Sunday, 1 p.m.
Spread: Rams -10 1/2
On the bright side for the Giants, it now looks like quarterback Daniel Jones will be able to start on Sunday.
That’s pretty much it for the bright side.
The Giants will still be without Saquon Barkley and Kenny Golladay and with several other players coming off injuries as they basically limp into a game against one of the most dangerous teams in the league. They will somehow need to keep pace against a Los Angeles Rams team that has a Top 10 offense led by a revived Matthew Stafford, who’s playing as well as he has in his career.
And let’s face it, the Giants probably couldn’t do that even if they had all their weapons on the field.
This is just another game where, to borrow a phrase from Troy Aikman, the Giants’ offense is outclassed. And without Barkley and Golladay their prospects feel even worse. That will let the Rams’ pass rush – one of the NFL’s most dangerous with 14 sacks so far – tee off on Jones. And that should be easier given the injuries that have hobbled tackle Andrew Thomas and guard Matt Skura on the left side of the offensive line.
All the injuries to the Giants’ offense make things such a mess. Even their healthy players aren’t completely healthy, with receivers Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton making a return from hamstring injuries and explosive rookie Kadarius Toney playing through an ankle injury. This is a Giants offense that just can’t afford any setbacks, yet in the last few weeks that’s all they’ve had.
And they certainly can’t count on their defense to slow the Rams down. The defense has been a huge disappointment this season, particularly in the pass rush which has been virtually nonexistent. The Rams, meanwhile, have allowed only four sacks this season. It’s a good bet Stafford’s jersey won’t get dirty at all.
If that sounds bleak … well, it is. About the only hope the Giants would seem to have is if Jones continues playing as well as he’s been playing and maybe he catches some lightning again with Toney, who had a breakout performance last week. Maybe the electricity they generate will turn out to be enough.
But that’s all they really have to hope for, unless something else unusual happens – like the defense has the kind of performance it hasn’t had since last season. If not, this just feels too much like a bad matchup at a very bad time. If they were full strength, maybe things would be different.
Right now, the Giants aren’t even close.
Pick: Take the Rams minus 10 1/2
Prediction: Rams 27, Giants 16
My record straight up: 2-3
My record against the spread: 0-4-1