Game Overview ::
By hilow >>
- Wide receivers Josh Reynolds and Trinity Benson missed practice to start the week for the Lions while running back Jamaal Williams missed practice with the same illness sweeping the league.
- Daniel Bellinger continued to miss practice with his orbital bone injury near his eye – he has not played the last two New York games in addition to the team’s bye week in Week 9.
- This game likely carries a much smaller chance at shooting out than the field is likely to realize, considering the game logs the Lions have put up this season. Things have changed fairly dramatically for the Lions over the previous three weeks.
- Each team ranks poorly in most run-stopping metrics, but the Giants have completely clamped down in the red zone under the guidance of Wink Martindale.
How detroit Will Try To Win ::
The Lions continue to be a team in complete disarray, primarily due to the numerous injuries they have been forced to contend with this season. They continue to operate with a moderate pace of play to start games before being inevitably forced into an increased pace, and aerial aggression as games move on due to routinely finding themselves in negative game script. Their 23rd-ranked pace of play with the score within six points and sixth-ranked pace of play in the second half highlight this fact, while a pass rate over expectation value ranking 25th in the league and 21st-ranked overall pass rate (56.41%) back it up. Of note, D’Andre Swift has yet to return to full strength following ankle and shoulder injuries, Jamaal Williams missed practice Wednesday with an illness, Josh Reynolds has yet to return from his extended absence due to a back injury, D.J. Chark and Jameson Williams remain on the injured reserve, and fullback Jason Cabinda made his first appearance of the season last week following an extended absence. Last week, we saw that mess translate to the first real 21-personnel usage seen from the Lions this season and increased 12-personnel rates compared to their season average. I would tentatively expect a similar outcome here, with the team moving more and more away from an offense based out of 11-personnel, at least until key pass-catchers return.
The backfield was a mess last week, with all of Jamaal Williams, D’Andre Swift, Justin Jackson, and fullback Jason Cabinda seeing 21% or more of the offensive snaps – with no back surpassing a modest 40% snap rate. That basically translated to a three-headed timeshare at running back amongst Williams, Swift, and Jackson and just over a 20% 21-personnel utilization. Williams saw 16 rush attempts and no targets, Swift saw nine combined running back opportunities, Jackson saw seven combined running back opportunities, and Williams and Swift split red zone work basically down the middle. Talk about a maddening situation. The pure rushing matchup yields a well above average 4.785 net-adjusted line yards metric against a Giants defense holding opposing backfields to just 21.5 DK points per game, primarily due to a second-ranked 38.24% opponent red zone touchdown rate allowed (only six total touchdowns allowed to opposing backs through nine games played).
Volume has come and gone for Jared Goff and the Lions pass offense but has mostly dried up over the previous five games. During that time, Goff has three games of exactly 26 pass attempts, one game of 35 attempts, and one game of 37 attempts. That’s a far cry from earlier in the season when the Lions turned up the passing volume to a higher rate, with 34-41 attempts in each of the team’s first four games. The opponent this week, the Giants, should combine with the Lions to leave each team with below-NFL-average total offensive plays run from scrimmage, which should serve to cap the range of outcomes of Goff’s pass attempts. With Amon-Ra St. Brown and Kalif Raymond each playing just over 80% of the offensive snaps last week with the team shifting their focus to an offense more rooted in heavy sets, there is only one player remaining that we can confidently project for consistent volume – Amon-Ra St. Brown. Tom Kennedy and Trinity Benson filled in to combine for the team’s WR3 role a week ago, but Benson finds himself on the injury report as a DNP on Wednesday with a knee injury. That should serve to further the likelihood of a heavy set-based offense this week. The Giants 3-4, 4-3 hybrid defense mixes and matches defensive personnel along their front to remain balanced and unpredictable, playing from man coverage at the highest rate in the league through 10 weeks. That has come through a consistent 40-50% man coverage utilization with typical Wink Martindale elevated blitz rates (league-high 39.7%). That has translated to just league-average pressure rates, providing a situation the Lions can potentially take advantage of when they do turn to the air. That said, Jared Goff when blitzed is not a pretty sight, as we’ve come to know over the previous three seasons.