Lions at Giants
Odell Beckham Jr. is many things but he doesn't profess to be a doctor, so it should come as no surprise that the superstar wide receiver was all over the map with his diagnosis of his ailing ankle. Beckham initially revealed that he's dealing with a six-to-eight-week timeline before later shifting gears and declaring it could be a four-to-12-week issue heading into the New York Giants' home opener against the Detroit Lions on Monday.
Simple math suggests that the prime-time tilt will be exactly four weeks since Beckham initially sustained the injury in a preseason game against Cleveland on Aug. 21. The flashy wideout, who was limited in practice on Thursday and Friday, watched helplessly as New York's vanilla offense mustered just two first downs in the first half en route to a 19-3 setback versus Dallas last weekend. While Eli Manning was held out of the end zone, Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford overcame an early pick-six and threw for 292 yards and four touchdown passes in a 35-23 victory over Arizona last week. Signed to a five-year, $135 million contract extension, Stafford completed 70.7 percent of his passes last week - well above both the averages of last season (65.3) and his career (61.6).
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Giants -3 O/U: 43.5
ABOUT THE LIONS (1-0): While Golden Tate reeled in team highs in catches (10) and receiving yards (107) last week, rookie Kenny Golladay made a favorable impression with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown grabs. Pass-catching specialist Theo Riddick also had six catches with a TD reception, but his rushing contribution, when added with those of Ameer Abdullah and Dwayne Washington, resulted in just 51 yards on 22 carries for a 2.3-yard average per attempt. "It needs work," Lions coach Jim Caldwell said of the sputtering rushing attack. "It needs work. We just got to keep working at it and (it's) not where we want it yet."
ABOUT THE GIANTS (0-1): New York isn't thrilled with its ground game either, as Paul Perkins accounted for 16 of the team's 35 yards rushing in the season opener. Running back Shane Vereen did not record a carry but did provide Manning with a serviceable option out of the backfield by grabbing a team-high nine receptions. Second-year wideout Sterling Shepard, who had seven catches last week, joined Beckham in reeling in a touchdown reception in New York's 17-6 win over Detroit on Dec. 18. Veteran Brandon Marshall struggled to step up in Beckham's absence last week as he had just one catch for 10 yards in his debut with his new team.
1. New York DE Olivier Vernon had a sack last week to increase his total to 8.5 in his last 10 games.
2. Lions TE Eric Ebron, a New Jersey native, had just two catches last week and four in the previous encounter versus the Giants.
3. New York will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Super Bowl XLII championship team at halftime.