The matchup features two clubs finishing disappointing seasons. The Rams have struggled offensively at times against contending teams. They are 20th in rushing offense and 26th in passing. They are 20th in points scored.
Like the Giants, the Rams are still playing hard for their respective coaches as the playoffs drift further out of their reach.
They began the season with the hopes that Sam Bradford could finally stay on the field and that Zac Stacy would lead the rushing attack. It did not happen.
"Sam had a great offseason coming off the initial injury. He was really throwing the ball well throughout the OTA period and in the summer before he got hurt," Rams head coach Jeff Fisher told reporters this week. "I am just very, very disappointed for him that he didn’t get a chance. Sam is working hard right now to get back. He is in the meetings, on the practice field; he is travelling with the team and has been a great support system for Shaun [Hill] and Austin [Davis]. I don’t make it a habit of doing those things. You move on. It is very unfortunate for him personally and professionally, but we have to move on and that is what we did this year as best we could."
Stacy could not build off his strong season and had been replaced by Tre Mason, the former Heisman candidate out of Auburn taken in the third round this past draft with one of the selection the Rams received in the RGIII trade. Mason has 661 yards on 155 carries (4.3 YPC) and Fisher simply replied "yes" to the question if he expected Mason to be producing this well.
St. Louis will send Mason into the Giants' line frequently this Sunday. New York is last in the conference in rushing defense. The Giants have racked up 22 sacks over the past three games so Rams QBs, who have been operating behind a battered O-line, will be on the run. The Rams have allowed 41 sacks this season, eighth most in the league.
On defense, the Rams have not allowed a TD in the past three games. In fact, they've only surrendered 12 points over that period.
Over their last eight games, a run that includes two shutouts and an active streak of 12 consecutive quarters without allowing a touchdown, the Rams:
- Have allowed just four touchdown passes (2nd fewest in the NFL over that period).
- Have collected 32 sacks, most among all teams in that time frame.
- Have allowed 79.4 rushing yards per game, third fewest.
- Have given up just 15.1 points per game, second fewest.
- Have held opponents to 31.8 percent on third down, second best in the NFL.
- Have forced 16 turnovers, tied for third best in the NFL.
The Giants have Odell Beckham, Jr. to lead their offensive attack, but they have been inconsistent on the ground this season. In a game where they need a healthy Rashad Jennings, they won't have one. Jennings (ankle) has not practiced this week.
This game appears to be a game that will be dictated by defenses. The Rams are somehow favored by 6.5 points and the OU is 43.5. Giants and under? Looks good to me.