NFL Wire News

Week 16 Preview: Giants at Rams

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New York Giants at St. Louis Rams

Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, at Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis – TV: FOX

*TV announcers: Thom Brennaman, David Diehl, Laura Okmin

*Keys to the game: Giants QB Eli Manning won’t have the luxury of sitting in the pocket and picking his targets like he did in dissecting the Redskins’ porous secondary last week. The Rams are young, fast and will collapse the pocket in a blink. Rookie RB Andre Williams has infrequently shown a quick burst, but the Giant need a solid contribution on the ground to keep Manning from reverting to his turnover-prone ways when forced to make quick decisions in the face of a strong pass rush in long passing situations. When Manning does have time, there will be a fascinating duel downfield between Giants star rookie WR Odell Beckham, Jr. and Rams CBs Janoris Jenkins and E.J. Gaines.

The Rams’ offense is typically only as good as the field position the defense provides. Routinely forced to drive the length of the field against Arizona, QB Shaun Hill struggled to move the chains. However, the Giants lack the same type of dynamic front seven and rookie RB Tre Mason should have more success in setting up manageable third downs. The Giants continue to be beset by injuries in their linebacking corps, so the Rams should be able to chew up some yards by attacking the second level.

*Matchup to watch – Giants LT Will Beatty vs. Rams DE Robert Quinn: More aptly, this is the mismatch to watch. Quinn has 10.5 sacks over his past nine games and has the ability to single-handedly blow up the Giants’ offense. Beatty will get plenty of help, which means Manning loses a tight end or running back option in many passing situations.

*Player spotlight – Giants LG Rodger Saffold: The converted tackle is playing inside next to rookie Greg Robinson, and the interior of the Rams’ line struggled with pressure from Cardinals DL Frostee Rucker in Week 15.

*Fast facts: Beckham’s 61 catches are the most in NFL history by a rookie in a seven-game span. … Rams DT Aaron Donald leads NFL rookies with 8.0 sacks.

WHO WILL WIN AND WHY

The Rams have not allowed a touchdown in three consecutive games and have more than enough defense to control field position, build a bit of a lead and then pressure Manning into mistakes. Biggest question is whether it snowballs.

*Our pick: Rams 23-16


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