Team Giants


Giants - Rams
Game 15 preview
Sunday Dec 21, 4:05 PM - Giants at Rams

Giants (5-9) vs Rams (6-8)
The Rams were coming off two very impressive wins, Oakland 52-0 and Washington 24-0, when they ran into the Arizona Cardinals last week. This time both teams had trouble scoring points and the offense was all field goals and a 12-6 loss for the Rams.
The Giants continued their winning streak with a 24-13 victory over the Washington Redskins. They trailed at halftime, but came back for a win.
Giants - Redskins Wrap-Up

St. Louis Rams
It's been 10 long years since the Rams went to the playoffs. In 2004, with a 9-7 record, they won the Wild Card Playoffs and lost the Divisional Playoffs. It's also been a long time since they won more than seven games in a single season. That was 2006 (8-8), and if they had beaten the Seattle Seahawks in the final game of the 2010 season they would have won the division with an 8-8 record. Their loss had both teams at 7-9 and the Seahawks won that tie with a better division record. People complained about a 'lousy' NFC West team getting into the playoffs while many others with much better win-loss records were shut out.
This is similar to the current NFC South division where the New Orleans Saints currently have the lead with a 6-8 record with two games left to play. Somewhat interesting is that the Giants kicker Josh Brown was with the Rams in that crucial 2010 final game and he provided the Rams with the only points they scored, two field goals in a 16-6 loss.
The Rams have gone through a few coaching and interim coaching changes since 2004, Mike Martz, Joe Vitt, Scott Linehan, Jim Haslett, Steve Spagnuolo, and now Jeff Fisher. Martz is the only coach to have an overall winning record. Fisher has been the head coach since 2012 and has taken a 2-14 team to 7-9 in the last two seasons. He's trying to build on that, but quarterback issues haven't helped.

St. Louis Rams Offense
Quarterback Sam Bradford tore his ACL for the second straight year, this time in preseason. Backup Shaun Hill suffered a thigh injury in their season opening loss. Austin Davis, an undrafted free agent in 2012, started the next eight games. He played well early on, but it didn't last. Hill became the starter once again and gave them a 22-7 win against Denver. The Rams lost by 3 points in San Diego after a game-ending interception on a second-and-goal from their 4-yard line, but Hill won two more games before facing the Cardinals last week. Arizona's defensive blitzing schemes confused Hill's offensive line. He was sacked just twice, but the pressure kept Hill edgy in the pocket.
Running the ball against Arizona's tough run defense didn't work, but running back Tre Mason will have more opportunity against the Giants. Mason has 661 rushing yards, which is the league’s second-highest total by a rookie. Wide receiver Kenny Britt leads the team with 607 yards, averaging 17.3 a catch, and tight end Jared Cook has the most receptions, with 44 for 556 total yards. Wide receiver Tavon Austin has 28 receptions, but they have used him to run the ball 31 times.

St. Louis Rams Defense
They have a pass rush that's given them 35 sacks in the last 9 games. Cardinals quarterback Drew Stanton was knocked out of the game last week on a play where he was sacked by defensive tackle Aaron Donald. This unit has allowed no touchdowns at all in the last three games. The Rams are currently tied for 12th in the league in points allowed per game, despite points given up by offensive turnovers or by special teams play.
Donald now has 8 sacks and he is in play to be the Defensive Rookie of the Year. Right end Robert Quinn was just one-half sack off the league lead last year and he leads his team with 10.5 sacks. On the downside, the Rams have allowed quarterbacks to complete 67.5 percent of their passes (3rd-highest in the NFL), but only 6 have gone for 40 or more yards (tied for 4th-fewest in the league). They have a very physical style of play and close fast, and that can shake an opposing receiver's confidence.

Giants offense
It's no secret that the Giants do not have a running game and this offense has been fueled by Eli Manning throwing pass after pass to his amazing rookie, Odell Beckham Jr. Just how hard is it to game plan against that? The Giants were able to make it work against the Titans and Redskins and it should also have succeeded against the Jaguars except for some mistakes that gave the game away. Manning has been averaging 288 passing yards in the last seven games. Still, being a one trick pony offense goes only so far in the NFL against a team with a strong defense.
Rashad Jennings is out for this game so Williams will get the start. Last week Tom Coughlin admitted that they gave up on the running game because they didn't have enough success to continue with it. Williams has developed into a better blocker and he will need to be sharp in that area when Manning is throwing passes. It would also help if he was more sure handed as a receiver. Last game Williams was only one for four on receptions. Manning got some dependable help from Kevin Ogletree, Larry Donnell, Corey Washington and Daniel Fells, who caught every pass he threw to them last week.

Giants defense
The defense has come up strong the last few weeks with 22 sacks over the last three games and the Rams have already given up 41, five more than they did all last year. There's a lesson to be learned from the Cardinals on how to play up against the Rams offense. They shut down the run game and talented rookie Tre Mason was held to just 33 yards. That put a lot of pressure on the Rams offensive line as they struggled to protect their quarterback. Unfortunately, the Giants have not been good at run defense and that's maybe a necessary ingredient that's needed to win this game.
They'll also have to watch out for tight end
Jared Cook. The Giants are not always the best at defending the middle of the field against tight ends, and Cook is a good outlet for Shaun Hill when pressure is on. This game is a great opportunity for young guys like Damontre Moore, Devon Kennard and Johnathan Hankins to continue to show what they can do.

The players are all in, and neither team, despite losing records, has given up on the season. The Rams took a loss last week, but it certainly wasn't because of their defense. That unit has really stepped it up over the last eight games. The Rams have an edge, having had extra time to prepare for the Giants, as their last game was played on a Thursday.
The Giants are on the road against a rested team with a tough aggressive defense. Eli Manning hasn't done well when the pressure keeps coming, and without a running game that's likely to happen. In fact the Giants are 0-8 when Manning is sacked two or more times in a game. Last week after their loss, Rams tight end Jared Cook complained that the team was out-played and out-coached. If he was right, just hope that happens again.

NFC East
The Eagles (9-5) play their game in Washington against the Redskins (3-11) on Saturday at 4:30pm. The Giants and Rams play on Sunday at 4:05pm, and the Cowboys (10-4) host the Colts (10-4) at 4:25pm. The Eagles and Cowboys are favored to win in these games. Check out.
The Team Giants Store, and see some of the really unique items we put together.
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Giants DVDs and Posters.

tgtwitter TeamGiants on Twitter.

Giants coach Tom Coughlin is 13th on the career victories list with 163 wins.

Giants have allowed only one sack on Eli Manning in the last two games.

Giants Pierre-Paul has a team-high 9.5 sacks, the second-highest total of his career (16.5 in 2011).

Rams defense, over the last eight games, rank 1st in sacks (32).

Rams defense, over the last eight games, rank 2nd in average points allowed (15.1).

Rams defense, over the last eight games, rank 2nd in 3rd-down defense (31.8 percent conversion rate).

Rams coach Jeff Fisher is 14th on the career victories list with 162 wins.

Rams coach Jeff Fisher has faced Tom Coughlin in 18 regular-season games and leads 11-7.
Next Game
Dec 28 Eagles at Giants.
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