The New York Giants probably won't admit to this. Still, if they could somehow pause a disappointing start to their 2021 season to get back in the lab and address some of the problems that seem to be occurring every week, they would probably take that offer in a heartbeat.
Alas for them, the show must go on, and this week it is set to go on against a Los Angeles Rams team that, by the time it takes the MetLife Stadium field on Sunday, will have had 10 days to rest and prepare for the cross-country flight.
Here's a look at some of the main storylines emerging for this week's game.
Next Man Up!
Not since a game against the then-San Diego Chargers on October 8, 2017, have the Giants been in such a crisis health-wise.
That game, you might recall, saw New York lose four wide receivers in one afternoon to injury, with two of those receivers--Odell Beckham Jr and Dwayne Harris--suffering season-ending injuries.
Fast forward to this past Sunday, and the injury bug, which has made its return to New York's locker room after seemingly settling down last year, is back again and with a vengeance.
Quarterback Daniel Jones (concussion), running back Saquon Barkley (ankle), and receiver Kenny Golladay (knee) are all expected to miss the game with their injuries.
Meanwhile, the statuses of Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton, both with hamstrings and both of whom missed the last two games, remains to be seen, as does whether left tackle Andrew Thomas (foot) can return to the gridiron after serving as the emergency tackle last week.
And on defense, safety Jabrill Peppers (hamstring) is also someone whose injury status will be watched closely by the Giants.
That's an awful lot of firepower to be missing, especially on the offensive side of the ball. And while the Giants have the quantity, whether that quantity can produce quality is the looming question.
What is the State of the Team's Psyche?
It's never any fun to lose, no matter what the score, but there's an old belief that if a team is going to get beaten, it's better for it to be blown out than it is to lose a heartbreaker.
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That said, the Giants were embarrassed by the Cowboys last week. The players seemed perplexed at what was going on, and one can't help but wonder what kind of impact such a loss might have on the psyche of the team?
Will the Giants come out swinging against a Rams team that they almost beat last year, or will they be flat? The answer to that question will undoubtedly tell us a lot about how mentally tough this team is in the face of adversity.
Toney, Toney, Toney!
After an inauspicious start to his career, Giants rookie receiver Kadarius Toney has been on fire.
The Giants' first-round pick was named to Pro Football Focus's NFL Team of the Week for Week 5 and is also a candidate for the NFL Pepsi Zero Sugar Rookie of the Week honors after posting an impressive 10-catch 189 performance against the Cowboys.
Assuming Toney, ejected from Sunday's game after throwing a punch, doesn't get any playing time docked, seeing what he might be able to do against a Rams defensive secondary (271.0 passing yards allowed/game, 22nd) that has struggled in zone coverage could make for the main attraction Sunday.
Rams Top Performers from Week 5
Quarterback Matthew Stafford completed 25 of 7 passes for 365 yards, 1 touchdown, and one interception. Stafford has thrown for 300+ yards in three of his five games as a Ram this season.
Running back Darrell Henderson rushed 17 times for 82 yards and a touchdown. He also had one reception for 17 yards. Henderson, who missed the Week 3 game, has rushed for at least 70 yards in three of his four games played.
Receivers Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods have been a tough tandem. Woods logged a team-leading 12 catches (on 14 targets) for 150 yards, while Kupp caught seven of 10 pass targets for 92 yards in their Week 5 win over Seattle. They have combined for 845 receiving yards on 64 receptions and have seven touchdowns between them this season.
Sebastian Joseph and Aaron Donald were the Rams leaders last week in tackles. Joseph recorded eight, and Donald had seven. Donald also recorded a sack, which tied him with edge rusher Leonard Floyd for the team lead 93).
This season, kicker Matt Gay has converted 10 of 11 field goal tries and is the Rams' leading scorer with 45 points.
More from Giants Country
- Contrite Kadarius Toney Opens Up About His Lapse in Judgment
- Joe Judge Reveals Thoughts About Daniel Jones's Continued Use as a Runner
- Giants Injury Updates: Kenny Golladay Expected to Miss 1-2 Weeks; Rodarius Williams Has Torn ACL
- New York Giants Come Crashing Down to Reality in MMQB’s Latest NFL Power Ranking Poll
- Cowboys Remain Red Hot, Giants Come Crashing Back to Earth in Week 5 Division Action
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