By Michael Stewart
Introduction: The 1-6 Giants are coming off a much needed bye week and will host the 5-2 Rams who are coming off a convincing win (33-0) over the Arizona Cardinals. Offensively, the Rams are leading the league with 30.3 points per game and 369.1 yards in total offense. Leading the way are Quarterback, Jared Goff (133 for 222 with 1719 yards)and running back Todd Gurley (145 carries for 627 yards with 5 TD’s) for the Rams. The Rams are a well balanced on offense averaging 241.6 in passing and 127.6 on the ground. Defensively, the Rams are ranked15th in the league; surrendering 19.7 points per game. The Rams have some playmakers on the defensive side of the ball with Mark Barron, Alec Ogletree, Michael Brockers and Trumaine Johnson leading the way. For the Giants offensively (16.0 points per game) they are led by quarterback Eli Manning (167 for 260 with 1600 yards) and tight end Evan Engram (30 reps/342 yards). Defensively, the Giants are surrendering 22.3 points per game and have struggled to make big plays. .
Top 3 Matchups:
- Giants offensive line-vs-Rams pass rush: The Rams have 23 sacks in 7 games (3.2 per game) and the Giants have given up 17 sacks (2.3 per game) in the same amount of games. The Rams have multiple players who contributed in the sack department, so they basically come at you at all different directions. If the Giants offensive line can’t provide Manning enough time to make plays down field, it will be a very long day for the Giants offensive.
- Giant’s defense-vs-Rams offense: The Rams can move the ball and most importantly are scoring lots of points thus far this season. They are well balanced (241.6 passing/127.6 rushing) and the Giants defense must find a way to slow down the Rams offense and minimize big plays.
- Time of possession: This season, the Giants have only won time of possession once and that was their only win this season. It’s essential that the Giants offense stays on the field equally or close to the Rams offense. The Giants defense can’t be expected to play their best if the offense goes 3 and out on most of their possessions.
What to look for: The Giants will once again try to run and ball to keep the Rams pass rush at bay. The running back by committee for the Giants needs to be productive enough to give Manning a chance in the passing department. Keeping the Rams defense off balance with a solid running game will be vital. On defense for the Giants, their best players need to play at their best and make big plays against the Rams explosive offense. For the Rams, expect a well balance offensive attack as quarterback Jared Goff will utilize all his weapons with Todd Gurley as his main target. The Rams have several players with multiple sacks led by Matt Longacre with 4. So I expect the Rams to load the box and go after Manning with several blitz packages all game long.
Final Score Summary: The Rams are undefeated on the road this season and that could continue this week against the Giants. Playing on the east coast could cause the Rams to have a slow start in the game. If so, the Giants must capitalize early. The bye week most likely helped the Giants to heal a bit, however; they are not going to have much room for error against this Rams team. The Giants have only scored 10 points or less three times this season; which is not a good category against the highest scoring team in the NFL. I see this game playing out very similar to the Giants match recently against the Seahawks, but it could get ugly if the Giants offense can’t stay on the field and the Giants defense is on the field too much. Therefore; there’s too many obstacles for the Giants to hurdle and they would need to play a perfect game and Rams would need to make many mistakes for the Giants to get their 2nd win of the season.
Rams: 27/Giants: 10