First impressions of Rams’ drubbing

By | October 17, 2021

Anyone ever wonder what happens in a game in which the less talented team gets outworked, outhustled and outcoached. If you’re not sure, just re-watch the tape of the Giants 38-11 loss at home to the LA Rams Sunday afternoon. However, we shan’t be joining you; we know what we saw. Actually the Giants were competitive enough for a quarter and a bit. Indeed, they lead 3-0 just before the 10 minute mark of that second quarter, but then the roof fell in as the Rams ran off 38 straight points to remove any doubt. That included a nine-minute plus, 13-play drive to start the second that completely erased any thought that the Giants might show a little fire after the break and maybe make a bit of a game of it.

Right on cue, of course, all that set off another round of ‘fire everybody and start all over again’ rallying cries. In fact, we almost joined, but decided to wait another week with Carolina coming to NY next Sunday. Lose like that again against a middling team like the Panthers and it will be hard not to really start the finger pointing.

But let’s start with the positives. And there were a few.

  • It was great, for example, seeing Eli Manning, Tom Coughlin and the rest of the 2011 title team back for the 10th anniversary of the Giants’ 4th Super Bowl championship.
  • WR Kadarius Toney, the Giants’ #1 pick this year, looked great again – for a little over a quarter – before he had to leave the game after retweaking that ankle injury. And Sterling Shepard was solid in his return with a team-high 10 receptions for 76 yards.
  • DT Leo Williams had a couple (well 1.5) of drive-stopping sacks in the first-half and FS Xavier McKinney had a couple of picks, as well as a couple of other pass breaks. However, there just weren’t enough other big plays from the defense to make a difference.

And then there were the questions; lots of questions!

  • Maybe it wasn’t QB Daniel Jones’ worst game of his career, but it certainly was his worst outing of the year. Indeed, looked a tad like he must have been knocked woozy the previous week and the fog still hadn’t cleared. He just didn’t look like he was seeing the field at all and everything was slow coming out of his hand. And we do have to wonder what the thinking was in having one’s star QB, who really was knocked woozy the previous week, running QB sneaks. In fact, one has to wonder what the thinking was in having Jones in the game taking unnecessary hits in garbage time when the outcome had long been decided. (While we are at it, we could probably make the same case for Shepard who played right to the end, despite the fact he was coming back off a 3-week injury lay-off. It one thing to be tough. Its another to be just stupid!
  • The Giants aren’t 1-5 because of issues on the offensive line, but they certainly had their issues with Aaron Donald and company today. It started on the very first play when RT Nate Solder allowed an ole-block strip, sack (that fortunately the Giants recovered.) LT Andrew Thomas did start the game and played well early on, but was yet another key young Giant forced to leave early because of an injury. We were hoping to get some tape on Matt Peart who was flip-flopping at RT with Solder, especially when he took his first snap at LT after Thomas was hurt. First snap at LT, though, was another ‘ole’-block strip sack that did result in a game-changing turnover deep in Giants territory. Likely won’t bother to go back and watch that tape. Maybe the best news of the day on the OL was that Isaiah Wilson didn’t play. I assumed that was him when #79 came in at RT late in the game and though, okay great we’ll get some tape on him. Our heart sank when #79 completely whiffed on his first block, but it turned out that #79 is somebody named Korey Cunningham; Wilson, the talented, but enigmatic former first-rounder, is #77 and for the record is still on the practice squad so there is still hope.
  • When you lose 38-11 at home, you mostly just got outplayed, so I’m not going to run through a litany of questions about the scheme. A couple I will mention. One, on a night when Daniel Jones throws 51 passes to a largely depleted receiver corps, Evan Engram is targeted 5 times. But we did see him several times line-up as the inside TE in more than one jumbo blocking package. On the other side of the ball, we have harped on the fact all season that Jabrill Peppers struggles in coverage. And that’s when he is asked to cover TEs and RBs. For some reason today, Peppers ended up in man coverage on Rams’ WR Cooper Kupp, one of the very best route-runners in the game, in a couple of key third downs that LA converted for big gainers.

And now for a little good news. The draft is now less than 200 days away – 195 to be exact. The Giants have moved up into the #5 pick (#6 if the Jets were to lose their ‘game-in-hand) which would put them in position to get one of this year’s elite 5-6 prospects.