Rams vs. Giants matchups: How many points will Jared Goff rack up?
Breaking down how the Rams (2-1) and New York Giants (0-3) match up heading into their game Sunday at 1:05 p.m. at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood.
When Rams have the ball: Running back Darrell Henderson will start for the second game in a row after rushing for more than 100 yards for the first time last week against Buffalo. Rookie Cam Akers remains sidelined because of a rib injury, so Henderson will share carries with veteran Malcolm Brown. Quarterback Jared Goff is coming off his best performance of the season. He led the Rams back from a 25-point deficit against the Bills, only to ultimately fall short of victory when the Bills scored in the final seconds. After coach Sean McVay kept Goff on the move in the first two games, the fifth-year pro showed sturdiness in the pocket against the Bills, an attribute that could come in handy against a Giants defense that has eight sacks. Receiver Josh Reynolds suffered an ankle injury against the Bills but is expected to remain in the starting lineup with Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp. Tight end Gerald Everett, quiet for the first two games, made a big catch against the Bills. The offensive line has protected Goff and earned McVay’s confidence. The Giants rank 20th in rushing defense. Linebacker Blake Martinez is the leading tackler and has two sacks. Former USC tackle Leonard Williams has two sacks. Safety and returner Jabrill Peppers is out because of an ankle injury.
The winless New York Giants have struggled mightily to score, but the Rams are planning to give them the first-class opponent treatment Sunday.
When Giants have the ball: Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, the longtime Dallas Cowboys coach, is calling plays for the first time since 2012. While a season-ending knee injury suffered by star running back Saquon Barkley was a major blow, it is not the only reason the Giants have scored a league-worst three touchdowns. The Giants signed Devonta Freeman, who made his debut last week in a loss to the San Francisco 49ers, but he is not expected to substantially lift an offense that also includes running back Dion Lewis and ranks last in rushing. Second-year quarterback Daniel Jones has passed for two touchdowns, with four interceptions. He also is the Giants’ leading rusher with 92 yards. Receiver Darius Slayton and tight end Evan Engram have been Jones’ main targets, and receivers Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard also are threats. The Rams suffered numerous first-half defensive breakdowns against the Bills, clamped down for much of the second half and then gave up a game-winning touchdown on the final drive. Safety Jordan Fuller was limited during practice this week because of a shoulder injury but is expected to play against the Giants. If Fuller is held out, Taylor Rapp would start in his place.
When they kick: Rams rookie Samuel Sloman missed a 53-yard field-goal attempt against the Bills but has made four of six attempts. Johnny Hekker did not punt against the Bills, a first in 131 NFL games he participated solely as the holder. Graham Gano has made six of seven field-goal attempts for the Giants. Riley Dixon is averaging 46.8 yards per punt.
Gary Klein’s prediction: The Rams employed the “on any given Sunday” line to caution against a letdown against a winless opponent, but the Giants do not have enough to stop the Rams from improving to 3-1.
RAMS 35, GIANTS 13
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