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Can the Giants stand up to LA?
In the first week of October, the Giants travel to LA for a 4:05 kickoff with the Los Angeles Rams. With a completely reshaped roster, the Rams continue a streak of difficult opponents for New York. Will the Giants have enough firepower to outmuscle the Rams defense?
Los Angeles Rams
Draft picks: RB Cam Akers, WR Van Jefferson, LB Terrell Burgess, TE Brycen Hopkins, S Jordan Fuller, LB Clay Johnston, K Sam Sloman, G Tremayne Anchrum
Two years removed from a Super Bowl berth, the Rams are a very different squad in 2020. Star running back Todd Gurley withered away because of injury and is now a member of the Atlanta Falcons, and the defense is populated with new young studs like Jalen Ramsey. The real question now is, do the Rams still have what it takes to contend in a competitive NFC West?
2020 could be a make-or-break year for young head coach Sean McVay. With expectations high from past success, he’ll need to win early to get the ball rolling this season. This makes Week 4 an important win for the Rams, who need every opportunity to win games.
Among the crop of inconsistent young quarterbacks, Jared Goff has a lot to prove. With the offense sputtering often in 2019, Goff was an easy target to blame for their failures. Gurley’s questionable health contributed too, leading them to replace the former MVP candidate with rookie Cam Akers. The former Florida State Seminole appears to be the favorite to start over Darrell Henderson.
Offensively, the rest of the group boasts quality talent. The double-headed monster of tight ends Gerald Everett and Tyler Higbee serves as an underrated source of production for the Rams. After trading away Brandon Cooks, the best-returning receivers are Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp.
The Rams offensive unit has the pieces and coaching to be successful in 2020, but need improvement from Goff. Last year, a lot of struggling quarterbacks regained their touch after a run-in with the Giants porous secondary. While improvements were made, the young unit will have a tall task to keep Goff from regaining his confidence.
Los Angeles’ defense is where the matchup complications stand out. The Rams defensive line is led by the best defensive tackle in the NFL in Aaron Donald. He’s supported by the underrated Michael Brockers alongside him. Adding to their star power, the Rams secondary features the best young corner in the NFL in Jalen Ramsey.
2020 is the season for the Giants offense to find it’s identity. New faces on the offensive line show promise, but they will have their hands full all game facing the likes of Donald and Brockers. Protection for Daniel Jones might be scarce, and open receivers might be just as hard to find.
The early buzzsaw for Daniel Jones will continue in Week 4. Four straight weeks the Giants offense is tasked with handling above-average to elite defenses. After this Rams game, the headlines will either favor the resilience of the young quarterback or convey early frustration.