Tonight’s Monday Night Football debut is a treat, with a double-header on tap for Week 1 on ESPN. The first game, the NY Giants vs Detroit Lions, kicks off early at 7:10 EST / 4:10 PST. The early kick is likely fine for Giants fans, who would just as soon get the bad experience over with early with the Lions favored by 6.5 points.
Last season the NY Giants beat the Lions late in the season, giving NY fans something to cling to headed into tonight’s Giants / Lions game. The Giants won that game 23-20 in overtime, knocking Detroit out of the playoff picture while basically doing nothing for themselves.
Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin “Megatron” Johnson had three receptions for 43 yards in the game, but second-year running back Joique Bell out-gained him in the air with 10 receptions for 63 yards.
One thing to watch MNF tonight for is the showdown between Johnson and a rejuvenated NY Giants defense. Highlighted by the addition of free-agent cornerback singee Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, the Giants have billed their D as one of the NFL’s best.
Ranked eighth in the league last year, the Giants’ defense will need to be among the best to shut down Megatron in tonight’s MNF game against the Lions.
Johnson played with a knee injury last season that hampered his overall performance. He’s still regarded as one of the league’s best receivers, and hopes are high in Detroit following an encouraging preseason.
Lions QB Matthew Stafford also has high expectations after a 2013 season in which he went 371-for-634 for 4,650 yards and 29 touchdowns against 19 interceptions. Will he perform even better with a healthy Johnson as his primary target? We’ll learn more as we sit down to watch tonight’s first Monday Night Football game.
The other quarterback in tonight’s MNF game, Eli Manning, has his own share of pressure, though for very different reasons. Unlike his older brother, Eli Manning struggled mightily last season with interceptions and incompletions. It was initially viewed as a fluke, those the Giants’ offensive woes during the preseason indicated it may be endemic.
We’ll learn a lot more about the Giants’ fortunes on defense, and Eli Manning’s specifically on offense, when the Giants travel to Detroit for tonight’s Monday Night Football game.
If you can’t watch tonight’s first MNF game live on ESPN or the ESPN app, you can watch Giants vs Lions Monday Night Football online free streaming via DirecTV’s website if you have the NFL Sunday Ticket MAX package. That package requires a subscription, but all subscribers can watch the game online free via the DirecTV live stream if they’re stuck watching via their smartphone, tablet or PC. Considering the early kickoff for much of the nation, that may be the best option.