- Eli is getting familiar with an unfamiliar Rams team. **
Only three of quarterback Eli Manning's 176 career starts (including postseason) have come against the St. Louis Rams, in 2005, 2008, and, most recently, in 2011. More of them wouldn't hurt as Manning is undefeated in those games, throwing a total of nine touchdowns to one interception with a combined passer rating of 115.5. However, this will be his first time facing the Rams under head coach Jeff Fisher, who took over in 2012.
"They are talented," Manning said. "They have a good defense. It is not just their front seven. Their defensive backs are playing well and are aggressive. They have done a great job of getting to the quarterback lately. Stopping the run. They'll get complex and show you a lot of different looks, so you have a lot of preparation to do. It is a team we are not really familiar with. We haven't played them in a long time, so I have to get really familiar with their personnel and their schemes and we have to have a great plan."
2. Injury report.
After placing linebacker Jacquian Williams and offensive tackle James Brewer on injured reserve yesterday, running back Rashad Jennings (ankle) and linebacker Jameel McClain (knee) were the only Giants on Wednesday's injury report and did not practice.
3. Jennings: It's frustrating, obviously.
On the first play from scrimmage last Sunday against Washington, Jennings re-aggravated an ankle injury that has now limited him to just three carries in two weeks.
"It's frustrating, obviously," Jennings said today. "That's what it was." But the positive veteran running back said he feels great despite missing practice. "We've got two more games and I'm putting myself in position to finish strong in both of them," he said. "And that's kind of my attitude."
*4. Coughlin on Fisher. *
Since their first full seasons as head coaches in 1995, Coughlin and Fisher have raced up the NFL's all-time victories list to 13th and 14th, respectively, in regular-season games. But Coughlin's lead is slim, winning 163 games to Fisher's 162. Head to head, Fisher leads 9-7.
"The expectation is of a very physical football game, a game in which you have to be prepared at any time for some type of special teams gadget play," Coughlin said of coaching against Fisher. "As you remember early in the year, they ran the exceptional punt return against Seattle, which was very well devised. Jeff Fisher is an excellent football coach and we've played against him for many years."
*5. Fisher on Coughlin. *
Know your opponent for the Giants Week 16 matchup vs. the St. Louis Rams
On a conference call with Giants beat reporters, Fisher was asked about the competition between the two coaches and their longevity in the league. "I have great respect for Coach," Fisher said. "I have known him for a long time. We have had some great battles over the years. We haven't played him recently. However, his teams are always well coached, disciplined and his teams are highlighted by outstanding defenses and wherever he has been, he has had a quarterback that can win games.
"I visit with Tom during the offseason at the meetings and I really enjoy our visit. I don't think people know that we did a USO tour together in Iraq for seven to ten days. He hasn't changed. He just keeps winning. He has won two Super Bowls since our AFC South days."
*6. Beckham has Rolle's vote for Offensive Rookie of the Year. *
While Beckham continues to set records and pick up awards on a weekly basis, he has entered into the conversation for Offensive Rookie of the Year. Teammate and defensive co-captain Antrel Rolle was asked if the rookie wide receiver has his vote.
"There is no doubt about it, no doubt about it," Rolle said. "There have been some rookies out there obviously making some splash. Mike Evans, a couple other names, but what Odell Beckham Jr. has done in the short period of time that he has been out there because he battled from injuries at the beginning of the year. The sky is the limit for this guy man.
"I think what he has done for this team and just for the league itself has been phenomenal. I am not just saying that just because he is my teammate, I am saying it because, outside looking in, I am sure everyone else sees it the same way. Absolutely, there is no doubt about it. Rookie of the year, Pro Bowl, you name it, I definitely put him up there right now with the elite receivers in this league. He is a threat."
7. Weatherford honored by Walter Payton Man of the Year nomination.
Punter Steve Weatherford was announced yesterday as the Giants' nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, which honors players for their philanthropic work. After three finalists are selected next month, the winner will be announced during the Fourth Annual NFL Honors awards show on Saturday, Jan. 31.
"Believe me, I am incredibly honored even to be nominated and there are a lot of guys in the National Football League, regardless of their position, who are worthy of winning the award," Weatherford said. "Just to be one of the top 32 guys, being viewed as most philanthropic in giving to the community… that's good enough for me. I'd love to be a finalist and win it, but just to be one of the top 32 is an honor that I'll cherish forever."