On paper this game looks like a mismatch. I really can't figure out why most of the oddsmakers are only favoring the Rams by 4 points. Having said that, Los Angeles Rams will be playing on the east coast, which can be a challenge for California teams, and the New York Giants are a veteran group with arguably potential Hall of Fame quarterback in Eli Manning. Giants defensive lineman Jason Pierre-Paul was quoted as saying his team is ready to start fresh coming off last week's bye week. Finally, this is the NFL, there are no automatic wins on the schedule (except maybe Cleveland Browns, but the Rams don't play them this year).
Rams Offense vs Giants Defense
The Giants defense is ranked 27th in the NFL and will be playing without former Ram Janoris ''Jackrabbit" Jenkins, who is suspended, and defensive end Olivier Vernon, who is out with an ankle injury. Could this be a breakout game for Rams receiver Sammy Watkins? It’s certainly possible. The bye week for the Rams also gave running back Todd Gurley a chance to rest up. The Giants have the league's 23rd-ranked rush defense, but defensive tackle Damon "Snacks" Harrison is one of the NFL's better run defenders. Since Gurley has been getting a lot of his rushing yards between the tackles, Harrison could be a problem. Even so, the Rams should be able to score on the Giants.
Rams Defense vs. Giants Offense
Obviously the absence of Odell Beckham Junior is a big loss for New York, and you've probably never heard of most of the guys the Giants are starting at wide receiver these days. But they do have one of the league's better tight ends in Evan Engram, who has 11 catches 142 yards and two touchdowns in the last two games. He's a real match up nightmare, too fast for most linebackers and too big for cornerbacks. His success or lack thereof could be a major factor in this game. The Giants also expect wide receiver Sterling Shephard to make his return from an ankle injury on Sunday. He has 22 catches for 263 yards in a little under five games. He also scored a 77-yard touchdown against the Eagles in a week three loss. The Giants went ''ground and pound'' against the Seahowks a couple of weeks ago...and scored 7 points. They may try to open things up against the Rams. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles defense seems to have gotten the hang of Wade Phillip's 3-4 scheme the last 3 games, including a shutout against the Cardinals two weeks ago. Aaron Donald has been doing what Aaron Donald does, and that will be a problem for the Giants. The fact that guard Justin Pugh is not expected to play for the Giants doesn't help matters. In my opinion the Giants will probably need to score at least 27 points to win this game, and I don't think that will happen.
Johnny Hekker is the best punter on the planet. Greg Zuerlein was the NFC Special Teams Player of the Month for October. Pharoh Copper is a threat to take it to the house anytime he touches the ball as a return man, and he seems to have solved the fumbling problems the team was having when Tavon Austin was returning punts.
Advantage: Rams (a big one)
Rams 34 Giants 17