New York Giants vs. Detroit Lions: Top 5 things to watch

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

No. 1 – Big Blue’s Pass Defense

After last week’s loss to the Cleveland Browns, the Giants top priority has to be fixing their pass defense.

Big Blue posted the league’s second-worst pass defense in terms of yards allowed in 2017 and struggled to cover the tight end position. The trend continued last week with the Giants giving up 322 yards and three touchdowns through the air. Browns tight end David Njoku finished the game with two receptions for 46 yards and two touchdowns.

The Giants also gave up big plays to Jarvis Landry and rookie receiver Antonio Callaway.

For Big Blue, it starts up front with the pass rush. The G-Men recorded just one sack against the Browns, which came from defensive lineman Robert Thomas. Olivier Vernon is “optimistic” about the Giants’ new-look pass rush under James Bettcher, but fans are still waiting to see the results on the field.

At the back end of the defense, there seem to be more questions than answers. Janoris Jenkins and Landon Collins are the only two proven starters in the secondary.

The free safety position is still up for grabs. Curtis Riley likely has the inside track to the starting role and is expected to make his first appearance as a New York Giant on Friday. His top priority is to be consistent at the back end, something the Giants have missed for some time now, via New York’s team website.

"“I just got to keep being consistent, doing everything I’m doing right now. Got to make sure I’m making all the right calls; I can’t go out there having technical errors and stuff like that. Just got to be consistent, that’s the main thing.”"

Darian Thompson, Michael Thomas, and Andrew Adams are also in the mix for the starting free safety position, as is veteran cornerback William Gay.

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At the cornerback position, Eli Apple, B.W. Webb, Leonard Johnson, Chris Lewis-Harris, Donte Deayon, and Grant Haley all have something to prove. Deayon showed promise early in training camp but has been out the past few weeks with a hamstring injury.

It’s unknown who will step up from the secondary on the road in Detroit, making Big Blue’s pass defense the top thing to watch Friday night.