The Los Angeles Rams are coming off a bye week and are preparing to take on the New York Giants who are coming off a bye week themselves. The Giants have been riddled with injuries and suspensions while the Rams look as strong as ever coming off a 33-0 Cardinal beating in London. The Giants still don’t lack for some talent through all their struggles so here are my 5 Giants to watch.
DT Damon Harrison
Snacks is one giant man coming in at 6-4 and 350 pounds. He’s one of the best space eaters in the league, occupying multiple blockers on any given play. The problem is, he's usually a one man show when it comes to the Giants defensive line and friends stopping the run. New York is currently ranked 20th in rushing yards per attempt (4.2 yds) but Harrison hasn’t been to blame as he’s been one of the NFL’s best run stoppers for years. Whether John Sullivan returns from injury or Austin Blythe fills in, if the Rams can put Harrison on skates, Todd Gurley could have a big day.
WR Sterling Shepard
Shepard might be the Giants’ best player on offense now that Odell Beckham Jr. is lost for the season. Shepard has been battling an ankle injury of his own but looks to be a go this weekend after the bye week provided him needed rest. For the season Shepard has an underwhelming 22 catches for 263 yards and 1 TD but the whole Giants offense has been out of whack. Shepard is a player that has the ability when healthy to burn the Rams defense if they’re caught sleeping.
S Landon Collins
Collins is the leader and biggest playmaker of the Giants defense. Rams fans may remember him from last year’s game in London when he returned a pass that bounced off Tavon Austin’s hands for the touchdown. Collins could be at a disadvantage this game without his top CB Janoris Jenkins being suspended. Through seven games, Collins is the Giants’ co-leading tackler and has added 1 interception and forced fumble and recovery.
RB Shane Vereen
Vereen is just the name I put up here due to the situation. The Giants RB trio of Vereen, Orleans Darkwa and Wayne Gallman is something to monitor due to the Rams early season struggles against the run. Vereen offers the highest upside as a receiver and is something I think the Giants may try to exploit the Rams LBs with coming out of the bye week. As a whole this group just doesn’t strike a lot of fear in me as they’ve combined for 2 TDs and 718 total yards. But I expect the Giants to try and lean on Darkwa and Vereen as Eli Manning sorts out his receiving options. Or until the game becomes a blowout.
QB Eli Manning
Manning will have a patchwork group of receivers to work with led by Shepard and rookie TE Evan Engram against a Rams defense that has been one of the toughest when it comes to limiting TE production. Manning has thrown for a combined 262 yards in the last two games against Denver and Seattle, two defenses that aren’t very dissimilar to the Rams. On the year Manning has thrown for 1600 yards, 10 TDs and 5 INTs while completing 64.2% of passes. If the Rams can break through the Giant’s suspect offensive line, Eli Manning should have another tough day.