NFL Game of the Week: Lions V Patriots & Giants v Packers

By Liz Bhandari

New York Giants vs. Green Bay Packers: London Game Preview

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Last week's London matchup between the Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints had fireworks down the stretch. Now, we get to look forward to both the New York Giants and the Green Bay Packers taking each other on in Week 5.

Let’s start out with the Giants here. New York is a team that surprisingly scores more points per game this year than the Packers. They are coming off of a 20-12 victory against the Chicago Bears that saw the run game absolutely take over for them. Daniel Jones threw for just 71 yards on the game as Saquon Barkley rushed 31 times for 146 yards. Jones himself took six carries for 68 yards and two touchdowns. The Giants defense looked great in the red zone also against Justin Fields and company, not letting them run the football in any time they got down there. One thing that might hold them back this week against the Packers is their quarterback. And not because Daniel Jones isn’t good at what he does. But because he might not be able to play. Jones suffered an injury that held him out for a few drives last week, which forced backup Tyrod Taylor into the game. Taylor stepped in and completed one out of his three passes and threw an interception before suffering a concussion. He’s out for this game and Jones was seen out of practice due to an ankle injury of some sort. We don’t want Barkley taking over at quarterback for them against Aaron Rodgers, so that’s a situation that needs sorting out and fast.

Meanwhile, the Packers have their own problems to deal with. Yes, Aaron Rodgers is incredible, but this team just feels like they need more. Rodgers threw for 251 yards, two touchdowns and a wildly rare pick-six against the New England Patriots last week. It was their run game again that took over, as Aaron Jones had 16 carries for 110 yards and AJ Dillon followed it up with 17 carries for 73 yards of his own. Allen Lazard even had himself a day with 116 receiving yards. The defense for the Packers might need to wake up a little bit though, as they allowed third string quarterback Bailey Zappe to take them into overtime by scoring 17 points of offense. That shouldn’t happen if you’re a top unit in the league and I expect a strong bounce back game out of them when they take on the Giants with or without Daniel Jones at the helm.

I’ve learned not to doubt what the Giants can do this season behind far better coaching and offensive line play. However, Rodgers shouldn’t be losing this game. He is going to be upset about how the last game went into overtime and that defense wouldn’t want to be embarrassed for a second straight week by a potential backup quarterback. If Jones can’t suit up, then the Packers are even more favoured coming into this London matchup.

Game of the Week: Detroit Lions vs. New England Patriots

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Surprisingly, this game feels like it could be the game of the week. The Detroit Lions have been arguably the most exciting team in football this season, averaging over 30 points per game while letting up an equal amount on the other end. Meanwhile, the Patriots are a team that likes to play chess, not checkers, and could be rolling out Bailey Zappe at quarterback. A guy that honestly almost beat Aaron Rodgers just a week ago.

Starting with the Lions in this matchup, they are going to be relying upon Jared Goff to get the job done. Whether they turn to the hurry up, tempo style offense down the stretch or start out with it, that will be the key for them to win this game. It feels like when the Lions offense plays fast, they are nearly unstoppable and it’s showing with them dropping 35 points a night. Not to mention that they just dropped 45 despite missing multiple key players on that offense such as Amon-Ra St. Brown and D’Andre Swift. Now, with all of this being said, that defense is worrisome. It causes for some fireworks, that’s for sure. However, it doesn't help them win football games. Jeff Okudah has been playing excellent football all-around, but the rest of this group seemingly is always playing catch up when a play happens. That has to change if they want to beat the Patriots.

Flipping over to New England now, they have such an interesting situation. They are 1-3 on the season and dealing with more quarterback issues in this single season than they have in the past two decades already. Mac Jones is likely out again with an ankle injury, Brian Hoyer left the game last night with his own injury and Bailey Zappe turned out to be the only one left. Zappe threw for 99 yards and a touchdown on a 66-completion percentage, but it just didn’t “spark” the offense much. This group might not be passing much without one of Hoyer or Jones available, but luckily their run game will make it interesting regardless. Damien Harris took 18 carries for 86 yards and a touchdown and Rhamondre Stevenson had 14 carries for 66. When it comes to that Patriots defense, they always seem to have random players make big time plays. Just look at Jack Jones grabbing a pick-six off of Aaron Rodgers in Lambeau Field.

I personally feel like this is going to be one of those entertaining games of the week due to the explosiveness of the Lions offense and how bad their defense is. The Patriots, no matter who the quarterback is, will likely put up a good chunk of points with their ground game alone. Meanwhile, the Lions could fall behind early and be forced to air it out a LOT down the stretch to catch up, racking up the points along the way. Believe it or not, I actually like the Lions in this game more than the Patriots. I’ll take Detroit due to how close they’ve been to winning in recent weeks and are just coming up short. Eventually you have to imagine that this luck will start turning around and converting losses into wins soon.

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