NFL Playoffs: How NY Giants fared against divisional teams

New York Giants defensive end Leonard Williams (Image via The Record)
New York Giants defensive end Leonard Williams (Image via The Record) /
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NY Giants
New York Giants nose tackle Austin Johnson (Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports) /

Los Angeles Rams, Week 4

Result: Loss, 17-9

The Giants’ fourth game this season also marked their fourth loss.

But, this game also showed the Giants’ ability to play well against a good team, despite what the final score said. The Giants were only losing by one point until the Rams scored with 6:56 left in the fourth quarter.

The Giants outplayed the Rams in several offensive categories. Both teams had 10 offensive drives, but the Giants made more first downs (19 vs 15), had more total yards (295 vs 240), and had more time of possession (33:18 vs 26:42) than did the Rams.

But the Giants also got in their own way. They were winning the turnover battle, until Daniel Jones threw an interception in the Red Zone with under a minute to go. This was just one of four trips to the Red Zone for the NY Giants, but they came up empty in all four trips.

The Giants actually made twice as many trips to the Red Zone as did the Rams. But the Rams went 1-2 in their trips.

What worked for the Giants was holding back the Rams offense, particularly their run game. The Giants had seven tackles for loss, two sacks, and a forced fumble that they recovered. Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams combine for 11 tackles, which significantly stunted the Rams’ rushing attack.

Clearly, the Rams wanted to rush the ball just as much as they wanted to throw it. They attempted 23 runs vs 32 passing attempts. This is in line with how they defeated the Seattle Seahawks in the Wildcard round, although they rushed far more that game with two injured quarterbacks.

But where Seattle’s defense failed, the Giants offense succeeded. The Giants held the the Rams to just 58 yards rushing and 2.5 yards per attempt, while the Seahawks gave up 164 yards on 43 rushing attempts for 3.8 yards per attempt.

What hurt the Giants was the lack of touchdowns. Their nine points came on three field goals. Even the Seahawks — a team the Giants beat — scored in their lone trip to the Red Zone in the Wildcard game.

The Giants could have fared better than the Seahawks defensively, but there’s still work to be done offensively if they hope to compete under similar circumstances.

If Green Bay will beat the Rams, they’ll do so by taking a play out of the Giants’ game plan and stop the rushing attack.