GET ON THE HORN: Rams Week 4 Preview vs New York Giantscsudhbulletin October 3, 2020 0 COMMENTS
In the Sean McVay era, the Rams have had at least three wins through the first four weeks of play to start a season. 3-1 in 2017, 4-0 in 2018, and 3-1 in 2019. (Photo by Los Angeles Rams)
By Matt Barrero, Assistant Sports Editor
THIS WEEK –
The New York Giants will pay a visit to the City of Angels Sunday afternoon for the first time since 1994. The Rams will be looking to get back in the win column after losing in the dying seconds of last week’s game in Buffalo. The Giants, meanwhile, are in search of their first victory in the 2020 season under new head coach Joe Judge.
In their last meeting at MetLife Stadium in 2017, the Rams completely embarrassed the host Giants with a final score of 51-17. Jared Goff finished the game with 311 passing yards and four touchdowns, and the Giants were led by, now retired, quarterback Eli Manning. Since 1938, the two franchises have met 44 times with the Rams leading the head-to-head series with a record of 27-17-0. While the New York franchise has kept to its Mid-Atlantic roots throughout the last 82 years, the Rams have seen its franchise play through Cleveland, Los Angeles, St. Louis and back to Los Angeles.
PLAYERS TO WATCH FOR –
Call him Hulk. Call him a freak of nature. The man is an absolute beast in the trenches and is showing his prowess early on. Through the first three games of the season, Donald has 11 total tackles, three sacks and eight quarterback hits. Lest we forget his first forced and recovered fumble of the season just last week. Donald will more than likely be double-teamed most of the game, but if 99 gets loose, watch out. And yes, I’m looking at you Daniel Jones.
Mr. Kupp had his best outing of the season last week finishing with nine catches for 107 yards and a touchdown. The Goff/Kupp connection has been evident since Kupp came into the league in 2017. Since that season, only Robert Woods has been targeted more times (373) than Kupp (304) due in large part to Kupp tearing his ACL in Week 10 of the 2018 season. He currently leads the team this season in targets with 21 and receiving yards with 228. The Giants defense has given up 704 passing yards through the first three games and allowed San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Nick Mullens to throw for 343 yards just last week. Look for that Goff/Kupp connection all afternoon.
When the season began a few weeks ago, Darrell Henderson Jr’s name was not talked about as much as it is now. With Todd Gurley taking his talents to Atlanta in the offseason, the Rams shifted their attention to Malcolm Brown to take over the run game with the help of newly drafted Cam Akers. With the running back by committee attitude, Sean McVay found himself with three talented options. After a quiet start in Week 1, Henderson Jr. was placed at the top of the depth chart with injuries occurring in Week 2 to Brown and Akers. In the two games since, Henderson Jr. has balled out, running for a total of 195 yards and scoring once in each game. Even with Brown back from injury, Henderson Jr. is the first choice for McVay’s backfield. The Giants run defense ranks 24th in the league and Henderson Jr. is not willing to give up his top spot just yet.
GAME CHANGERS –
Rams Are Hangry: The Rams were one defensive stop from pulling off a dramatic 25-point comeback last Sunday over the Bills. Many will argue that the refs made a colossal error in calling Darious Williams for defensive pass interference. Others will add that the ball was not even catchable. Few will point out how the Rams defense allowed Josh Allen and the Bills offense to convert on several long pass plays with miles to gain for a first down. The point is, the Rams lost. That was last week and now they are coming home to face an abysmal opponent who has been, and will most likely be, without stud running back Saquon Barkley (torn ACL) for the remainder of the season. The Rams are hosting a feast Sunday afternoon and the Giants are on the menu.
And We’re Having Turnovers for Dessert:
Giants quarterback Daniel Jones has been a solid replacement since Manning’s retirement this past January and has shown his dual-threat skill set off quite well. Last season, Jones (also known by his nickname ‘Danny Dimes’) threw for over 3000 yards and 24 touchdowns and rushed for 279 yards and two touchdowns. With numbers like that you’d be right to question why the Giants record did not match the performances. The answer: Turnovers. In the 15 career starts Jones has made, he has thrown 16 interceptions and has lost 13 fumbles. Six of those turnovers alone have come in the first three games this season. Jones has proven what kind of player he can be when balance is in check. The key for a Rams’ victory this Sunday is to cause and win the turnover game.
FUN FACTS –
Hey, You Look Familiar: Giants head coach Joe Judge was the New England Patriots special teams coordinator the year the Patriots defeated the Rams in Super Bowl LIII (53).
West Coast, Best Coast: The NFC West Rams are 2-0 this season when facing an opponent from the NFC East (Dallas Cowboys & Philadelphia Eagles). In those two games, the Rams are outscoring their NFC East opponents, 57-36.
GET ON THE HORN (G.O.T.H.) PREDICTION –
RAMS 35, GIANTS 17