DETROIT – The Detroit Lions enter their game against the New York Giants on a three-game losing streak. The vibe surrounding the team hasn't been great, especially after RB Kerryon Johnson was put on the injured reserve list and fan favorite Quandre Diggs was traded to the Seattle Seahawks.
Sunday's game gives the Lions a chance to get back on track. It's a game most expect the Lions to win, and it's a must-win game for the Lions to stop the bleeding.
Just getting a win will do, but the Lions can inspire some confidence if they can win soundly and put on an impressive performance.
Here's what we're looking to see out of the Lions this weekend.
Show up on defense
The Vikings dominated the Lions' defense last week and made the Lions' ugly defensive numbers real.
If you haven't looked, Detroit's defense ranks near the bottom of the league in several categories, including yards allowed per game, rushing yards per carry, first downs per game and more.
The Lions' defense needs to show up and get back on track with this game. That's because it is facing a rookie QB in Daniel Jones. You'd like to think the Lions would have the advantage there.
Detroit also faces a challenge similar to the one it faced last week in stopping running back Saquon Barkley. The Lions must get a better push up front and tackle better against the Giants. Former Giants Snacks Harrison, Devon Kennard and Romeo Okwara should be plenty motivated to put in a good performance against their old team.
Detroit doesn't need to pitch a shutout here. But we'd like to see a physical performance, good tackling and a tough day for New York's quarterback.
Keep the offense moving
The Lions turned in a much better performance against the Vikings than they did two weeks ago against the Green Bay Packers. The Lions need to keep the offense rolling this week against the Giants.
The ideal performance for the Lions' offense would be to storm out to a quick lead and then control the game through running the ball. The Giants rank right around where the Lions do in many defensive categories, so the Lions should be able to have another good day on offense.
Next man up
As we mentioned, Kerryon Johnson is out and Quandre Diggs is gone. It would be great for the guys taking their spots to have nice games on Sunday.
Ty Johnson is going to be the guy at running back. So far, we've seen a little of what he can do. More opportunities for him could bring out his playmaking ability.
And on defense, rookie Will Harris is expected to get more playing time at safety. He's already shown an ability to come up and make tackles in the run game. Let's see if he gets more reps in coverage Sunday.
Pressure the QB
To have a good game on defense, the Lions need to get pressure on the quarterback. We've been looking for it for weeks because the Lions have had a nonexistent pass rush this season. Getting a couple of sacks and pressures would be big for the Lions' defense.