. KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 25: Center Mitch Morse #61 of the Kansas City Chiefs prepares to snap the ball to Alex Smith #11 at Arrowhead Stadium during the second quarter of the game against the New York Jets on September 25, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 25: Quarterback  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers passes against  Bennie Logan #96 of the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on September 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
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  3. ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 25:  Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys throws against the Chicago Bears in the fourth quarter at AT&T Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Running back Carlos Hyde #28 of the San Francisco 49ers rushes for a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on September 25, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks defeated the 49ers 37-18.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
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