By Joe Torosian
Sunday, I like the Rams over the New York Giants—38-14.
That call is based on Mike Glennon starting at quarterback for the G-Men. The Rams still win if Daniel Jones starts, but that would entail a score adjustment. (Jones, coming off a concussion, is likely to sit.)
This is a blowout waiting to happen. The offense will score, and the defense (against Glennon) should produce a pick-six or scoop & score.
But since this game is a mismatch, the Rams need to come out pounding the ball and going over the top. They don’t have to play it safe as they did a year ago with Jared Goff.
Offensively, Tutu Atwell needs to get snaps. The Rams didn’t sign DeSean Jackson to beat teams like the Giants. Jackson was brought in with the Bucs, Packers, and division rivals in mind.
McVay needs to limit Jackson’s snaps and give them to Atwell. Let the rookie burn deep and take the top off the defense. Establish the lead, and get Darrell Henderson off the field. Andrew Whitworth has played 309 of a possible 311 snaps this season. Sit him down in the second half and get Joseph Noteboom some reps. And by the end of the third quarter, get Matt Stafford on the sideline wearing a cap.
LA has the Giants, Lions, and Texans before hosting Tennessee at home on November 7th.
Note to McVay: Play to win, get the victories, but take advantage of the opportunity to rest your players.
Defensively, limit Aaron Donald’s snaps. Let him play, but with word leaking that his knee is a bit tender—don’t push it. Spot him during the contest.
And then there’s the secondary. What’s happened to Terrell Burgess? Taken in the 3rd round (104-overall-a premium pick for the Rams) in 2020, he has the athletic ability to help in coverage. He can contribute at the nickel-spot and free David Long Jr. and Robert Rochelle to play on the boundaries. If Burgess can be the guy defending in the slot, then Jalen Ramsey will be free to wreak havoc.
Finally, if the Rams could swing it, they should make the deal for Jets’ safety Marcus Maye. Everyone is screaming “corner, corner!” right now, but neither Taylor Rapp nor Jordan Fuller are playing well.
Rapp is terrible in space, consistently late, and needs to be near the line of scrimmage. But the way Raheem Morris runs the defense, the safeties are ten blocks away on every snap. Fuller was terrific last year, but he was also playing alongside John Johnson III.
I’m not giving up on Fuller, but remember he was “The Brady Pick” (199th overall) in 2020. He could still use some help—and time to learn. The Rams are deep at safety but extremely young. Maye is on a 1-year $10-rocks contract. The Rams would have to find a way to cover about half that, but they’ve only got about 1.5 available. If they can, they should. Maye would be an incredible statement to the rest of the NFC.
The Rams take “The Rosey Grier Trophy.”
The Rams lead the Giants head-to-head: 28-17-0 (including two playoff games)
In 1984 these teams met in Anaheim in the NFC Wild Card game. The Giants had a 13-3 lead in the third before Eric Dickerson scored on a 14-yard run to make it 13-10. The contest came down to a Giants’ goal-line stand. Rams HC John Robinson didn’t give the ball to Dickerson (who set the NFL record with 2,105 rushing yards that season). He gave the ball to backup Dwayne Crutchfield. Crutchfield didn’t score, and the Rams eventually lost, 16-13.
In 1990, in the Divisional Round, the Rams went to the Meadowlands and defeated the Giants, 19-13. in overtime. Jim Everett’s 30-yard touchdown pass to Flipper Anderson was the game-winner.
Days & Numbers of Future Past:
Atwell #15—(The last Ram of any note to wear #15 was Vince Ferragamo.)
Howard #32—(Jordan Fuller wore this number a year ago. Dre’ Bly wore it for the Super Bowl teams in St. Louis. Bly played in 64 games for the Rams, started only 25, but picked off 14 passes, returned three for touchdowns, and also had one scoop and score. Not bad. Cullen Bryant (1973-82, 87) and Jack Pardee (1957-1970) wore #32 with distinction.)
Burgess #26—(Mark Barron (2014-2018) was underrated but outstanding. Tye Hill (15th overall 2006 draft, 2006-2008) was an undersized bust at corner. Jon Arnett was good (1957-1973), but Wendell Tyler (1977-1982) was a star and should be better remembered by Rams fans.)
Buccaneers 28, Eagles 22:
***Even ZZ Top would sing that Philly quarterback Jalen Hurts has got legs. But those legs aren’t Lamar Jackson legs, and his arm is not Lamar’s either. They need to play out the season with him, but start thinking about future options. The Eagles have receivers, they have a back, and they have draft picks…but do they have a starting quarterback running the show right now, or just a really good change of pace backup?
***As long as Tom Brady is Tom Brady this team is special—overall. But what happens to the defense when they play a quarterback who can go down field? Oh, yeah, we saw that when they played the Rams.
***Now former Eagles tight end, Zach Ertz caught 4 passes for 29-yds and a touchdown. The veteran, in his ninth year, was sent to the Arizona Cardinals (this morning) for cornerback Tay Gowan and a fifth round pick in the 2022 draft. So Philly is looking to next year, and the Cardinals are all in for 2021.
(Winners in Bold)
Dolphins-Jaguars—This is a good return game for Tua T. plus he gets a free trip to London. Jags are progressing, but Miami is desperate.
Vikings-Panthers—Carolina will be challenged, Vikes defense is solid and has a pass rush. Cats get the win, but barely.
Chargers-Ravens—Baltimore victories have come against teams a combined 6-14. I don’t think they have the ability to match the Bolts receivers. Lamar’s legs look tired to me.
Rams-Giants—This game should be over at halftime, at the start of the fourth John Wolford should be getting snaps.
Texans-Colts-Indy has to bounce back, at home, after tough Monday night loss. Houston competes but comes up short.
Chiefs-Washington—I think the team formerly known as the Redskins can win, but KC has to win to stay in the hunt in a deep AFC West. A Chiefs loss will expose serious structural flaws.
Packers-Bears—Intense first half, but by the third Zen Rodgers will find harmony.
Bengals-Lions—This is the kind of game Cincy in the post Ken Anderson Era always loses…But they’re, now, in the Post-Post Ken Anderson Era. I like them in this one. But expect yearbook applause for Dan Campbell’s and his fighting Detroit Lions.
Cardinals-Browns—Arizona’s 31st. stopping the run. The Browns are best at running the ball. But they need to do more of it. And if they do—and if they do—they should win at home.
Cowboys-Patriots—Can Belichick concoct something? Yeah, and he will, but there’s just not enough pieces to bring down the ‘Boys. Dallas secondary’s great, but their tackling is sloppy and the pass rush and run defense is less than okay.
Raiders-Broncos—My initial pick was Denver bouncing back at home. But I get the feeling the team from Las Vegas is more ticked than defeated. This feels like an upset in Mile High.
Seahawks-Steelers—Is it too early for NBC to flex out of this game? What a waste of Al Michaels. Pittsburgh’s not great, but Seattle has nothing.
Bills-Titans—I’m having a tough time believing Buffalo can go into Arrowhead, dominate, and then lose in Nashville a week later. The Bills beat Tennessee.
(Jets, Falcons, Saints, 49ers on bye.)
Joe T. is the author of “Tangent Dreams: A High School Football Novel” … “Temple City & The Company of The Ages” … “The Dead Bug Tales” … “The Dark Norm” & “FaithViews for Storm Riders”…all five available through Amazon.com.
Follow Joe on Twitter @joet13b
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