The (1-6) New York Giants will look to get their first home win of the season as they take on the (5-2) Los Angeles Rams.
When these teams faced each other in week 7 last season in London, the Giants came away with a 17-10 victory. But both teams do not resemble what they were a season ago.
The good news for the Giants is that Eli Manning should get one of his favorite targets back in Sterling Shepard. The bad news the Giants will be without their best cornerback as Janoris Jenkins has been suspended indefinitely for violating team policies.
The Giants are huge home underdogs, but they can pull off an upset and win this game. Here’s how.
1. Get Off To A Fast Start
It’s imperative that the Giants get off to a fast start, not only to build momentum in the game but to keep the fans energized and into the action. The fans are despondent and restless since they have not seen their team win at home all season. Home teams can feed off the energy of their fans. If the Giants are going to win, they’re going to need that boost.
Whether it’s a three-and-out, a big sack or a forced turnover on the first defensive series or Manning driving the offense down the field for a touchdown, the Giants must get going early.
2. Force Turnovers
Three things tell us the Rams are a better team than the Giants: Their records, the eye test and the fact that the Rams have outscored the Giants by 100 points, 212 to 112, this season.
So the Giants defense will need to get extra possessions for their offense by forcing turnovers. In their matchup last year, the defense was able to pick Case Keenum off four times. They will need to force at least two turnovers from Jared Goff on Sunday to have a chance.
3. Contain Todd Gurley
Todd Gurley is currently fifth in the NFL in rushing at 627 yards and he also has 293 receiving yards on 27 receptions. He’ has over 100 all-purpose yards in five of the Rams seven games this season. The Giants will greatly increase their chances if they can keep Gurley under 100 total yards.
The Giants are hopeful that they’ll have Olivier Vernon, Jonathan Casillas, and B.J. Goodson back this week. They’re going to need as much help as they can get to keep Gurley from running wild.
4. Eli Must Step Up
Manning must step up and have a solid game on Sunday or the Giants have no chance of winning. In the last three games, Manning’s quarterback rating has been under 41. It’s time for Manning to turn back the clock and be an elite quarterback once again.
He might be without some of his best weapons, but other quarterbacks have been able to win games for their teams with key players out.
He must have a QBR around 75, complete a high percentage of his passes and most importantly, not turn the ball over.
5. Special Teams Must Be Special
The Giants special teams have been abysmal this year. In Week 2 they gave up an 88-yard punt return for a touchdown, Brad Wing has shanked several punts and Aldrick Rosas has missed three of his last seven field goal attempts.
The Giants can ill-afford another poor performance by the special teams on Sunday if they’re going to pull off the upset.