Giants (1-4) Los Angeles (4-1)
In a Thursday night game in Seattle, the Rams
scored only 3 points in the first half. They started off the second with a touchdown,
and kept things going giving them a total of 23 more points to beat the Seahawks
The Giants took a tough loss to the Cowboys. Aside from the 44-20 score,
they saw a number of players injured, including starting quarterback Daniel Jones,
running back Saquon Barkley, and receiver Kenny Golladay.
year they finished second in the NFC West division with a 10-6 record. They beat
the division leading Seattle Seahawks in the wildcard game, but then lost to the
Green Bay Packers. Right now the Rams are second
in the division to the unbeaten Arizona Cardinals. One of the biggest changes
they made in the offseason was trading their starting quarterback, Jared Goff,
to the Detroit Lions, costing them a third-round pick in 2021, and first-round
picks in 2022 and 2023 for Matthew Stafford.
Goff had taken the Rams to the
Super Bowl in 2018, and as we mentioned, to the playoffs last season. Still, 2018
was his best year, throwing 32 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. In the two years
since, it's been 22 touchdowns, 16 interceptions and 20 touchdowns, 13 interceptions.
Stafford is 33 years old, had spent 12 years with the Lions, and seeing that the
team was rebuilding, asked to be traded. Both teams seem to have gotten what they
Los Angeles Rams
now have the quarterback they feel will put them over the top. Matthew Stafford,
in his long career with the Lions, had a 74-90-1 record, was 0-3 in the playoffs,
and had a 2-1 touchdown ratio. Will he make the Rams look like fools for giving
up so much to bring him here? In his first game, Stafford's second pass for the
Rams went to Van Jefferson for a 67-yard touchdown. Stafford later hit Cooper
Kupp for a 56-yard touchdown, and threw his third on the day to Robert Woods for
an impressive opening game win over the Chicago Bears. Right now after five games,
Stafford's thrown for the best completion percentage of his career - 68 percent.
He has 12 touchdowns and 3 interceptions, which is also the best ratio he's ever
had in any one season. Stafford can air it out, and in the past two seasons ranked
in the top three in average depth of throw. Kupp averages 6 touchdowns a season,
and already has 5. Kupp's 22 first downs and total yards, are on track to surpass
any year in his career. Woods had taken a backseat in the first four games, but
last week in Seattle he was targeted 14 times, and caught 12 for 150 yards.
Henderson was the second leading rusher last year behind Cam Akers who is out
for the season. Henderson played in four of
the five games, and is averaging just under 5.0 yards per carry, and has 3 rushing
touchdowns, and 1 receiving. Sony Michel has the second most carries, and 1 touchdown.
Angeles Rams Defense
coming off a year where they were ranked the best overall in the league. Allowing
just 191 passing yards a game, put them in the top spot. Rushing defense was ranked
third, and most important, they were first in allowing the fewest amount of points
to be scored, 18.5 a game. When it comes to sacks, they were 2nd in the league
with 53. Aaron Donald is the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and he's
done that 3 times. Donald's tied for the team lead in sacks with 3, and with 29
quarterback pressures, and has the fifth-most in the NFL.
Donald leads the
Rams with five tackles for loss, while his three sacks is tied with Leonard Floyd
for a team-high. Outside Linebacker Leonard Floyd also has 3 sacks, and is second
on the team with four tackles for loss. The Rams are giving up a lot more passing
yards this year, an average 271 passing yards per game. Despite that they have
been able to keep opposing offenses out of the end zone, allowing just six passing
touchdowns. Troy Reeder leads the defense with 2 interceptions, cornerback Jalen
Ramsey leads the defense with five pass breakups, and has 1 interception.
The offensive line has been holding
up. Ben Bredeson, the starting left guard, missed the last two games, and starting
left tackle Andrew Thomas did not play last week. In those games, they did not
give up a sack.
Run blocking and quarterback protection is what it's all about,
and Daniel Jones suffered his concussion when he took off with the ball. Saquon
Barkley's ankle injury also was not their fault. Devontae Booker took over for
Barkley and carried the ball 16 times for 42 yards and one touchdown, and had
3 receptions for 16 yards and a touchdown.
Jones is expected to start on Sunday,
but Barkley and Golladay are out. If Jones can't play Mike Glennon will fill in,
and be better prepared than he was last week. Wide receivers Sterling Shepard
and Darius Slayton are expected back. Meanwhile rookie Kadarius Toney showed what
he can do when he gets a chance. Last week he caught 10 passes for 189 yards.
Aside from that, Toney played quarterback in high school and the Giants have tried
an option pass the last two weeks. The Giants might need to pull out all the tricks
to slow the Rams down.
What's happened to it? Last year
they had their act together. They were the ones keeping the Giants in games, even
with an offense that was ranked 31st in scoring points. The Giants defense finished
up being ranked 12th overall in total yards, tied for 10th in rushing defense,
and 9th in points allowed, 22.3 a game. Now, the defense ranks 29th in the league
in yards, and 27th in run defense. The Giants have allowed 27.8 points per game,
the 26th spot. Things are not moving in the right direction. Even in their one
win in New Orleans, the Saints rushed for 170 yards. Last week in Dallas, the
Giants gave up 515 yards, including 201 on the ground.
It really hurt to lose
middle linebacker Blake Martinez, their leading tackler, when he tore his ACL
against Atlanta in the game before the last two, as they don't seem to have a
solution. This week they're up against a team with a top five offensive line that
is averaging an NFL-best 6.7 yards-per-play-yard, and 9.0 net passing yards per
play. The Rams have allowed a league-low 4 sacks.
The Giants defense has allowed
the opponent to score at the end of a half in every single game this season. There
have been times when the opposition can move the ball at will, and other times
when control breaks down, and big plays are given up. More pressure up front would
be nice, but the Giants have just 8 sacks on the year. Rookie linebacker Azeez
Ojulari is tied with nose tackle Austin Johnson for the team lead with three sacks.
Leonard Williams led the team with 11.5 last year, and is off to a slow start,
and against the Rams line, might not be able to improve on his 1.5 sacks.
In 2020 the Rams relocated to SoFi Stadium, which is the largest NFL stadium,
and the first indoor-outdoor stadium ever to be constructed. It also has the biggest
video screen in the league, and SoFi is also scheduled to host Super Bowl LVI
in 2022. The Rams would like to be one of those teams playing there in their own
stadium on that day, and that's just a fun thought as the season moves along.
Giants dreams are not as lofty at this point. They would be happy to field healthy
players, and win a few games here and there until they get their act together.
Will any of that work out for them this week? Well, they did upset the New Orleans
Saints, who would be 4-1 like the Rams if that didn't happen two weeks ago, so
NFC East Games
Thursday at 8:20pm Buccaneers (4-1) at Eagles (2-3).
at 1:00pm Rams (4-1) at Giants (1-4).
Sunday at 1:00pm Chiefs (2-3) at Washington
Sunday at 4:25pm Cowboys (4-1) at Patriots (2-3).
The Cowboys are
the only NFC East team favored to win in these games.
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will also celebrate the 10th anniversary of the 2011 Championship with a special
Oct 24 Carolina at Giants
1 Giants at Kansas City