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Preview, predictions, what to observe for

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An inside have a look at Sunday’s Giants-Lions matchup at MetLife Stadium. 

Marquee matchup

Lions C Frank Ragnow vs. Giants NT Dexter Lawrence

Speak about a high-level battle. Ragnow is the fourth highest-rated center within the NFL by Pro Football Focus with a grade of 76.8. Lawrence is the No. 2-rated interior defensive lineman, with a grade of 91.1. Only Chris Jones of the Chiefs is higher, and Lawrence grades out barely ahead of Quinnen Williams and the one and only Aaron Donald. A move to nose tackle, lining up directly across from the middle, has triggered a surge for Lawrence, who already has five sacks and 16 quarterback hits, each profession highs only nine games into the season. Ragnow is listed as questionable with a foot injury, but is predicted to play.

Frank Ragnow and Dexter LawrenceAP; USA TODAY Sports

Paul’s pick

Stopping big plays will likely be the important thing here — easier said than done against the Lions’ versatile attack. It’s difficult to check the Giants getting an entire lot done within the passing game, resulting in what may very well be an overreliance on Saquon Barkley. Jared Goff is hard to sack and he can sling it. In some unspecified time in the future, Daniel Jones goes to must do the identical.

Lions 27, Giants 23.

4 downs

Rookie watch: Aidan Hutchinson went No. 2 overall to the Lions in the2022 draft and it appears he might need been under-drafted. How is he not a more feared defender than Travon Walker, who went No. 1 to the Jaguars? Hutchinson has 28 total tackles, 5.5 sacks, 10 quarterback hits, 4 tackles for loss and one interception, production which dwarfs that of Kayvon Thibodeaux, taken No. 5 by the Giants. In two fewer games, Thibodeaux has 18 tackles, one sack, three quarterback hits, no tackles for loss, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Perhaps seeing one other young edge rusher across the sector will spark an enormous play or two out of Thibodeaux, who has been much more solid than spectacular in Yr 1.

Big-play discrepancy: Everyone with an off-the-cuff interest within the Giants understands what they’re and, conversely, what they are usually not. What they are usually not is anything near resembling an explosive passing attack. They’ve only 12 pass plays of 20 or more yards, which ranks dead-last within the NFL. The Lions? Glad you asked. They’re No. 3 within the league with 36 explosive pass plays, behind only the Chiefs and Dolphins. Nine Lions players have a reception of 23 or more yards this season. The Giants have six players with a catch of 20 or more yards. Factoring in the bottom game, the Lions have three players with a run of fifty or more yards. The Giants have one: Saquon Barkley. The long-distance edge goes to the Lions.

Hit man: Daniel Jones missed the last six games of the 2021 season with a neck injury, yet there has not been a touch of any issues with that this season. He has been a rock at quarterback, and even after he was forced out of the Week 4 victory over the Bears with a sprained ankle, he was right back at it the following game. Jones took successful within the fourth quarter last week because he didn’t slide on an 11-yard run on third-and-10. “Yeah, he got the primary down,’’ head coach Brian Daboll said. “I trust he’s going to maintain himself, but then there’s a component of competitiveness and ensuring we get the primary down, too.’’ Jones understands his value to the team. “I feel if it wasn’t third down, possibly I might’ve gotten down just a little quicker,’’ he said.

Look ahead: A second-straight home game for the Giants before an impending NFC East clash 4 days later — on the Cowboys on Thanksgiving, the primary of 4 consecutive division games — makes this a dangerous spot. Daboll has been masterful keeping his team focused. This is sort of a challenge. “We all know that this next stretch for us, we’ve played one division game,’’ safety Julian Love said. “We’ve these next five coming up soon. We are able to’t overlook the Lions by any means, but after all, that’s at the back of your head that you realize you must play your best football going forward.’’

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