Week 4’s contest between the Los Angeles Rams and New York Giants is shaping out to like those practices going at 70% speed for the Rams. The New York Giants have been a mess in Joe Judge’s rookie season as head coach. With general manager, Dave Gettleman, on the hot seat after going with his third head coach in five years is a telling sign of a broken organization.
While the ceiling does not appear high for this Giants team, the difference between this year and previous failed years is the culmination of talent that fills out the problem positions on the offense and defense. Whether it’s the linebacker, cornerback, or offensive lineman, the Giants are bringing in a roster that could give the Rams some issues by being specific to LA’s weak points.
Going into Week 4, the Rams may be looking to use this game as an extended trial for second-year running back Darrell Henderson to continue his case for a role as their new Todd Gurley. Posting 100+ total yards against the Philadelphia Eagles, Henderson can continue to carry the majority of the backfield snaps as Cam Akers and Malcolm Brown return from injury. Also looking to use this game as a momentum builder for the improving Rams offensive line, the Rams are coming in with a winning recipe but will have to focus on these five Giants players if they want to avoid an upset.
Who Are The Giants Players The Rams Need To Focus On?
The definition of a player who is truly all over the field, linebacker Blake Martinez is 6th in the league for total tackles and is filling the void at linebacker missing from the Giants defense since Antonio Pierce. The reliable Martinez was Green Bay’s greatest omission from the offseason, failing to re-sign the linebacker and letting the Giants acquire an answer for a massive need.
Giving up big plays to pass-catching running backs has been the Giants’ Achilles heel, but with a formidable matchup of Darrell Henderson vs. Martinez, it will serve as a great case to be the lead back if he is able to evade the linebacker’s elite closing speed.
New York’s best acquisition of the offseason has been a pass-breakup machine. With a PFF grade of 82.5 throughout three weeks, it comes as a surprise that the Giants may have a potential Pro Bowler in their secondary. James Bradberry’s first shot at being the premiere corner for a defense has finally been granted after four productive years in Carolina.
The corner has been a disruption for opposing offenses and is easily the best element of this defense. Pro Football Focus also named Bradberry the Week 2 Defensive Player of the Week when he shut down Allen Robinson (3 catches, 33 yards). With fantasy team managers already frustrated by the game of roulette in picking the right Rams receiver to start for the week, the clamps on behalf of a great corner in Bradberry are likely to relegate someone like Robert Woods or Cooper Kupp to an average performance this Sunday.
An overlooked deep threat since his days in Detroit, Golden Tate tends to be the Giants receiver that shines brightest against formidable defenses. Drawing some coverage from Troy Hill, the Rams corner is fit to keep the receiver out of the end zone. However, Tate’s sneaky, quick speed and a knack for incredible high-point catches can leave the 5’11” cornerback at a disadvantage when battling for a pass.
Both squads are coming in with a monster DT to boast on their defenses. Second-year Giant Dexter Lawrence has looked like a true first-round talent coming out of the infamous Daniel Jones draft. The Rams are continuing to tighten up the offensive line after a horrendous year that gave Goff a major decline in production, with minimal time allowed in the pocket.
Only allowing two sacks against the top tier Bills defense, the Los Angeles Rams should match up well against Oshane Ximines, Leonard Williams, Dalvin Tomlinson, but look out for Dexter to get Jared Goff out of the pocket. Guard Austin Blythe has allowed two sacks in three games but gives an average performance in preventing pressures. The 342 lb. Lawrence is a bull of a defensive tackle capable of clogging lanes for running backs and keeping the quarterback on quick feet.
Giants’ guard Will Hernandez has been a hulking barrier on the offensive line. Facing Aaron Donald this weekend, it is easy to assume that Donald’s ability to take over a still ailing Giants o-line is a safe bet.
In this matchup, the chippy Will Hernandez can be a difference-maker by being able to match Donald’s brute force and strong engine. Hernandez has surrendered one sack for the year after facing the Steelers bull rush attack, and while the o-line has been an issue for the Giants, Will Hernandez is a guaranteed 100% effort player that will feed off of an a** kicking from Donald and give him a good contest. That clash may be worth the price of admission.