Game Scout: Giants at Lions
New York Giants (5-9) at Detroit Lions (7-7)
Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, at Ford Field, Detroit - TV: FOX
*TV announcers: Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa
*Keys to the game: The Giants are so beat up on both sides of the ball that coach Tom Coughlin was forced to alter Wednesday's practice routine. That's not typically headline material this late in the season, but it speaks to the state of the Giants following last weekend's home shutout loss to Seattle. The offensive line - a massive weak spot when healthy - is dealing with multiple injuries and Coughlin at least broached the subject with QB Eli Manning about potentially resting. Detroit's defensive line should have an easy assignment in stuffing the run and then pushing offensive linemen toward Manning, who is coming off a five-interception game and will be without WR Victor Cruz (knee). The primary task for Detroit's offense is simply not to throw up on itself, as ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer described Monday night's loss to Baltimore. The Giants' defense is still playing solidly with an improved pass rush. Lions QB Matt Stafford's gunslinger mentality is Detroit's biggest weapon and its biggest frailty against inferior opponents. If Stafford can avoid poor decisions and let his defense dictate field position, the Lions should enjoy short fields and produce points.
*Matchup to watch - Giants CB Prince Amukamara vs. Lions WR Calvin Johnson: Johnson stumbled over Amukamara's name during a conference call this week, but expect the two to get well acquainted Sunday. Amukamara stands 6-feet, presenting a much better physical battle for the 6-5 Johnson than Trumaine McBride, the Giants' 5-9 starter on the other side who Johnson didn't know the name of, period.
*Player spotlight - Giants OG Brandon Mosley: After playing 34 snaps as a fill-in last week, Mosley might be in-line for significant playing time even if struggling James Brewer is able to play through an ankle injury on the left side.
*Fast facts: Manning has started 149 consecutive games. ... The Lions have a minus-13 turnover margin.
WHO WILL WIN AND WHY
Everything about this matchup screams blowout for Detroit. The Lions have made a habit of playing down to their competition, but at home with their playoff lives on the line Detroit should be focused enough to take care of business.
*Our pick: Lions 26-16