The last time the Rams beat the New York Giants was in 2001, the year they went 14-2 and went on to lose the super bowl. Since then, they have faced the Giants seven times with the most recent matchup being played in London during the 2016 season. That game saw the Rams score 10 points and head into their week eight bye averaging 17.1 points per game, 30th in the league. This time around, the Rams are averaging 30.3 points per game through seven games and are ranked second in the NFL in that category, meanwhile, the Giants are allowing 25.0 points per game at home which is tied for seventh most by teams at home. Here is what the Rams will need to do to continue their best start to a season since 2003.
Establish the run
Since week two of the 2017 season Todd Gurley has averaged 4.7 yards per carry on 126 attempts, tied for 12th most among running backs. The lone game he failed to reach 4.0 yards per carry was in week five against the Seahawks, which the Rams lost. Through their first seven games the Giants have allowed the league’s 10th most rushing yards per attempt at 4.2, with the one game they won coming against the Broncos when they help them to a combined 2.7 yards per carry on 17 attempts.
Get Sammy Watkins Involved
Over their last three games Sammy Watkins has recorded four total receptions for 53 yards and zero touchdowns. The Rams are averaging 40.0 points per game in games that Watkins has at least three receptions as compared to only 23.0 when he has two or less receptions. The Giants suspended former Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins for violating team rules and will be playing Ross Cockrell in his place, who has two interceptions and 21 passes defended since 2015. Getting separation will be the key to this matchup, Cockrell is a sure tackler in the passing game and allows few yards after the catch.
Both the Giants and Rams have an even turnover rate at zero and are tied for 16th in that category. In all but one game in 2017 the Rams have forced two turnovers, and only once have they lost when doing so, which was against the Seahawks in week five. Despite being 1-6 on the season, the Giants have only turned the ball over two or more times twice this season with their lone win coming without a turnover. The Rams are averaging 26.2 return yards on their nine interceptions this season, with two of them being returned for touchdowns. This goes a long way in setting their offense up on drives, with four of them being returned for 29 or more yards.
Rams fans have been tricked by the Rams in these “trap” type games where they appear to be the favorite heading into the matchup. However, things should be different this time around with a new coaching regime in place and a head coach that keeps his mind focused on the game ahead, no matter the opposing team’s record. With the Giants ruling out two of their starting offensive lineman and missing four defensive starters, expect the Rams to continue their impressive start and keep pace with the top teams in the NFC.