NFL on Sling: Giants Will Have Rams for Breakfast, Cardinals to Feast on Seahawks

Oct 23, 2016 by Scott Ross

New York Giants (3-3) vs. Los Angeles Rams (3-3)
9:30am ET Sunday on NFL Network

It’s football for breakfast as the Giants and Rams face off in London’s Twickenham Stadium.

Six games into the season, the Giants have played five one-possession games, winning three of them by a grand total of 7 points. Last week they scored the winning touchdown on a 66-yard pass play from Eli Manning to the mercurial Odell Beckham Jr. with 1:24 to play for a 27-23 defeat of the Ravens. It was the capper to the kind of performance from OBJ that makes the nonsense worthwhile, as the All World receiver caught 8 passes for 222 and 2 TDs, accounting for more receiving yards and touchdowns than the rest of the team combined. Beckham has some extreme home/road splits, as he’s averaging 143 yards per game at home, and just 50.7 on the road – will being the on the away team in a game played in a foreign country hamper him even further? Manning aired it out all day against the Rams, connecting on 32 of 46 for 403 yards and 3 TDs, with a pair of INTs for good measure. On a side note, he’s had enough of the net.

The Rams' rollercoaster season veered into oblivion last week, as they wasted a career game from QB Case Keenum to lose to the Lions 31-28 on a late field goal. Keenum completed 27 of 32 passes for 321 yards, and 3 touchdowns, but he also threw a pick from his own 29 with a minute-nine to play. Matthew Stafford outgunned him, going 23-for-31 for 270 yards and 4 TDs, as the Rams’ secondary went MIA. Also nowhere to be found was Rams running back Todd Gurley, who carried the ball just 14 times for 58 yards, and has yet to rush for as many as 100 yards in any game this year, after doing so five times during his 2015 Rookie of the Year campaign.

If the Rams can’t beat the Lions when Keenum is at his best, there’s no way they’re gonna beat the Giants while Manning and Beckham are clicking.

Seattle Seahawks (4-1) vs. Arizona Cardinals (3-3)
8:30pm ET Sunday on NBC

For a while there, the Falcons were just having their way with the Seahawks’ vaunted secondary, to the point where Seattle’s Richard Sherman nearly blew a gasket on the sidelines following a Julio Jones touchdown, the first of three third-quarter TDs that put Atlanta up 24-17. But Sherman would regain his composure, and Russell Wilson would engineer the 18th fourth-quarter comeback of his career, first with a 70-yard drive for a touchdown midway through the quarter, and then a 24-yard drive that culminated in a go-ahead field goal with 1:51 to play.

The Cardinals last week beat up on the Jets so badly that Arizona QB Carson Palmer checked out in the fourth quarter as a precaution against a twinge in his hamstring. Meanwhile, the Jets’ Ryan Fitzpatrick was checked out by coach Todd Bowles for stinking up the joint, completing 16 of 31 for 174 yards, with his last pass of the day being an interception in the end zone late in the third quarter. But the joke was on Bowles, as backup Geno Smith threw an INT of his own to end the Jets’ final drive of the game. Palmer had a good day, hitting on 23 of 34 for 213 yards and a TD, but it was David Johnson who dominated the highlight reel with 111 yards and 3 touchdowns in 22 carries.

The Seahawks have the better record, but three of their four wins have come against three of the worst teams in the league, the Dolphins, Jets and Niners, who have a combined record of 4-14, and according to Pro Football Reference, Seattle’s played the weakest schedule of all 32 teams. The Cards have played a clearly, if only slightly, better slate of teams, and nonetheless have a better margin of victory, as well as the three-pronged attack of Palmer-Johnson-Fitzpatrick, to say nothing of a top flight defense led by Pro Bowler Patrick Peterson. Maybe if the ‘Hawks can get past these guys it’ll be easier to believe in their record

1pm Sunday on FOX

Washington Redskins (4-2) vs. Detroit Lions (3-3)
New Orleans Saints (2-3) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (3-2)
Minnesota Vikings (5-0) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (3-2)

4pm ET on FOX

San Diego Chargers (2-4) vs. Atlanta Falcons (4-2)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3) vs. San Francisco 49ers (1-5)

NFL Network is available to Sling Blue subscribers with Sports Extra;
FOX and NBC are available to Sling Blue subscribers in select markets.

All stats courtesy ESPN and Pro Football Reference.

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