“Battle of the Battered 0-1′s” is what I’m calling this match up in the New Meadowlands or whatever they’re calling the time-shared stadium in NEW JERSEY.
Tell me again why they are both called NEW YORK teams?
This match up will mark the first time since December 2006 the Rams played in the little game called Monday Night Football (MNF). You might have heard a little bit about it over the years. Haha.
The last time they played the Giants was on September 14, 2008. They lost to Coach Steve Spagnuolo’s former team 41-13 at home in the Dome. Hopefully, next Monday will not be a repeat of that game.
The title seems all to fitting for this meeting with all the injuries on both teams.
The Rams have WR Danny Amendola (elbow), DE C.J. Ah You (wrist), RB Steven Jackson (quad) most likely out for the game. Other banged up Rams include CB Bradley Fletcher (toe), T Jason Smith (ankle), QB Sam Bradford (finger), LB Josh Hull (hammy), and CB Al Harris (knee). They should have TE Mike Hoomananwanui (calf) back after missing game 1.
On the Giants’ side, DE Justin Tuck (neck) was limited in Thursday’s practice. With WR Hakeem Nicks (bone bruise, knee), CB Prince Amukamara (foot), TE Travis Beckum (hamstring) and DE Osi Umenyiora (knee) not participating at all.
Keys for the Rams
First and foremost, the Rams are going to have to PROTECT QB Sam Bradford.
With T Jason Smith ailing with the ankle sprain it’s going to be even more of an issue. The Rams O-line surrendered 5 sacks and 11 QB hits. This cannot happen again in week 2. Rodger Saffold, Jacob Bell, Jason Brown and Harvey Dahl, you guys are all on notice.
Second, rookie WR Greg Salas will have to step it up.
He is the heir apparent to the injured Danny Amendola. Salas had a one catch out of three targets last week for a gain of 21 yards. He’ll get more looks and the accompanying pounding in the slot this week. Salas has shown to bounce back after mistakes and hits so I’m really looking forward to what he can do in this game.
Third, to help alleviate some of the pressure from Bradford the Rams need to establish the running game.
I’m going to assume Steven Jackson will not play, leaving Cadillac Williams and Jerious Norwood to pick up where they left off last week. Even if Jackson were to give it go I’m not sure he’d be all that effective anyway.
Fourth, the Rams defense has to find a way to contain the Giants’ running game.
Last week, the Rams defense allowed 236 yards rushing to the Eagles – RB LeSean McCoy (122 yds) and QB Michael Vick (97 yds). The Giants only had 75 yards on the ground but that was against Jim Haslett’s Redskins D. I don’t expect a repeat of that. The Giants will come continuously and come hard with their one, two punch of RB’s Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw.
I guess I’m not terribly worried about Giants QB “Mr. 25-INT” Eli Manning at this point. His main receiver Hakeem Nicks is nursing a bad knee and his starting TE Jake Ballard is also questionable.
On the flip side, the Giants do have WR Mario Manningham who has the potential to burn you. So the Rams’ very thin secondary can’t get too complacent with him, Victor Cruz, or Domenik Hixon.
Game Prediction for Week 2
Okay, so I drank a little bit too much of the Rams-(Kool)aid last week. But I’m all sobered up and thinking more objectively.
I’ll call this a very close match with both sides bringing lots of pressure to the QB’s. I still have to believe that the Rams will NOT go 0-2 and squeak this one out to win over the Giants 21-17.
Sorry, Eli. You’re going to have to give me one of your signature pouty faces at the end of the game.