This is it.
If the New York Giants are going to save their 2021 season from completing its downward spiral into the trash bin, they somehow need to find a way to do it against a high-flying Los Angeles Rams team that stands 4-1 and which is coming off ten days of rest from its last game played.
The Giants, however, have their backs against the wall. They'll be without their top running back (Saquon Barkley) and their top receiver (Kenny Golladay), both of whom have been ruled out with injuries. They may be without their top offensive lineman (Andrew Thomas), who continues to deal with a foot ailment that reduced him to emergency duty last week.
And, of course, they'll continue to try to do things without their top linebacker (Blake Martinez) and a pass rush that has been virtually invisible all season.
But here's the thing. The 2011 Super Bowl championship team will be in the building to be honored for the tenth anniversary of that great run. For those who don't remember, that team was tethering on the brink of disaster after a 23-10 shellacking by the club now known today as Washington Football Team, which dropped their record to 7-7 and with playoff elimination looming.
However, the leadership on that team challenged the players to stand up and take control of their season.
Take control they did, as the Giants won their next two games, beating Dallas and the Jets convincingly on what would become the start of a six-game winning streak that cumulated in the hoisting of the team's fourth Lombardi Trophy in franchise history.
The current head coach of this Giants team, Joe Judge, is a big believer in disseminating history lessons to his current roster. You can bet the ranch that he's had at least one if not more members of that 2011 championship team deliver some words of encouragement to pump them up.
Will those words have the same effect as the words spoken by the leadership of 2011?
Stay tuned to find out.
Why the Giants Will Win...
Look up the phrase "trap game" in the dictionary, and chances are you'll find this game listed as part of the definition.
Giants' Thursday Injury Report: Shepard, Rudolph Making Progress
The arrow looks like it's pointing up for receiver Sterling Shepard and tight end Kyle Rudolph, both of whom have missed time with injuries.
New York Giants Freddie Kitchens Encouraged by Play Calling Operation Last Week
The Giants are using these last few games to see if Freddie Kitchens is the long-term answer as the offense's play caller.
Logan Ryan Says Giants Need to Show This Trait if They Want to Be Playoff Bound
Giants defensive co-captain Logan Ryan believes the Giants can be playoff bound if they strive to be this kind of team moving forward.
Okay, not really, but it's not hard to see why this game could be viewed as a classic trap game. The Rams are coming off a mini bye week thanks to their schedule. They're facing a banged-up Giants team that is reeling from injuries and an embarrassing loss last week to the hated Dallas Cowboys. And on paper, the Giants don't match up well against the Rams at all.
Given those circumstances, it's way too easy for the Rams to look past the Giants or even play down to the Giants' level after this week. If they do, they could be n for a rude awakening as say what you want about the 2021 Giants team--the one thing you can't say about them is that they quit, even if they're getting their collective backsides handed to them.
Why They Won't Win
Coaches and players never like to use injuries as an excuse, but this Giants team is a MASH unit. And that can lead to a lack of consistency, which is a concern, namely on offense where the Giants could be looking at yet another offensive line configuration if Thomas can't play. (Matt Peart could get the start at left tackle this week, which would be the first time we'll see an offensive line configuration with that look.)
The bottom line is the Rams are loaded on both sides of the ball, especially on offense where there isn't a weakness to be found. The Rams are averaging 28.2 points per game, and they're outscoring opponents on average by five points per game thus far, the 10th best mark in the NFL. That's just not a good matchup for a Giants defense that has struggled so far--even if defensive coordinator Patrick Graham plans to simplify things to help get his defense back on track.
I'm not one for "woulda, coulda, shoulda" statements because to complete the expression, they all end in "didn't"--as in didn't get the job done.
That's exactly what this Giants team has been about this season. They could have easily been 3-2 at this point if they had pulled out wins against Washington and Atlanta, games they lost by three or fewer points.
But they didn't. So, can they accomplish the unlikely and upset the Rams?
The answer will lie with what adjustments Graham makes to a defense that has allowed over 400 yards of offense to opposing teams and will be tasked with shutting down a potent Rams offense led by quarterback Matthew Stafford, who has found a second wind in Los Angeles.
That said, the Rams defense isn't quite as stout as it was last year. Los Angeles is ranked 23rd in the NFL with 388.2 yards allowed per game and is 13th in points allowed.
So yes, there's a chance--there always is. And while this game shouldn't be the blowout some might be expecting it to be, the Giants lack of firepower is concerning enough to sway the final prediction in the Rams' favor. Rams 27, Giants 17.
More from Giants Country
- How Joe Judge Can Tell If the Giants Are Still Buying In Despite Tough Times
- Behind Enemy Lines: Five Questions Answered by Rams Digest Publisher Nick Cothrel
- Giants Defensive Coordinator Patrick Graham Offers Blunt Critique of His Defense
- New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley Breaks Silence on Latest Injury
- How Patrick Graham Plans to Improve the Giants' Defense
- Breaking Down Some of the New York Giants Pass Rush Issues
- Breaking Down the New York Giants Run Defense Struggles
- New York Giants QB Daniel Jones Cleared to Play Sunday
- Giants Not Planning to Cut Back on Daniel Jones's Running
Join the Giants Country Community
- Sign up for our FREE digest newsletter
- Follow and like us on Facebook
- Submit your questions for our mailbag
- Listen and subscribe to the daily LockedOn Giants podcast.
- Subscribe and like the new LockedOn Giants YouTube Channel
- Sign up for our FREE message board forums
- Subscribe and like our YouTube Channel