1. Shake up Daniel Jones.
It’s almost ridiculous how much of a different player Daniel Jones is this year. In 2021, all we could talk about was his lack of ball security, and how he was losing games for Big Blue himself simply by turning it over too much. That has completely changed this season. Jones has only thrown two interceptions on the season, and according to PFF, has only had 10 turnover worthy plays. Granted, he’s missed some time, and he’s not the whole reason for success, but his improvement is undeniable. It’s up to Lions to sack him back in time a whole year. Aidan Hutchinson and Julian Okwara made their presence known last week against the Bears, which needs to be replicated this week. Hopefully, with good defensive looks, Jones can fall back into some of his old patterns. His bad decision making could be more fruitful for Detroit than anything the coordinators scheme up.
2. Stretch the field.
Given their defensive personnel, the Giants like to stack the box and run single high safety. They have every right to feel confident in that scheme heading into this week, as it’s worked well so far and Jared Goff has not been fantastic when throwing deep. But the piece that could change everything came down on high from today: DJ Chark is back. Fresh off of IR, his deep ball skills could be what the doctor ordered to force New York to take personnel out of the box and place it downfield, opening up a lot more options with runs and slot yardage. Couple this with Amon-Ra St. Brown’s versatility and Detroit’s two-pronged rushing attack, and OC Ben Johnson should force the Giants to shake up their looks.
3. Contain Saquon Barkley.
Remember above, when I said Jones wasn’t really the reason for New York’s success? A decent amount of it can be attributed to Saquon Barkley, who is having a resurgent season. So here is the weekly “Lions need to stop the run” paragraph. To be frank, Detroit has gotten lucky so far. Against Green Bay, they didn’t see many looks in the run game. Against Chicago, they were gashed on the ground, but the Bears made the weird decision to pass on their final, last chance drive. The truth is, the Lions have improved, but they still have a long way to go. Barkley may be the first real test they see, as New York HC Brian Daboll may not want to push Jones too hard, given their lack of receiver talent.
The Lions are rolling, but so are the Giants. New York is lacking in receivers, but they make up for it with a stout run game, and a monster defense at the line of scrimmage. Detroit is healthier than they have been in the last few weeks, but their flaws frequently expose themselves when they accidentally stack mistakes. This will be tight, and probably low scoring. New York wins 17-14.