Giants at Rams: Preview, Predictions, and More

Oct 19, 2016; Twickenham, United Kingdom; General view of New York Giants and Los Angeles Rams helmets in front of the Rose & Poppy gates at Twickenham Stadium prior to game 16 of the NFL International Series on Oct 23, 2016. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 19, 2016; Twickenham, United Kingdom; General view of New York Giants and Los Angeles Rams helmets in front of the Rose & Poppy gates at Twickenham Stadium prior to game 16 of the NFL International Series on Oct 23, 2016. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

New York Giants vs Los Angeles Rams

The 3-3 New York Giants cross the pond to London for an early Sunday morning matchup where they’ll look to let loose against another 3-3 team in the Los Angeles Rams at Twickenham Stadium in NFL Week 7.

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Despite the best efforts of head referee Jeff Triplette, the Giants survived a few stupid penalties with a four-point, come-from-behind win against the beat-up Baltimore Ravens in Week 6. Both New York’s offense and defense came up big when it counted: a game-winning drive by Eli Manning capped by Odell Beckham followed by a heart-stopping stand from a heavily scrutinized unit led by second-year safety Landon Collins and defensive captain Jonathan Casillas.

Now, Big Blue crosses the Atlantic to clash with a Rams team that lost by a field goal on the road to the Detroit Lions. At one point, Case Keenum connected on 19 consecutive passes and finished with only five incompletions and three touchdowns. Kenny Britt had a career day, hauling in seven catches for 136 yards and a pair of scores. Detroit’s pass defense is a mess, so fans shouldn’t expect a repeat performance.

The Rams lead the all-time series 26-16, but the G-Men have won the last six meetings, all by double digits. Could New York be in store for another comfortable coast to victory or will the Rams bust their slump?

Giants Keys To Victory

Convert Red Zone Opportunities – Far be it from me, some fat scrub, to criticize first-year head coach Ben McAdoo, but the play-calling in the red zone has been miserable. That continued in Week 6 when Big Blue’s offense only got in the red zone twice, settling for field goals both times. On one trip, they failed to score on the Ravens’ one yard line. Three touchdowns and another field goal came from outside the 20. The answer is easy: give each one of your top receivers a chance, especially with cornerback Trumaine Johnson out and other corner Lamarcus Joyner questionable.

Flip The Turnover Differential – The Giants defense has been on the field more than any other defensive unit in the NFL, yet they’re dead last in the league in turnover percentage. You could attribute the high number of snaps to the offense’s ridiculous string of three-and-outs. If New York wants to be a contender, they have to even the snap count between units.

It’s incredible the Giants were able to overcome an early 10-point deficit that came about courtesy of an Odell Beckham fumble on the offense’s first play. An Eli Manning interception in Giants territory led to a Ravens field goal. If it weren’t for the defense, New York could’ve been blown out. On paper, Eli’s numbers looked better than usual, however, the majority of his yardage came from two huge runs after the catch by Beckham. Truth is, the Giants still need way better play from Manning and ball carriers need to hold on to pigskin.

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Get The Ground Game Back On Track – The Rams have allowed an average of 115.7 yards per game and 4.2 yards per carry. Rashad Jennings, Paul Perkins, and Bobby Rainey should be able to pick up chunks of green, which will in turn open up routes on play-action. Starting defensive linemen William Hayes, Michael Brockers and Robert Quinn are all listed as questionable, so Big Blue could have a big day running and gunning.

Rams Keys To Victory

Throw Deep – The Rams pass offense is among the league leaders in yards per completion. That shouldn’t change against a Giants secondary that’s missing first round pick Eli Apple and third round pick Darian Thompson, along with a hobbled Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie backed up by an undrafted free agent rookie safety in Andrew Adams. As stated in previous previews, Landon Collins plays best in the box and the Giants pass rush is non-existent. That combination should lead to plenty of downfield opportunities.

Umbrella Odell – Triple team Beckham if you have to. The Giants are impotent without OBJ. The Week 6 win becomes a double-digit loss if Beckham isn’t on the field. New York has won three of the four games in which Beckham averages more than 5-7 yards per target. The one loss to Washington could’ve been a win if not for Eli’s picks. Force Manning to throw the ball to Beckham underneath and swarm.

Strip, Strip, Strip – The Giants have a fumbling problem on their hands and Los Angeles can capitalize on that. Every time a Giants player has the ball, swat at it, swipe at it, and put a helmet on it. The only way the Giants lose is if they beat themselves, which they are more than capable of doing. Force the issue.


Point Spread: New York -3
Moneyline: New York -145, Los Angeles +125
Over/Under: 43.5

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If the Rams were healthier on defense, I’d say they’d have a superb shot at notching a win. But the Giants should be able to exploit LA’s injuries to score an international victory behind an improved running game and better red zone efficiency.

Pick: New York Giants: 30, Los Angeles Rams: 16