Five Concerning Stats the Giants Must Overcome vs. Rams
Things won't get any easier for the 0-3 Giants this Sunday when they visit the Los Angeles Rams.
A road contest against a talented 2-1 Los Angeles Rams will present a number of challenges for the Giants in Week 4, and those challenges can be illustrated by a number of key statistics.
1. Aaron Donald's league-leading 20 pressures
Rams All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald has been an absolute menace for any offense he faces. Donald currently leads the league in total quarterback pressures with 20, and already has three sacks in as many games.
On paper, the Giants' offensive line would appear to be a feast waiting to happen for Donald, as they've given up the second-most sacks (13) as part of 54 total pressures according to Pro Football Focus.
Donald's quick first step and brute strength have proven to be too much for some and this year, the Rams have taken even greater advantage of what Donald brings to the table by moving him around the defensive formation.
"Aaron Donald is one of the best players in the NFL, and he’s definitely a force,” said Giants head coach Joe Judge. “A lot of times, you see those guys that are game-wreckers on the edge, and they have their share of them out there as well.
"But with Aaron in the middle, it makes you be a little more creative in terms of how you protect and how you use some different tools in your toolbox to make sure your guys don’t always get isolated on him.”
2. Rams' 52-20 second-half point differential
In Week 3, the Giants were outscored 20-3 by the 49ers, a stat that doesn't bode well going into their Week 4 matchup against the Rams.
Rams head coach Sean McVay has led his team to late-game surges in all three games they've played this season. In Week 3 against the Buffalo Bills, the Rams came back from a 25-point deficit and would have pulled off the third-largest comeback in regular-season history had Bills quarterback Josh Allen not led a game-winning touchdown drive.
The Rams managed to pull ahead of their opponents in the second half of their first two games against the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles and are built and coached to get stronger late into games.
The Giants on the other hand have been outscored 30-22 in the second half this season. While that's not a huge scoring differential, the Rams have outscored opponents 52-10 in the second half which means the Giants can ill-afford to get off to a slow start and must make sure they keep pace with the Rams if they're to have any chance at winning.
3. Rams’ 33:01 to 26:59 Time of Possession Advantage
The Rams have specialized in ball control so far this season, as their offense has managed to stay on the field for an average of 33:01 minutes per game as opposed to just 26:59 minutes on defense.
In contrast, the Giants have been dominated in time of possession, holding onto the ball for just 24:41 minutes against their opponent’s 35:19.
In their last game when the 49ers dominated the time of possession battle with a lopsided 39:44 to 20:16 advantage. This led to the Giants defense wearing out in the second half and the 49ers being able to break it wide open.
The Rams have recorded 81 first downs so far this season, and are proficient at keeping the chains moving.
"The best defense you can play is on the bench, honestly," said Giants defensive back Logan Ryan. "We just have to get off the field and give our offense the ball, more opportunities and improve our third down for sure."
If they don't they'll be in for another long afternoon.
4. Rams offense's 449.7 yards per game
The Rams currently boast the third most-productive offense in terms of yardage with 449.7 average yards per game thanks to a balanced offense that features a group of young talented skill players including breakout running back Darrell Henderson, wide receiver Cooper Kupp and tight end Tyler Higbee.
Henderson has emerged as one of the most productive running backs in the NFL over the last two weeks with 201 rushing yards and two touchdowns on just 35 carries.
Kupp leads the team in receiving with 228 yards and one touchdown on 18 catches and has been a favorite target of quarterback Jared Goff for years now and will be a tough matchup for Giants cornerback James Bradberry.
Higbee, who's already racked up 134 yards on 10 catches with three touchdowns this year, could be in line for a big day is in a favorable position against the Giants, who could be without Jabrill Peppers this weekend.
5. Jared Goff's 96.6 adjusted completion percentage while not under pressure
Goff has exemplified year-to-year growth as a young franchise quarterback since coming into the league in 2016. Now, as a young veteran quarterback, he' appears on track to take the next step in 2020.
Goff has been particularly masterful with a clean pocket, as his adjusted completion percentage is a staggering 96.6% while not under pressure, according to PFF.
That number drops to 50% when Goff is under pressure, so it goes without saying that the Giants pass rush needs to apply a steady stream of pressure if it's to have any chance of disrupting Goff's rhythm.