Skip to main content

O'HARA'S WEEK 11 PREVIEW: Lions preparing for another tough test in elite RB Saquon Barkley

Another week, another tough test for the Detroit Lions' defense by an elite runner.

Last week the Lions overcame a 147-yard rushing performance by Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields in a 31-30 victory.

Up next is New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley who provides another tough test Sunday for the Lions.

Barkley leads the league with 934 yards, 11 more than the Titans' Derrick Henry. The Lions find Barkley at his best in their attempt to stretch their winning streak to three games.

Barkley carried 35 times for 152 yards in the Giants' 24-16 win over the Houston Texans.

Lions head coach Dan Campbell expects another heavy workload from Barkley.

"They're going to give him the ball," Campbell said. "They give it to him over and over and over. He'll get six in a row, and he doesn't lose any steam. He's dangerous. He can run between the tackles.

"If he can find that crease, he'll break away. He can turn a routine play into an explosive run like that.

"He's just different. He's got that dynamic speed about him."

The defense can never rest on him, said linebacker Alex Anzalone.

"He has the speed and the explosion," Anzalone said. "He has that home run ability. You have to stay on top of your gap responsibility."

Lions keys:

1. Defense, limit Barkley: Don't let Barkley have another good day, which actually was a great day against Houston. He has averaged 119.6 yards per game in the Giants' seven wins and 67 in the two losses.

The Giants have a run-oriented offense, averaging 34.4 run plays and 29.6 passes (including sacks) per game. QB Daniel Jones has rushed for 387 yards and 5.6 yards per attempt.

Jones has cut down interceptions, with two against eight TDs in the first nine games. That compares to 17 interceptions against 21 TDs in 25 games in the last two seasons combined.

2. Offense, maintain run-pass balance: It has worked in the two-game win streak.

The Giants are good on defense, but not great. They've allowed 350.2 yards per game to rank 19th. They're 18th against the pass (217), and 24th vs. the run (133).

The Giants give up yards, not points. They rank ninth with 19.2 points allowed per game.

The Lions need to get back to their level of the first four games, when they averaged 35 points for the first four games.

View photos of the starters for the New York Giants.

3. Play smart: The Lions have done that the last two weeks. They had a 3-1 advantage in interceptions vs. the Packers. Against the Bears, they had two penalties to nine for the Bears and returned an interception for a touchdown.

In the last two weeks the Lions beat the Packers and Bears.

They did not beat themselves.

Lions-Giants pick: The Giants are favored by 4.5 points.

Lions 24, Giants 14.

Related Content