The League

David Larimer
Two-time defending Gameday pick-em champion

David Larimer

An assistant NFL editor at the The Washington Post

N.Y. Giants at St. Louis, Week 2


Sunday, 1 p.m.

The Giants, whose run to the Super Bowl title last season was fueled by a remarkable 11-game winning streak in road games, will try to extend that to 12 with their first road contest of this season.

Fortunately for them, the Rams' Edward Jones Dome isn't nearly the Thunderdome it once was, what with "the Greatest Show on Turf" long since having pulled up stakes. It's part of a relatively cushy six-game stretch to open the season for the Giants: After the Rams are the borderline anarchic Bengals at home; a bye week; a visit from the beat-up, travel-averse Seahawks; at Cleveland; and back at home against the woeful 49ers. While, after a dominant first quarter, they were in many ways just good enough to beat the Redskins, 16-7, in their season opener, it appears the Giants won't have to be world-beaters to open the season 5-1.

As for the Rams, the goal is much more simple, according to quarterback Marc Bulger, who told reporters, "I want to prove we're not that bad."

"That bad" would be their 38-3 shellacking last week at Philadelphia, the worst opening loss in the franchise's 71-year history. The defense allowed 522 total yards, 3 100-yard receivers, 28 first downs and a 57 percent conversion rate on third downs (8 of 14). The offense, drawn up by former Redskins offensive coordinator Al Saunders, gained only 166 yards and committed six false starts. The Rams' average distance from moving the chains on third downs was 10 yards. Not surprisingly, their first 10 possessions ended in punts and they finished the game 0 for 11 on third-down attempts.

St. Louis also lost wide receiver Drew Bennett for up to six weeks with a broken foot. On Wednesday, the Rams filled in for Bennett by signing Eddie Kennison, 35, who was let go by the Chiefs in February.

Until the Rams prove they're "not that bad," they should expect the same defensive approach today as they saw in Philadelphia. After all, the Giants' defensive coordinator, Steve Spagnuolo, spent eight seasons on the staff of the Eagles' defensive boss, Jim Johnson, before coming to New York last season.

By David Larimer  |  September 12, 2008; 2:00 PM ET  | Category:  Post Gameday Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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