current subscribers Register me
not a subscriber? See my options

current subscribers Register me
not a subscriber? See my options

already a subscriber? Register me
Subscribe now See my options
National Football League
Preview
N.Y. Giants at St. Louis
When: 4:05 PM ET, Sunday, December 21, 2014
Where: Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis, Missouri

Something has to give Sunday when Odell Beckham Jr. and the New York Giants visit the St. Louis Rams and their dominating defense. Beckham scored three touchdowns last week, increasing the chances that he will be named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year as he now has nine TDs - six in his last four games. The Rams, meanwhile, have not given up a touchdown in three straight weeks and have allowed a total of 46 points in their last five games.

The defensive line for St. Louis includes another impressive rookie, defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who was drafted 13th overall - one spot after Beckham. “They’ve got an awesome D-line and all four guys can stop the run and rush the passer,” New York guard John Jerry told the media. “So we’ve definitely got our work cut out for us this week.” Rams coach Jeff Fisher knows that his players have their work cut out for them as well in trying to defend Beckham, a player that Fisher called "an outstanding young talent" with no weaknesses in his game.

TV: 4:05 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Rams -5. O/U: 43.5

ABOUT THE GIANTS (5-9): New York has won two straight games following a seven-game losing streak behind the great play of Beckham, who has 23 catches for 273 yards and four scores over the last two weeks. Since the start of November, Beckham has at least six catches and at least 90 yards in every game and that strong play has coincided with a mini-resurgence for Eli Manning, who needs five TD passes to match his career high of 31. The Giants' defense also has played better of late, allowing a total of 20 points in the last two games, although the team still ranks 30th in the NFL against the run.

ABOUT THE RAMS (6-8): St. Louis has not played since Dec. 11, when it allowed four field goals in a 12-6 loss to Arizona after posting back-to-back shutouts against Oakland and Washington in its previous two games. The defensive turnaround is even more stunning considering that the Rams, in their first nine games, allowed 34 points four times and 31 points two other times. The Rams' offense is fairly limited under journeyman Shaun Hill, who has not thrown for more than 229 yards in any of his five starts this year, although Stedman Bailey is one player who has stepped up with 19 catches for 310 catches and a touchdown over the last four games.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Bailey had a total of eight catches for 86 yards and no touchdowns over his first eight games this season.

2. Donald has eight sacks, which ranks third among all NFL defensive tackles and leads all NFL rookies.

3. Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul has six sacks in his last three games following a four-game stretch in which he failed to bring down the opposing quarterback.

PREDICTION: Giants 16, Rams 13
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf OT Div Conf
N.Y. Giants 5-9 W2 22.6 24.2 3-4 2-5 2-2 3-7 0-0 2-3 3-7
St. Louis 6-8 L1 20.8 21.2 3-4 3-4 3-4 3-4 0-0 2-3 4-6
Last Meeting
N.Y. Giants St. Louis
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
9/19/11 STL 16 NYG 28 323 119 204 367 59 308
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
N.Y. Giants E. Manning 63.3 223 2 1
St. Louis S. Bradford 47.8 331 1 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
N.Y. Giants A. Bradshaw 15 59 3.9 0
St. Louis C. Williams 13 36 2.8 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
N.Y. Giants M. Manningham 3 56 18.7 0
St. Louis D. Alexander 3 122 40.7 1
Touchdowns Player TD
N.Y. Giants M. Boley 1
St. Louis D. Alexander 1
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
N.Y. Giants E. Manning 63.2 3590 26 13
St. Louis A. Davis 63.4 2001 12 9
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
N.Y. Giants R. Jennings 157 606 3.9 4
St. Louis T. Mason 155 661 4.3 3
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
N.Y. Giants O. Beckham 71 972 13.7 9
St. Louis K. Britt 35 607 17.3 3
Touchdowns Player TD
N.Y. Giants O. Beckham 9
St. Louis B. Cunningham 4