The Detroit Lions (1-0) at the Giants (0-1) at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J., Monday, Sept. 18 at 8:30 p.m. ET.
At the moment it looks to be a cloudy and probably cool night, with light winds and temperatures around 70. But keep one eye on pesky Tropical Storm Jose in the Atlantic Ocean, which forecasters think is heading in this general direction. The current forecast says it shouldn't impact the New York area until Tuesday, but if that changes it could at the very least amp up the winds.
WHAT IT MEANS
Probably nothing, because the New York fans and media wouldn't overreact if this Super Bowl-ready Giants team started 0-2, right? … Right?!? … OK, so the pressure is on, a little bit, for the Giants to get this thing going in the right direction -- especially on offense, and especially if Odell Beckham, Jr. plays. And if you don't think it's important, try to imagine what next week would be like if the Giants are 0-2, facing a short week and a game in Philadelphia, desperately trying to avoid 0-3. … On second thought, don't look ahead. It might be too depressing.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Giants WR Odell Beckham, Jr.
He is expected to be the savior of the Giants offense, but there are so many questions about his expected return. For example: Will he really play? How much will he play? How effective can he be if his ankle really did need another month to properly heal? Is there any rust after missing three weeks of practice and two preseason games? Is the pressure to carry this team too much (like it seemed to be in the playoffs)? And perhaps most importantly: Can he really make a big difference? After all, this offense finished 26th with him in the lineup last year.
MATCHUP TO WATCH: Giants WR Odell Beckham vs. Lions CB Darius Slay
Beckham had six catches for 64 yards and a touchdown in the Giants' Week 15 win over the Lions last year, which isn't great but isn't bad, either. Slay left in the first half with a hamstring injury, though, so this wasn't the battle many expected -- or hoped -- it would be. If Beckham is limited, this might not live up to the hype, either. But the 26-year-old Slay would be a challenge even for a healthy Beckham. He's got some potential and certainly hopes to ride a big performance in a matchup like this into an eventual Pro Bowl berth.
It's never a good idea to react to Week 1, and the Week 1 performances of these two teams are a good example of why. The Lions' 35-23 win over Arizona looks great on paper, but the Cards lost running back David Johnson during the game and the Lions needed 20 fourth-quarter points to pull off the win. And the Giants' 19-3 loss in Dallas looks terrible on paper (and, really, on film), but that was without Beckham. The reality, though, is that the Lions offense does have that explosive capability in it, but it's hard to see them putting up points that fast and furiously against this Giants defense. Much more likely, the score will be low and the Giants will be in the game. And if that's the case, the top questions become: Can this offensive line -- perhaps without right tackle Bobby Hart -- give Eli Manning enough protection to get a little something going on offense? And is Beckham healthy enough to do just a little damage, even if it's just one game-changing play? The Giants offense isn't great, but it's better than it looked last week - at least barely. Beckham's return should be enough of a spark to give them just enough juice to win. … Giants 16, Lions 13.
MY RECORD: 1-0
MY RECORD WHEN PICKING THE GIANTS TO WIN: N/A
MY RECORD WHEN PICKING THE GIANTS TO LOSE: 1-0