The New York Giants will have to play a near-perfect game if they’re going to have any chance of defeating the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.
The New York Giants head into their matchup on Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams (2-1) as massive 13.5 point underdogs. The Rams are by far the more talented team on both sides of the ball. All-Pro Aaron Donald might be on his way to Defensive Player of the Week honors considering how poorly the Giants offensive line has played.
Head coach Joe Judge has been pleased with the effort and energy his team has shown this week in practice and expects to play better this week. If the Giants have any hope of pulling off the upset and earning their first win of the year, they’ll have to play near-perfect football for four quarters.
Here’s what they’ll need to do in order to win or at least be competitive.
Win the turnover battle
This will be difficult to do as Daniel Jones has been a turnover machine this season. The second-year quarterback has two turnovers in every game so far this season. If he does this again on Sunday, the Giants will have no chance.
Turnovers are the quickest way for a big underdog to flip the script. If the defense can create some easy scoring opportunities for the offense, the Giants could have a chance to pull off the upset. If the Giants can be plus two or three in the turnover battle, they’ll have a chance to be competitive.
The offensive line has to play their best game
Nobody could have fathomed the Giants offensive line being overwhelmed and overmatched the way they have been this season. The ground game is one pace to being historically bad as all of the team’s running backs are averaging two yards per carry or fewer.
Now the line has the daunting task of trying to block Donald and the rest of the Rams defensive line. It’s pride check time for this offensive line. They need to at least put up a fight and allow the running backs to run through some holes.
Be innovative and daring on offense
The biggest knock about Jason Garrett’s offense is that it’s been vanilla and predictable. It’s time for Garrett to open things up and be more innovative. This will be easier said than done if the line doesn’t block but at the minimum, the Giants need to take more shots down the field.
The Rams have a good secondary led by Jalen Ramsey, but they need to take their chances and see if Darius Slayton can make a few plays downfield.
Get pressure on Jared Goff
It will be very difficult for the Giants secondary to match up with the Rams top three pass catchers in receivers Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, and tight end Tyler Higbee. Outside of James Bradberry, it’s hard to have confidence in anyone else guarding Rams pass-catchers in one on one coverage.
This is why it’s imperative that the Giants front seven is able to apply pressure to Jared Goff often. So far this season, the Giants have eight sacks which is a decent start considering how low the sack numbers have been for New York in recent years.
If the front seven can win their battle against the Rams offensive line, the Giants can make this a tougher game than most expect.
Prediction: Maybe if the Rams had won last week against the Bills they may overlook the Giants and play down to the competition. But since they lost they’ll be focused as they need to keep pace with the rest of the NFC West where every team has a winning record. The Rams are too talented and the Giants have too many injuries and holes to think this game will be competitive. Rams 30, Giants 13.