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Fact or Fiction: Predictions & keys for Sunday

FACT-OR-FICTION

Limiting Aaron Donald is priority No. 1 for the Giants.

John Schmeelk: Fact - If we are going to limit this to the Giants' offense, absolutely. Aaron Donald is a game-wrecker. The Rams line him up all along the defensive line to try to find favorable matchups. He has actually lined up more at defensive end this year than at defensive tackle. He is constantly in the backfield with three sacks, eight quarterback hits and five tackles for loss. His 29 pressures are the fifth-most in the NFL this season. The Giants need to know where he is lined up on every play and adjust accordingly. The toughest generic matchup for the Giants is slowing down the Rams passing game, which has been one of the most efficient attacks in the league this year. Matthew Stafford has been terrific, and the Rams have multiple weapons to feed in the passing game.

Dan Salomone: Fiction – Saying Aaron Donald is priority No. 1 is like reminding a football player he needs to put on shoulder pads. It goes without saying. The real key is stopping the run, especially early in the game. If the Giants don't do that, it plays right into the hands of Sean McVay.

Lance Medow: Fact - Aaron Donald is a 3-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year. He's tied for the team lead in sacks with three, has a team-best five tackles for loss and has also forced a fumble and recorded two passes defensed. The 7-time Pro Bowler can easily wreck a game because of his ability to stop the run and get to the quarterback. The Rams are even lining him up more on the edge this season to give offenses different looks. With Los Angeles' secondary losing one of its most valuable corners in Darious Williams to an ankle injury, the last thing you can afford to do is have the front seven make up for that with Donald doing much of the heavy lifting.

Matt Citak: Fiction – Aaron Donald is a force in the middle of the Rams defense, and undoubtedly has to be one of the top priorities for the Giants heading into Sunday. But the top priority for Big Blue has to be stopping the run. The Giants surrendered 201 rushing yards to the Cowboys last week, one week after giving up 170 yards on the ground to the Saints. The run defense comes into this game ranking 28th in both total rushing yards and yards per attempt allowed. That will not cut it against the Rams' explosive offense. Darrell Henderson is averaging just under 5.0 yards per carry on 15 attempts per game this year. If the Giants don't go into MetLife Stadium on Sunday with the goal of shutting down the run, the third-year running back could be in for a huge game.

The NFC West is the best division in the NFL right now.

John Schmeelk: Fiction - With Russell Wilson's injury and Trey Lance (once he returns from injury) moving in as the 49ers quarterback, they trail a deep and impressive AFC West. Despite their record, the last-place Chiefs are still the Chiefs with Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. Justin Herbert looks like a star in the making for the Chargers. The Raiders have lost two straight and are dealing with some drama, but are still a good team. The Broncos are 3-2 and have a very balanced team. The Giants drew a short straw drawing the AFC West this season.

Dan Salomone: Fact – The four teams are combined 9-3 in games outside the division. Enough said.

Lance Medow: Fiction - The NFC West showcases the league's lone unbeaten team in the Arizona Cardinals as well as the Rams, who are 4-1, but you have to look at the division as a whole, not just the top two teams. The Seahawks just lost starting quarterback Russell Wilson for a few weeks due to surgery on his finger and Niners signal caller Jimmy Garoppolo is nursing a calf injury. Both of those team's defenses have also been up-and-down. Based on those factors, the NFC West is not the best division; the spoils go to the AFC North. Not only do you have three teams with winning records but the team in last place, the Steelers, remain dangerous because of its strong track record and respectable defense. Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Pittsburgh have combined to go 7-3 at home and the Ravens are one of the hottest teams in the league (four straight wins). The AFC North is also one of just two divisions to each have three teams with a positive point differential.

Matt Citak: Fact – You could almost go fiction for this one, as the injury to Russell Wilson (which could sideline him for 4-8 weeks) is a significant blow to Seattle's playoff chances. But with everything going on in Las Vegas, along with Denver's offensive struggles, the NFC West gets the slight nod over the AFC West. The Cardinals are the only undefeated team left in the NFL, with Kyler Murray leading the way in the MVP race. Not far behind him is Matthew Stafford, who has the Rams firmly in the Super Bowl contender conversation. Those two teams are two of the best in the NFC. The 49ers sit at 2-3 following three straight losses, but they came against Green Bay, Seattle (with Wilson) and the Cardinals. Trey Lance may go through some growing pains, but the young quarterback has flashed enough in his limited action to make me believe that Kyle Shanahan can develop him into a very good signal-caller. If Wilson can return on the earlier side of that timeline mentioned above, the NFC West could have teams fighting for two wild card spots.

View rare photos of the history between the New York Giants and Los Angeles Rams.

Kadarius Toney will complete his first pass this week.

John Schmeelk: Fiction - After showing a Toney option pass two straight weeks, the Giants put that back in their pocket this week so teams don't start anticipating it. He'll complete a deep pass on a play like that soon, but it won't be this week.

Dan Salomone: Fact – The chances were higher earlier in the week, but it looks like Daniel Jones is on track to complete the concussion protocol and play on Sunday. While Joe Judge did joke that, no, Kadarius Toney is not sitting in meetings in the quarterbacks room, the opportunity might be too good to pass up if it presents itself. Remember that Toney led Mattie T. Blount (Mobile, Ala.) High School to a 20-5 record as the starting quarterback in his final two seasons and finished his prep career with 120 total touchdowns.

Lance Medow: Fiction - Who's to say he'll have another pass attempt? The Giants asked him to throw in each of the last two games, so it's fair to say the opposition is now preparing for him in that way. Although Toney came close to completing a pass to Devontae Booker last week, let's not overlook the fact that receiver Golden Tate only attempted two passes last season. It wasn't a weekly tradition but instead something they rarely tried.

Matt Citak: Fact – The Giants have run two plays in recent weeks that were designed for Toney to throw the ball. The rookie only attempted the pass on one of those two plays, which fell incomplete. This week, Toney will complete his first pass. The shifty receiver played quarterback in high school and has caught the eye of the team's quarterbacks. Mike Glennon told the media this week he saw Toney throwing the ball 70 yards down the field during the preseason. Jason Garrett and the Giants offense are going to need a few tricks up their sleeves on Sunday going up against a tough Rams defense, so don't be surprised to see a few trick plays throughout the game. Toney is likely to get another chance to throw the ball, and this time he completes it.

The Giants need to force at least two takeaways to win on Sunday.

John Schmeelk: Fact - The Rams are one of the best teams in the NFL and if the Giants want to win the game, they will need to win the turnover battle. In order to do that they are going to need at least two takeaways making this an easy "fact."

Dan Salomone: Fiction – More important than takeaways are the giveaways. The short-handed Giants can't give the Rams any extra possessions by turning over the ball.

Lance Medow: Fact - Takeaways are great but it's all about what you do with them. Last week, the Giants and Cowboys each forced two turnovers. Dallas scored 10 points off those takeaways, New York none.

Matt Citak: Fact – The Rams enter this game ranking well in the turnover department on both sides of the ball. The offense has turned over the ball just five times in five games, while the defense has forced six. Oddly enough, the Giants have the exact same turnover numbers through the first five weeks.

View photos of the New York Giants' active 53-man roster as it currently stands.

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