Things aren't pretty around Giants' land.
The defense flashes dominance but can't sustain it. At least some players seem frustrated and certainly undisciplined, and are playing well below their collective talent level.
On the other side of the ball, the offense is still broken. Evan Engram appears to be a developing stud, and while Eli has been efficient, he hasn't been effective. The offensive system is stagnant and effectively predictable (though there has been some more variation in formation and grouping this season), regardless of who is calling the plays. And it certainly seems like the vultures are circling over Ben McAdoo's head.
All in all, I'm not sure if this is one of the the most talented "bad" teams I can remember, or one of the worst-playing "good" teams.
As for this week's game against the Los Angeles Rams, were the Giants healthy, I think they could get a win -- they had the talent to do so. Unfortunately, the Giants are going to be missing some of their most talented players, Justin Pugh, Weston Richburg, Olivier Vernon, and B.J. Goodson have yet to practice after the bye week (as I write this), and Janoris Jenkins is suspended. As well, if they have proven one thing this season it is that as soon as it looks as though they will right the ship, they will figure out another way to capsize it.
They might be able to eke out a win, but it's probably more likely that this game will likely follow the now-familiar script of being close, until it isn't.
Final score: Rams 28, Giants 13
The Rams are averaging 30.3 points per game this season, while the Giants have been unable to put up 30 points once. This game is a mismatch for New York, especially when their offense is out on the field. Giants will keep it close for a quarter but fall late.
Final score: Rams 35, Giants 24
To think back to last year at this time, projecting the Rams to be 5-2 and Gmen 1-6 this year would've been insane. And yet, here we are. McAdoo just seems like a coordinator to me, and it's obvious he does not have this locker room. I made a lot of jokes about the "TankJets" in the preseason, but now I'm totally in for a rebuild and high draft pick moving into 2018. Plus, it appears the Rams have the better QB this year (SAD EMOJI).
Final score: Rams 28, Giants 17
For those not paying super close attention to the rest of the league this season, the Los Angeles Rams are good. Not even like in a pleasant surprise, better than expected way. The Rams are legitimately good. They’re second in DVOA behind the Pittsburgh Steelers and have the second-best point differential in the league behind the Philadelphia Eagles by just two points. The offense has vastly improved under Sean McVay and both Jared Goff and Todd Gurley appear much closer to their potentials than they were during the 2016 season. Under Wade Phillips, the defense has turned into a top-5 unit. For the Rams to only be favored by 3.5 points, even on the road really underrates them as a team.
The Giants, meanwhile, still have issues on defense both on and off the field and the offense keeps getting more injured -- the big one this week is Justin Pugh will be out. This Giants team struggled against the Seattle Seahawks after seemingly figuring some things out against the Denver Broncos. This Rams team -- as a whole -- is a better version of the Seahawks right now.
Final score: Rams 24, Giants 13
There is absolutely no reason to think the Giants will win on Sunday. Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall are on IR. Weston Richburg and Justin Pugh won’t play. The defense will be missing Olivier Vernon, B.J. Goodson, Jonathan Casillas and Janoris Jenkins. The Giants have spent the week mired in controversy surrounding the suspension of Jenkins. The Rams average 14 points more per game and have something to play for. The 1-6 Giants? They’d like to see the season end already.
And yet ...
The Rams are a young team. They have a young quarterback. They have the league’s youngest head coach. They won four games last season and haven’t had a winning record since 2003. Being where they are right now is heady stuff, and sometimes growing up as a team includes some self-inflicted wounds.
The Giants are a mess and shouldn’t win this game. We all know that. The Rams know it, too. That’s a big part of the reason why I think the Giants actually will win on Sunday.
Final score: Giants 24, Rams 20