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Giants vs. Lions: 5 biggest storylines for Week 11

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The New York Giants (7-2) take on the Detroit Lions (3-6) this Sunday at Metlife Stadium in a game between two teams facing a fast turnaround as both are scheduled for Thanksgiving.

The Lions, if all goes well, will host the Buffalo Bills and the Giants will host the Dallas Cowboys.

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Here are the five storylines we’re following in Week 11.

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Giants offensive plan

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The Giants faced the Detroit defense, which has lost the most yards and points this season.

This week the attack has a great opportunity to turn around. The only question is, how will they do it?

Head coach Brian Daball told reporters that if the Giants needed to throw the ball 60 times to win, they would. This year, the Lions are fifth in the league in passing yards.

But then again, the Lions are the second worst team in the NFL when it comes to stopping a run, and the Giants have the NFL’s best rusher in Saquon Barkley.

What to do, what to do…

Who’s in, who’s out

Mike Carlson/Getty Images

Tight end Daniel Bellinger (eye) is still out, so the Giants will play with the likes of Chris Mayarik, Tanner Hudson and former Jet Lawrence Keijer, who is on the practice team.

Defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence has a back problem and is listed as questionable but is expected to play. The Giants added veteran Vernon Butler to their practice squad this week as a precaution.

Right tackle Evan Neal (knee), guard Dane Belton (collarbone), wide receivers Van’Dale Robinson (hamstring) and Kenny Golladay (hamstring) and defenseman Joshua Ezeudou (neck) are questionable.

If Ezeudou can’t get away, Shane Lemieux is ready to intervene.

What’s at stake

New York Giants helmet
New York Giants helmet

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants are 7-2 and currently in second place in the NFC East behind, one game behind the Philadelphia Eagles (8-1) and one game ahead of the Dallas Cowboys (6-3).

They are also fifth in the NFC playoffs after 10 weeks.

Sunday’s win will take them to 8-2 and – combined with Philadelphia’s loss at Indianapolis this week – could see them tie for first place in the division.

The defeat puts them at 7-3 heading to Dallas for a short week. If Dallas beat Minnesota on Sunday and then the Giants on Thanksgiving, they would be 8-3 and leave the Giants 7-4 for third.

Lion protection

Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

The Lions are averaging 371.2 yards per game, which is the sixth most in the NFL this season. They are led by quarterback Jared Goff, running backs D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams, and wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown.

Brian Daball has no illusions about the capabilities of the Dan Campbell gang.

“They create explosive pieces. Goff plays at a high level; he is a very accurate passer in the center of the field, at the middle level, outside of the action, ”he said. “And then their two runners went to the distance several times. They are both slightly different, but both are very good. Four times they scored 30 points. In six losses, four of them were four points or less. Another against the Cowboys it was 10-6 with 3:20 left.

“Explosive team. Good football team. We’ll need a good week of practice.”

Gettin’ after this

Detroit Free Press

The Lions have a star pass rusher in Aidan Hutchinson, who leads all rookies with 5.5 sacks this season. The Giants have a newcomer in Kaivon Thibodeau, but this year he has only one sack so far.

Both teams will try to play with QB pressure.

The Giants allow 3.1 sacks per game and Daniel Jones could find himself in a lot of passing situations in this game. The Lions pass-rush averages less than two sacks per game.

The Lions defend well against passes, passing only 1.7 sacks per game. The Giants pass rush is averaging 2.2 sacks per game, so defensive coordinator Wink Martindale will likely apply some pressure (as usual) to help stop Goff.

The story originally appeared on Giants Wire.


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