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Los Angeles Rams at New York Giants: What the Rams need to do to win

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Rams fans should be singing “I Love New York”

Seattle Seahawks v New York Giants Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Overview

Both the Los Angeles Rams and New York Giants come off their bye week headed in different directions.

The Giants are a bad football team getting worse by the week. Starting WRs Odell Beckham, Jr., and Brandon Marshall are gone for the year. S Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was suspended early in the season and ex-Rams CB Janoris Jenkins, their best pass defender, joined him this week for conduct detrimental to the team.

The Giants are 1-6. As former Giants head coach Bill Parcells has said, “You are what your record says you are.”

The running game for the Giants stunk last year and got no better this year. Without their starters at wide receiver and a suspect offensive line, the Giants are EXACTLY what there record says they are — a bad football team.

The Rams are headed in an entirely different direction. Their offense is scoring points by utilizing a potent ground game with RB Todd Gurley leading the way. Their passing game is led by a resurgent QB Jared Goff who now has the weapons to throw to by virtue of an entirely new set of targets from last year: WR Robert Woods, WR Sammy Watkins, rookie WR Cooper Kupp, rookie TE Gerald Everett and TE Tyler Higbee along with TE Derek Carrier who was acquired from Washington during the preseason.

None of the Rams’ offensive success at this point being 5-2 could have been achieved without the remarkable play of their revamped offensive line led by LT Andrew Whitworth, the best pick up in free agency by any team in the NFL this year.

And, that’s how this game is going to be won — with the Rams’ offensive line.

When The Rams Have The Ball

The Rams need to build on what they achieved thus far by continuing to run the ball effectively putting them in position to get a easy first downs from third and short. When the Rams do this, they are able to control the clock and move the chains. Move the chains, and the Rams will score points. Improve upon the red zone offense (currently ranked 21st) by scoring touchdowns, and the Rams are poised for another dominating performance as they had against the Arizona Cardinals.

Expect the Rams to exploit the Giants’ weakness in the secondary by throwing the football when New York least expects it. This game should be Watkins’ coming out party on the deep ball.

Play sloppy football by turning the ball over and getting unnecessary penalties? That will make an “on paper” romp into a close and ugly game with the Rams squeaking out the win rather then blowing the Giants out.

The Rams should be aware that the referees will not be doing them any favors when the game is played in New York. Stay disciplined, and don’t let the zebras’ bad calls affect your play. Move on to the next down.

If all goes as planned, the Rams will score points against the Giants leaving the defense to clean up.

When The Giants Have The Ball

Here’s how bad the Giants are on paper. Of the 32 teams in the NFL, the Giants rank 30th in points per game, 27th in yards per game, 20th by passing and 27th in rushing. New York ranks near the bottom in every important category needed by an offense.

With virtually no running game, Giants QB Eli Manning has been forced to throw the ball more, but his best wide receivers are out for the year. Eli has no continuity or rapport with his new wideouts. He might not even know their names...

When Eli is throwing more then he’s accustomed to due to the lack of a running game, he is prone to interceptions. Not only that, Eli is not a scrambler. He’s a pure pocket passer. If the Rams’ defensive line led by Aaron Donald and OL Robert Quinn can get pressure on Manning against a porous Giants offensive line, expect to see a lot of sacks and hopefully enough pressure to force an interception or two.

The Giants’ offense is just flat out terrible. It’s no help to have a head coach in Ben McAdoo, who should be fired at the end of the season given all the turmoil the team has undergone this year. The Giants players just don’t seem to respect him at all.

What To Expect From Special Teams

Expect the Rams to play it safe on special teams. The Rams shouldn’t go all out to break a kickoff or punt return for a touchdown, but will take it if its there.

The best play the Rams can have is to catch the ball and let the Rams offense take over from there. If they’re unable to move the ball from time to time, just let P Johnny Hekker force the Giants’ pathetic offense to march the length of the field who should be lucky to wind up with a mere 3 points for their efforts.

Recent Special Teams Player of the Month K Greg Zuerlein should build on his terrific performance this year by making all the field goals he’s called upon to make.

Honesty Is The Best Policy

To be honest, on paper and after reviewing the Giants’ play both on and off the field, the Rams should win this game easily...but nothing ever comes easy for the Rams—ask any of our legion of diehard fans.

Giants Defensive Coordinator and former Rams Head Coach Steve “Spags” Spagnuolo is known for tough defenses led by his front four defensive linemen’s ability to put pressure on the quarterback. Spags has had two weeks to come up with a gameplan to beat the Rams, but he is without the weapons to do it in the secondary.

This is why the Rams offensive line must control the line of scrimmage. Do that, and the Rams should easily win the game.

The Rams mustn’t take the Giants for granted—anything can happen on a Sunday afternoon in the NFL.

However, being honest: How on earth the Rams could figure out a way to blow this game given the way they have played this year is the bigger story going into this game.