Are you ready for some football? For the first time since 2006, the St. Louis Rams are playing in a Monday Night Football game, a game that will be a good indicator on where the Rams are as a team. Can the Rams overcome injuries and a tough team to win their first Monday Night Football game in a long time?
If the Rams are going to win against the Giants, these players and matchups will have to produce for them. It's still a long season to go, but winning this Monday will give the Rams momentum going into their showdown with Baltimore.
Tonight's key matchups after the jump.
Key 1: Carnell "Cadillac" Williams (matchup)
With Steven Jackson most likely not playing this week, Williams will play a big role in this game. He'll start for the first time since the first half of the 2010 season. Williams doesn't have to do great Monday for the Rams to win, but he will have to play well enough to have the defense worried about him. If he can become a threat, then that will make it easier for the playaction to work.
Key 2: Sam Bradford (matchup)
Bradford might still have a bruised index finger, but this week the Rams will need him to play well.The Giants know that Bradford's index finger is bruised and will bring a lot of blitzes early. Also with Jackson most likely out and Bradfords' finger, the Giants will be playing closer to the line. It will be up to Bradford to take advantage of that and the Giants weakened secondary.
Key 3: James Laurinaitis (matchup)
The Rams' young middle linebacker will be in the spotlight this week. The Giants will try to run the ball down the Rams' throat this week, and it will be up to James to do his part. The Rams added two new starters at outside linebacker Ben Leber and Brady Poppinga to help James out this season, so with James not having as much responsibility to cover the whole field, he should be able to have a solid year. However, the Rams will need him to help stop the Giants' great duo at running back tonight.
Key 4: The matchup to watch is Sam Bradfords' weapons vs. Giants defense (matchup)
Last week, Sam Bradford's weapons didn't do much to help him. This week will be a better opportunity for them to produce. Lance Kendricks and Big Mike will finally be on the field together. Brandon Gibson and Mike Sims-Walker should both have a bigger game than last week. Also, Cadillac Williams and Jerious Norwood should be reliable options coming out of the backfield.
If the Rams can get these players to play well and the matchups to go in their favor, the Rams will have a big chance of winning. This game their will most likely be less than 24 points scored. I predict that the Rams will win 21-17, stopping Eli Manning on the last drive of the game.