Rams in search of fast start vs. winless Giants
After nearly matching the third-largest comeback in NFL history a week ago, the Los Angeles Rams will return home for the first time since Week 1 to face the winless New York Giants on Sunday.
The Rams (2-1) trailed by 25 points in the third quarter last Sunday at Buffalo and rallied with four consecutive touchdowns to take a 32-28 advantage. The lead was short-lived, however, as the Bills answered with a touchdown of their own in the closing seconds.
While a late pass interference call against the Rams loomed large, the true difference in the setback for Los Angeles was its slow start. The Rams moved the ball early but failed to finish of drives, while the defense needed a full half to adjust to the pass/run combination that Bills quarterback Josh Allen possesses.
Daniel Jones has similarities to Allen, although the Giants quarterback is not at that level — at least, not 15 starts into his young career. Jones ranks 22nd in the NFL with 699 yards passing in three games and his 60.2 completion percentage is 28th on the list.
Jones, who is 3-12 in those first 15 starts, has also been sacked nine times — tied for eighth most in the NFL. As a whole, the Giants offense is next to last in the NFL by averaging 272.3 yards per game.
“I don’t think any of us came in expecting this, but I think as a team now, we understand we can’t let that affect our confidence going forward,” Jones said. “I’m confident in the guys we have in the locker room, the mindset that we have. You take it and learn from it, but not let this situation define us and understand what we need to do moving forward.”
The good news for the Giants (0-3) is that even though the Rams’ defense has stars like tackle Aaron Donald and cornerback Jalen Ramsey, the club has surrendered 372.7 yards per game, which ranks 18th in the NFL.
And like Allen, who used his mobility to cause the Rams’ defense fits on Sunday, Jones can run. Jones, in fact, leads the Giants with 92 yards rushing. The only other quarterback who leads his team in rushing is the Baltimore Ravens’ Lamar Jackson (182).
The task for the Giants is keeping up with the Rams on the scoreboard.
After a down offensive season in 2019 when the running game struggled with Todd Gurley, there is balance once again. Darrell Henderson Jr. stepping into the rushing spotlight for Los Angeles. Even though the Rams trailed by more than three touchdowns in the second half against the Bills, they stuck with the running game and got 114 yards from Henderson with a touchdown on 20 carries.
The Rams are tied for third in the NFL with 170.3 rushing yards per game.
“We got off to a slow start. We just stuck to our game plan,” Henderson said of Sunday’s game. “As long as we’re executing, doing our job, I feel like ain’t nobody stopping us.”
Jared Goff engineered the Rams’ comeback on Sunday with 321 yards passing, two touchdowns in the air and one on the ground. Goff is eighth in the NFL with 863 passing yards and leads the league in yards per attempt at 9.6.
Goff might be without rookie running back Cam Akers (ribs), who did not practice Wednesday. Also out of practice were defensive lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day (ankle) and wide receiver Josh Reynolds (illness). Safety Jordan Fuller (shoulder) was limited.
Four Giants defensive backs were listed on Wednesday’s injury report. Jabrill Peppers (ankle) and Brandon Williams (groin) missed practice, while Adrian Colbert (quad) and Julian Love (knee/ankle) were limited.
–Field Level Media