3 key matchups for Detroit Lions at New York Giants Week 11

Oct 23, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Detroit Lions linebacker Alex Anzalone (34) reacts during the second half against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 23, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Detroit Lions linebacker Alex Anzalone (34) reacts during the second half against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /

With back-to-back wins for the first time in the Dan Campbell era, here are three key matchups for the Detroit Lions against the New York Giants in Week 11.

The Detroit Lions have won two games in a row, including Dan Campbell’s first road win, and are having about as good a start to November as they could have hoped for. Despite a mediocre 3-6 record, the Lions are on an upward trajectory.

This week the Lions will travel to take on the New York Giants. Under first-year coach Brian Daboll, the Giants have jumped out to an incredible 7-2 record. Primed for a playoff push, the Giants are hoping to keep their momentum going. However, there is some evidence showing the Giants aren’t as good as their record indicates.

With Detroit playing better, this game could wind up being a lot closer than many would expect out of a game featuring a seven-win team and a three-win team.

Here are three key matchups for the Lions in Week 11.

Detroit Lions vs. New York Giants: 3 key Week 11 matchups

Matchup 1: Lions RT Penei Sewell vs. Giants EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux

This will be a clash of former Oregon teammates, as both Sewell and Thibodeaux shined as Ducks and became a top-10 pick in their respective drafts. Now they’ll face off against each other just as they used to on the practice field in Eugene.

Thibodeaux hasn’t necessarily had the sack totals to make headlines this season. However, the rookie has been able to generate pressure fairly effectively in the seven games he’s appeared in.

For Sewell, the task is simple. He holds himself to a very high standard and demands perfection. His objective will be to not let Thibodeaux generate anything whatsoever. Given the raw talent in this matchup on both sides, that may be a tall order. Though, this could be a situation where Sewell’s extra year of experience shows.

Matchup 2: Lions DT Isaiah Buggs vs Giants C Jon Feliciano 

In Week 10 in Chicago, Buggs did not have a very good game at all. He struggled against the interior of the Bears’ offensive line and failed to secure a sack on Justin Fields that turned into a touchdown.

This week it’ll be much more important for Buggs to play the nose tackle role effectively. The Giants ran the ball 47 times last week, and the ground game is a major component of their identity.

Buggs’s primary matchup will be Giants center Jon Feliciano, though he may also get extended looks over each guard depending on the play. The overarching point is that Buggs needs to be a more consistent force clogging the middle of the field in the run game. If he’s getting pushed around over and over again, the Giants will run the ball up the middle over and over.

Matchup 3: Lions LB Alex Anzalone vs Giants RB Saquon Barkley

As mentioned above, the Giants’ run game is a major part of their identity. A more accurate statement might be Saquon Barkley is a major part of the Giants’ identity. Not only has he averaged 22 rushing attempts per game, but he’s also the Giants’ leader in receptions and targets with 29 and 36 respectively.

Barkley is as explosive as they come when healthy, and he’s been healthy this year. Once he’s in open space, he has the speed to break away from defenders on the second level.

Anzalone has had his ups and downs this season in all aspects of his play. Detroit will have a comprehensive game plan to defend Barkley, and Anzalone will certainly factor significantly into that. The missed tackles and/or lapses in coverage cannot happen this week. Barkley is one of those players that makes any minor mistake look substantially worse. Anzalone has to play a disciplined game in order to help keep Barkley in check.

Next. Predicting the rest of the Detroit Lions 2022 schedule. dark