The NFL moves on no matter how long the injury report is ... or is not.
The New York Giants know there will be no letting up from the Los Angeles Rams in their Week 6 matchup in MetLife Stadium. The Giants suffered a string of injuries in last week's loss in Dallas, which dropped them to 1-4 on the season. The 4-1 Rams, meanwhile, come off an extended break following their Thursday night victory in Seattle.
"Obviously, this is an explosive opponent," coach Joe Judge said. "They're good on all three sides of the ball. (Rams Head Coach) Sean (McVay) does an outstanding job with the offense in terms of using his weapons. They've got a lot of them."
Here are three keys to victory for the Giants:
Stop the run.
Assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Patrick Graham called the defense's performance last week "unacceptable" after the Giants allowed 201 yards on the ground in Dallas. The Giants have allowed at least 165 yards rushing in three of their five games this season. Graham know it is a passing league, but if you don't stop the run – especially early in the game – then you play right into the offense's hands. And this week's offense is averaging a league-high 6.71 yards per play.
"In this league, it's a recipe for disaster, so that's the message," Graham said of not being able to stop the ground game. "That's the goal, we have to stop the run, especially with (Rams Head Coach) Sean (McVay) and how he does such a good job running the ball. It's a simple scheme, but those guys know how to play it. Seldom do you see unblocked players. They have a wide receiver corps that will block anybody, they'll block D-ends, they'll block linebackers, so we've got to fix it and we've got to fix it fast."
Get KT in space.
Rookie Kadarius Toney broke Odell Beckham Jr.'s franchise rookie record with 189 yards on 10 catches last week in Dallas. His 93 yards after catch in the game were the seventh-most by any NFL player this season. The Rams, meanwhile, have given up the fifth-most YAC this season, which could lead to another big outing for the first-round pick while Kenny Golladay deals with a knee injury.
"The game has become a lot more about space, and when you get a guy in space who can make people miss and make plays for you, that changes your offense," offensive coordinator Jason Garrett said. "It certainly helps protection, it helps the quarterback – it just helps your team in so many different ways."
It remains to be seen which quarterback will throw to him. Daniel Jones is in the concussion protocol and was limited in practice. He is backed up by Mike Glennon, who has started 27 games in his career.
Where is No. 99?
First and foremost, offenses need to know where defensive lineman Aaron Donald is on every play. They also cannot go into a game with just one plan against him; they need at least as many as the number of Defensive Player of the Year Awards – which is three. The six-time first-team All-Pro selection know how teams are going to play him, so they must adjust accordingly.
"This guy is always getting doubled, he's always getting a slide towards him, he's always getting chipped," Judge said. "They've always got a plan for him. What they do a great job of with him is they move him around so much and they find the matchups they want, and they make you really find him and adjust your game plan on him. You've got to play him with good fundamentals, you have to have multiple plans for him. You can't go in there and just say we're just going to do this to him. This guy is a different type of player. I mean, he's a different type of player. He's extremely strong, he's extremely fast, he's very, very active, he has a high motor, he's got great instincts. You watch him and (Rams Outside Linebacker Leonard) Floyd and the others really play off each other in the pass rush through the middle and off the edge – look, this guy is an issue. Point blank, this guy is an issue."
View rare photos of the history between the New York Giants and Los Angeles Rams.