By David Klein
Both teams sit at 9-4, and with a lot riding in terms of playoff standings (depending whether or not the Chicago Bears show up against Green Bay), this game could ultimately decide who ends up playing the Dallas Cowboys for the NFC Championship.
Giants QB Eli Manning vs. Lions QB Matthew Stafford
Stafford is slightly injured (throwing hand finger), and whether or not will be 100% is at best iffy. RB Dwayne Washington has got to start realizing that he is playing at the pro-level now and he needs to pump out 100 yards a game on 20 carries. He’ll never be Barry Sanders. Or Theo Riddick. Or Reggie Bush. But he can be effective north/south if he guns it. Eli Manning has two rings. Stafford has none. So…
Lions CB Darius Slay vs. Giants WR Odell Beckham
These two one-on-one might be the most fun thing to watch all year – in the entire league. Defensive Coordinator Teryl Austin will provide safety help deep, but there will be nothing over the middle or crazy runs after the catch. Trust me, Darius Slay marked this game on his calendar the second the schedule was released. It should be epic – along the lines of Deion Sanders vs. Jerry Rice. Beckham might make one spectacular catch, but Slay will win this battle. He does not get duped. His back-peddle is among the best in the NFL, and if you actually do catch a pass as a WR, you are going to earn your check.
The bottom line is the condition of Stafford. Without him, maybe-maybe not. But keep rolling the dice on Detroit. Its just a crazy team. They might win the whole thing. They remind me a LOT of the 1999 St. Louis Rams. They are building confidence, and getting Team Captain LB DeAndre Levy is very huge. But the NY market is just too many people. Take the Under. Don’t guess on the winner. These two teams are just too similar.