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Old 02-14-2018, 05:02 AM
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"I know this team has always had an up-and-down, kind of rocky start, first half of the season in the years that I have been here," Giants receiver Victor Cruz said. "We want to come out to a fast start and hopefully get this first win under the belt."
As the 2014 schedule begins, Detroit wants to atone for its late-season slide,Nike Air Max 97 Order Online, while the Giants are still smarting from an 0-6 start that they never fully recovered from.
The Giants, meanwhile, did not look good running their new West Coast offense during the preseason. Ben McAdoo is their new offensive coordinator after Kevin Gilbride's retirement.
"We're confident in our abilities and schemes,Austin Hooper Falcons Jersey, confident in each other, but at the same time we have to go out there and execute," Stafford said. "On paper, we're as talented as anybody in the league in my opinion."
KEY MATCHUP?: The pressure is on Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul to bounce back from two injury-plagued seasons, especially after New York lost defensive linemen Justin Tuck and Linval Joseph to free agency. Pierre-Paul faces a solid Detroit offensive line that includes four players who started all 16 games last season.
Here are a few things to watch when the Lions host the Giants:
NEW SYSTEMS: Caldwell's hiring was viewed as an attempt to help Stafford progress to another level. Johnson is optimistic the offense is ready to produce right away.
SMASHMOUTH: The Giants, plagued by injuries, had the league's 29th-ranked rushing offense in 2013. But free agent addition Rashad Jennings and rookie Andre Williams could provide a boost. The question is whether the offensive line can effectively block Ndamukong Suh and Detroit's interior defensive linemen.
"We are a work in progress, no doubt about it. We have done some good things and we have done some bad things," New York coach Tom Coughlin said. "Ben McAdoo is a solid, solid football coach that knows what he is talking about. Has an excellent system, applies himself every day, very smart; we are doing OK there."
"I think we've been running the ball well," Manning said. "I think we need to get better in the passing attack, finding completions,NFL Jerseys Supply, hitting some big plays down the field. But I think we've been doing that in practice, we made some strides, made some plays. So we just have to keep protecting the ball, playing smart. We've gotten into pretty good third-down situations as of late,Wholesale Jerseys, we've just got to convert them."
DETROIT (AP) ? By the time Eli Manning guided New York to a December victory at Detroit, the Giants were out of playoff contention ? and that loss knocked the Lions out as well.
MISTAKE PRONE: Manning threw a career-high 27 interceptions last season, and Stafford was plagued by turnovers as the Lions lost six of their last seven games. Stafford had an interception returned for a touchdown in the fourth quarter of that December game, which the Giants won in overtime.

The Lions bring back the same cast of dynamic offensive players. Matthew Stafford has thrown for at least 4,500 yards for three straight seasons, while wide receiver Calvin Johnson is healthier than he was down the stretch last year.
Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley was demoted to a backup role during the preseason,Cheap NFL Jerseys From China, but he's back atop the depth chart now.
By contrast, the Giants' secondary now looks like a strength after the acquisitions of cornerbacks Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Walter Thurmond.
SECONDARY ISSUES: With cornerback Chris Houston and safety Louis Delmas both gone, the Lions have had to rebuild their defensive backfield a bit.
The simplest way to avoid another 0-6 start would be to win the opener,NFL Jerseys Cheap, but the Giants will be tested in a tough environment at Detroit on Monday night. The Lions are opening the season on a Monday night for the first time since 1971, and this will be Detroit's first game under new coach Jim Caldwell.
"We don't expect there to be a process. We took this thing by the horns since we got here back in April," Johnson said. "Everybody has kept their heads in the books, getting to learn that playbook. Everybody has put a lot of time into this offense and we haven't had a lot of mess-ups on film."
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