Efficient Giants leery of streaking Lions

Life hasn’t been this good this late in the season for the New York Giants since 2016, when they finished 11-5.New York (7-2) holds what would be a playoff position in the NFC through Week 10 and came out of its bye week by using a familiar formula for success to smack the Houston Texans.The Giants relied on Saquon Barkley’s legs and Daniel Jones’ savvy, while the defense continued to limit big plays.New York churned out its seventh single-digit victory against Houston and now hosts the suddenly revived Detroit Lions (3-6) on Sunday.Barkley, the league’s leading rusher at 931 yards, toted the ball a whopping 35 times for 152 yards against the Texans and capitalized on the NFL’s worst run defense.Jones hasn’t passed for more than 217 yards in any game this season but he’s made smart decisions and uses his mobility when necessary. He hasn’t thrown an interception in six games, which is a big reason why the Giants are breathing down the necks of the Philadelphia Eagles (8-1) for the NFC East lead.Darius Slayton is emerging as the top wideout. He caught a 54-yard touchdown pass against the Texans and has 11 receptions over the past three games.The defense gave up a season-high 27 points to Seattle just before the bye week and allowed 387 yards to Houston but produced two turnovers and four sacks in the 24-16 victory.The Giants have the NFL’s second-ranked defense in the red zone, allowing touchdowns just 38.2 percent of the time.”They execute well. It’s not very complicated in terms of if you do your job, you give yourself a chance to make a play or execute a particular (play),” head coach Brian Daboll said. “Whether it’s offense, defense — whatever it may be — those guys do a good job each week of honing in on the game plan. Coaches do a good job of installing the game plan, and at the end of the day, the players got to make the plays down there.”Despite its record, Detroit is quite capable of chunk plays. The offense has produced 42 plays of 20 or more yards, fourth-most in the league.”They create explosive plays,” Daboll said. “The other thing they’re really good at is down in the red zone, finishing drives. It’s a team effort every week of how you need to play a game. But they’re an explosive team — no question about it.”

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