clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Giants at Rams 2014: First look at Sunday's match-up

A quick look at some of the keys to the game.

Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

The New York Giants look for a third straight victory Sunday when they face the St. Louis Rams. Let's take a look at how the teams match up.

When The Giants Have The Ball

Rams Defense: Overall -- 339.9 yards per game (11th); Rushing -- 107.5 yards per game (12th); Passing -- 232.4 yards per game (10th); Points Per Game -- 21.2

Giants Offense: Overall -- 346.9 yards per game (14th); Rushing -- 99.9 yards per game (21st); Passing -- 246.9 yards per game (13th)' Points Per Game -- 22.6

The speeding bullet known as Odell Beckham has been unstoppable in recent weeks, smashing all sorts of franchise and NFL records for rookie wide receivers. How far have the Giants really come on offense, however? Facing a quality young St. Louis defense will help answer that question.

The Rams have allowed only 12 points in the last three weeks. They shut out the Oakland Raiders and Washington Redskins, 52-0 and 24-0, respectively, then lost to the Arizona Cardinals, 12-6.

"We have our work cut out for us and we're going to have to do an exceptional job with our pass protection," said head coach Tom Coughlin, pointing out that the Rams "blitz more than any team in the NFL."

Defensive end Robert Quinn (10.5 sacks) and rookie defensive tackle Aaron Donald (8 sacks) lead a talented young group. Defensive end Chris Long is back after missing much of the season with an injury. Linebackers Alec Ogletree (93) and James Laurinaitis (91) lead St. Louis in tackles.

For the Giants, the story is simple. Get the ball to Beckham and see what he can do next. To do that, they have to be able to handle the St. Louis blitz packages, an area that has been a struggle for the Giants offensive line this season.

When The Rams Have The Ball

Rams Offense: Overall -- 314.5 yards per game (26th); Rushing -- 106.2 (20th); Passing -- 208.3 (26th); Points Per Game -- 20.8

Giants Defense: Overall -- 371.4 yards per game (25th); Rushing -- 131.5 (29th); Passing -- 236.2 (13th); Points -- 24.2

The Giants have 22 sacks in the past three weeks, led by a resurgent Jason Pierre-Paul, who has six sacks during that span. The Rams have surrendered 41 sacks on the season. Can the Giants continue to apply the heat, this week on veteran St. Louis quarterback Shaun Hill?

"I think we have some people that are playing very well. JPP [Jason Pierre-Paul] is playing very well. Technically, early on, when he was doing some things that we could correct and help with and he has really adapted his game again to the way and manner in which we would like him to rush," Coughlin said. "We are getting contributions from a lot of people right now, Devon Kennard, and we are getting some help from Damontré [Moore]. We got help from [Johnathan] Hankins yesterday. We have some people that are contributing to that pressure and it definitely has helped in the coverage as well."

Pierre-Paul needs a half-sack for the second double-digit sack season of his career.

The Giants will hope the younger plays like Kennard, Damontre Moore, Kerry Wynn and Jay Bromley continue to show that they can be part of the defensive rotation going forward.

Rookie running back Tre Mason (155 carries, 661 yards, 4.3 yards per carry) leads the Rams rushing attack. Tight end Jared Cook (44 receptions) is their top receiver.

Special Teams

For the Giants this week, it's watch the fake on punt returns. St. Louis punter Johnny Hekker is 2-for-2 this season completing passes on fake punts. The Rams are dangerous in the return game. Tavon Austin averages 10.3 yards on punt returns and Benny Cunningham gets 28.6 yards per attempt on kickoff returns.