New York Giants (5-9)
Schedule so far
Week 1 - at Cowboys - lost, 36-31
Week 2 - vs. Broncos - lost, 41-23
Week 3 - at Panthers - lost, 38-0
Week 4 - at Chiefs - lost, 31-7
Week 5 - vs. Eagles - lost, 36-21
Week 6 - at Bears - lost, 27-21
Week 7 - vs. Vikings - won, 23-7
Week 8 - at Eagles - won, 15-7
Week 10 - vs. Raiders - won, 24-20
Week 11 - vs. Packers - won, 27-13
Week 12 - vs. Cowboys - lost, 24-21
Week 13 - at Redskins - won, 24-17
Week 14 - at Chargers - lost, 37-13
Week 15 - vs. Seahawks - lost, 23-0
Reason for optimism
Matthew Stafford is now tied for third in the NFL with 17 interceptions this season, but that's nothing compared to Eli Manning. He leads the NFL with an astounding 25 interceptions through 14 games. In his last game, he threw 5 picks, and he has just really been a mess this season. He has only 16 touchdown passes, and he's been a big reason behind the Giants' struggles this year. Facing him could be a nice opportunity for the defense to start forcing some turnovers again.
Reason for pessimism
The Giants allowed each of their first five opponents this season to score 31 or more points. Since then, however, only one team has managed to score more than 27 points (the Chargers a couple weeks ago). The Giants have surrendered an average of only 19.4 points per game in their last nine contests, so the defense has done a pretty admirable job since Week 6. If the Giants had an offense that could actually take care of the ball, they'd be much better than 5-9 right now. (That sounds familiar, doesn't it?)
Storyline to watch
Going into this game, the Giants are simply trying to finish the season on a positive note. The Lions, on the other hand, are going into this game with hopes of staying alive in the playoff race. A win won't guarantee them a shot at sneaking back into the NFC North title picture, but the Lions can't afford a loss if they want to avoid being eliminated from playoff contention. It will be interesting to see how they respond after Monday night's heartbreaking loss.
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