The Giants will play the Rams in Los Angeles for the first time since 1994, this year's game marking the first of the new NFL slate being played at the Rams' new home, SoFi Stadium.
The two teams last met November 5, 2017, when the Rams rolled over the Giants 51-17 to end a Giants’ seven-game winning streak in the series dating back to 2002. The loss also dropped the Giants to 1-7, which was, at the time, their worst eight-game start to a season since 1980.
Besides the continued christening of the new stadium, this game will see the NFC's two biggest market franchises and the league's two youngest head coaches, Joe Judge of the Giants (38) and Sean McVay of the Rams (34) try to outduel each other.
Judge is no stranger to facing the Rams, as two years ago, Judge, then with the Patriots, saw the Rams in Super Bowl LIII in which New England won 13-3 victory.
After going 9-7 last year and falling woefully short in their defense of their NFC conference title, the Rams have undergone a lot of change. The Rams moved on this off-season from star running back Todd Gurley, who dealt with assorted injuries.
The most significant question mark though is the play of quarterback Jared Goff, who has been inconsistent. While not all of that has been his fault, Goff hasn't always stepped up when the opportunity was there to load the team on his shoulders and carry them to the finish line.
By The Numbers
- Rams lead all-time series 27-17
- All-time postseason series tied at 1-1
- Since 1970 NFL-AFL merger Rams lead series 18-13
- Since 2000 Giants lead series 7-3
- First meeting: November 13, 1938, Rams 0 @ Giants 28
Last meeting: November 5, 2017, Rams 51 @ Giants 17
- Largest Giants margin of victory: November 16, 1941, Rams 14 @ Giants 49
- Largest Rams margin of victory: November 13, 1966, Giants 14 @ Rams 55
Key Matchup: Giants Offensive Line vs. Rams Defensive Line
Offensively, the Giants will get another substantial test when they face the Rams defensive front led by Aaron Donald. He, along with the rest of his defensive linemates, will prove to be a tough test for the Giants reconfigured offensive line.
As a five-time All-Pro, Donald has the ability as a pass rusher and run stopper to make things very difficult for the Giants offense in Week 4.
Donald led all interior defenders in total pressures this season, with 80, 18 more than any other interior player. On run plays, Donald was in the backfield more often than not last year, as his average depth of tackle against the run was nearly one foot behind the scrimmage line, according to Pro Football Focus.
The Giants offensive line will likely have to assign at least two blockers to Donald to protect Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley from Donald's potential game-wrecking impact.
Donald lined up primarily in the right-side B gap, which means most blocking responsibility will fall on the Giants left side combination of guard Will Hernandez, and rookie offensive tackle Andrew Thomas, who projects to fill the left tackle spot.
Thomas and Hernandez will only have three real games worth of chemistry before facing Donald, which could prove to be their toughest blocking assignment of the season.
New offensive line coach Marc Colombo will be tasked with preparing Thomas, Hernandez, and the rest of the offensive line for their assignments against the Rams.
Even if the Giants can slow Donald down with a double team, that doesn't mean it will neutralize him. Donald saw the highest number of double teams in the NFL last season and still emerged as the most productive defensive lineman. In 319 rushes vs. 2+ blockers, Donald won 18.2 percent of those matchups.
Donald should occupy most of the Giants' attention upfront. While the rest of the Rams defensive line is solid, none of the other linemen boasts the same type of game-wrecking threat that Donald presents.
The second-best Rams defensive lineman is Michael Brockers, who was one of the team's best run defenders last season but only tallied three sacks.