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Rams Vs. Giants, Player to Watch: James Laurinaitis

Last week, the St. Louis Rams got beat by the Eagles. It was a closer game than the score and stats will tell you. Losing to NFC title contenders isn't that bad; what was bad is the list of starters that were injured. The Rams had a couple of injures on defense. James Hall and Bradley Fletcher, should be able to play. C.J Ah You is unlikely to play, and Ron Bartell is out for the season.

Luckily, Rams middle linebacker Lames Laurinaitis escaped the injury bug; he will be needed this week against the Giants. James is the Rams franchise middle linebacker, or quarterback of the defense if you will. He has been a good player ever since he put on that blue and gold uniform; however, he is often overlooked, which is easy to do when Patrick Willis is in the division .

Last week, he didn't have a bad game, in fact it was pretty good. James stats against the Eagles were 5 solo tackles, one assist, and pass deflection. However, he didn't get a tackle in the 3rd quarter and in the 4th quarter he only got 1 tackle.

The Eagles didn't really attack James during the game, especially in the second half. James had a good game and you can't expect him to make every tackle. In fact he had a great game, especially against the great athletes on the Eagles. It's only been one week, but James looks like he's improved this season.

This week should be a good test for James. The Giants have a good duo in their backfield with Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw. This could be the kind of game a MLB lives for. It shouldn't be unreasonable to expect James to have a similar or better game than the one he had last week.

Like I said earlier, James is the quarterback of the defense. He doesn't have to have a great game stat wise, to have had an impact in the game. If the defense as a whole does well, than most likely James played a huge part in it. Look for the Giants to do what they can to keep James from making a big impact. That's where the outside linebackers should come in and hopefully help make some of the plays. Football is a team game and it really helps when they have a great leader like James on the defense.

Maybe with a big game on Monday, James can step out of that "other" NFC West middle linebackers shadow, and prove to others what Ram fans already know.