The Rams visit Met-Life Stadium to take on the Giants in a game that should be played in flags instead of pads. We’ve already detailed the comical amount of injuries to the Giants (to that list you can add Justin Tuck and Hakeem Nicks) meanwhile the Rams haven’t fared much better. In the season opener they lost Steven Jackson (questionable for this week) Danny Amendola (for an unspecified period of time) Ron Bartell (out for the year with two neck fractures) Jason Smith (listed as day to day) and just for good measure Sam Bradford left the game with a finger injury.
Moving out of the infirmary and on to the field here are the key matchups for Monday’s Rams/Giants game:
Wait, We Can Cover These Guys?
The Giants secondary was abysmal against the Redskins. This week they face a much tougher test in emerging star quarterback Sam Bradford. Expect Bradford to pass early and often as the Rams look to exploit Aaron Ross and the Giants secondary.
The cure for an awful secondary is a great pass rush and Justin Tuck may just be the key player in this game. If he plays the Giants should be able to successfully rush the passer giving the secondary a big boost. The Giants would also benefit from the absence of Rams starting right tackle Jason Smith. Smith is an athletic pass blocker who would matchup well against athletic freak Jason Pierre-Paul. Pierre-Paul would likely abuse back up tackle Adam Goldberg.
Both teams have issues with one of the more underrated positions in football, the slot receiver. After getting no production out of Dominick Hixon and Victor Cruz the Giants signed veteran Brandon Stokley (and in a sign of desperation worked out T.J. Houshmandzadeh.) While certainly past his prime Stokley has proved he can still be productive. In 11 games with the Seahawks last year Stokley caught 31 passes. Stokley should be able to produce immediately, and will help provide Manning the security blanket he lost when Steve Smith and Kevin Boss left town.
For the Rams, Amendola was becoming Brandon Stokely 2.0. In Amendola’s absence Mike Sims-Walker will play the role of slot receiver. While the Rams proclaim Sims-Walker able to handle the slot, he’s more Victor Cruz then he is Brandon Stokley and we all saw how well that worked out.
Look In A Mirror
These two teams might be each others doppelgangers. Both are injury riddled, both have slot receiver issues and both run very similar defensive schemes. Watch out for Chris Long in this game. The former number two overall pick broke out last season with 8.5 sacks. He also led the NFL in hurries in with 41.5 and in total quarterback disruptions with 67.5. Will Beatty, Kareem McKenzie and the entire Giants offensive line are going to need to perform much better this week.
Manning and Nicks have big games against the poor Rams secondary…Justin Tuck sacks Bradford a lot and Aaron Ross only blows two major coverages.
Giants 23 Rams 17
About the Author
Written by Jason Comack
Jason Comack graduated from Oswego State University. You can hear Jason on 88.1 FM (streaming as well on WCWPSports.org) every Monday and Thursday at 6 PM. Jason covers MMA as well as the New York Giants for Pro Sports Blogging. Follow him on Twitter @J_Comack