NFC Championship - Los Angeles Rams v New Orleans Saints
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The Los Angeles Rams went from laughing stock to Super Bowl 53. This should motivate the New York Giants to make a quick turnaround.

Jason Leach

Life in the NFL can change quickly. You can go from one of the worst teams in the league to Super Bowl contenders in the blink of an eye. No two teams know this better than the New York Giants and the Los Angeles Rams.

In 2016 the New York Giants were coming off an 11-5 season and a wild-card berth, and many felt they would be contenders the following season. The Rams were coming off a 4-12 season in which they fired their head coach Jeff Fisher and scored a league-low 224 points.

Fast forward two years later the Rams went 13-3 and are preparing to face the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 53. The Giants, on the other hand, went 5-11 and are discussing what to do with the sixth pick in the upcoming draft.

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and the Giants should look at what the Rams have done over the past two seasons as a blueprint. Furthermore, the quick turnaround can serve as motivation.

On the surface, the Giants and Rams seem to be worlds apart especially when it comes to their head coaches as Sean McVay is the brightest head coach in the league, and Pat Shurmur has a coaching record of 15-34.

But when you examine both rosters, you’ll see several similarities.

The biggest similarity between the two teams is that their best player is a dynamic superstar running back—Saquon Barkley for the Giants and Todd Gurley for the Rams. Barkley and Gurley are considered by many to be the two best running backs in the game.

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Another similarity is that both teams best receiver was taken in the first round of the 2014 draft—Odell Beckham Jr. for the Giants and Brandin Cooks for the Rams. OBJ is far more talented than Cooks, but both have four 1,000 yards seasons and keep defensive coordinators up late at night trying to figure a way to stop them.

The two teams’ offensive lines are anchored by a veteran left tackle that was acquired in free agency in Nate Solder and Andrew Whitworth.

As far as special teams are concerned, both have accurate and clutch kickers as Aldrick Rosas converted 32 out of 33 field goals, and Greg Zuerlein connected on 27 out of 31 field goal attempts in the regular season, and connected on a 57-yard field goal in overtime of the NFC Championship game to send the Rams to the Super Bowl.

That’s where the similarities end. Even though the Rams defense underachieved in the regular season, they showed in the postseason that they can hold their own against the best in the league. The Giants have no one close on defense to the caliber of Aaron Donald who strikes fear in opposing quarterbacks and could win Defensive Player of the Year.

Finding a Pro Bowl caliber player on the defensive side of the football is a necessity for Giants general manager Dave Gettleman this offseason.

But the biggest disparity for these two teams as far as the roster is concerned is that the Giants have a 38-year-old quarterback in Eli Manning who is set to make to make $23.2 million in 2019. The Rams have Jared Goff, 24, who is still signed to his rookie contract and is set to make $8.89 million.

The Giants have yet to fully commit to Manning and there are reports that the team is interested in drafting either Dwayne Haskins, Kyler Murray, and Daniel Jones.

If the Giants part ways with Manning, the money they’ll save can be used to build the rest of the roster so that it mimics the Rams roster.

Regardless of what the Giants do with Manning, seeing how quickly the Rams went from a 4-12 team to playing in the Super Bowl should give Giants fans optimism that brighter days are coming.

Jason's first love was football while growing up in northern New Jersey. For the past three years, he has covered the New York Giants, as well as several boxing events along the East Coast.