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New York Giants vs. Detroit Lions: Top 5 Matchups To Watch in Week 1

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New York Giants vs. Detroit Lions: Top 5 Matchups To Watch

Josh Brown Giants
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The Giants and Lions open up their 2014 seasons at Ford Field on Monday Night, and both teams have to start their seasons off with a win. The NFL is all about matchups, and these are five crucial individual matchups that will determine the outcome of the game.

5. Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams vs. Stephen Tulloch

Rashad Jennings Giants
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5. Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams vs. Stephen Tulloch

Rashad Jennings Giants
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If the Lions are going to make the Giants a one-dimensional offense, middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch will have to slow down two very underrated running backs in Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams. With New York's passing game struggling, the Giants will rely on Jennings and Williams to control the ball and the clock.

4. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie vs. Calvin Johnson

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie Giants
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4. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie vs. Calvin Johnson

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie Giants
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Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was signed away from the Denver Broncos to give the Giants a shutdown corner. His first test with the Giants will come against Detroit's Calvin Johnson, one of if not the best receiver in the game today. If Rodgers-Cromartie can even slow down Johnson a little, the rest of the Giants defense will be able to focus on Detroit's other offensive playmakers.

3. Victor Cruz vs. Bill Bentley (Slot)

Victor Cruz Giants
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3. Victor Cruz vs. Bill Bentley (Slot)

Victor Cruz Giants
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When Victor Cruz lines up in the slot, he will be matched up against Detroit's Bill Bentley, who has had his share of struggles in his young career. If Bentley can win most of his matchups with Cruz, Detroit's pass defense will have a significant edge.

2. New York DEs vs. Detroit OTs

Matthew Stafford Lions
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2. New York DEs vs. Detroit OTs

Matthew Stafford Lions
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Detroit's offensive tackles struggled last year as Riley Reiff gave up seven sacks and LaAdrian Waddle is still an unproven commodity. New York always has two or three solid pass rushers off the edge, and this year is no exception. Jason Pierre-Paul and Mathias Kiwanuka are longtime holdovers while second-year player Damontre Moore and free agent Robert Ayers give the Giants a great pass rushing rotation.

1. Detroit DTs vs. New York Interior O-Line

Ndamukong Suh Lions
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1. Detroit DTs vs. New York Interior O-Line

Ndamukong Suh Lions
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The Giants' offensive line was completely reshuffled this offseason as all three starters in the interior line are gone. If New York is going to be successful on offense, the trio of Weston Richburg, JD Walton and Brandon Mosley will have to at least neutralize Detroit's defensive tackle tandem of Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley, who was put back in the starting lineup after a tumultuous offseason.

Brian Kalchik is a Detroit Lions writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google+.