4 players to watch in Rams vs. Giants

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The Los Angeles Rams will hit the road to face a hobbled New York Giants team in Week 6. Los Angeles was able to bounce back from a disheartening performance versus the Arizona Cardinals in Week 4 by defeating the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday Night Football in Week 5.

The offense of the Rams continues to hum along nicely with Matthew Stafford operating it. While Stafford misses throws here and there, he’s performed well in his first five games in Sean McVay’s offense. It doesn’t hurt to have an assortment of weapons that includes Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, Van Jefferson, DeSean Jackson, Tyler Higbee, and Darrell Henderson Jr.

Do you know what does hurt, though? Having multiple starters on offense sidelined. The Giants come into Sunday’s showdown with the Rams having Saquon Barkley and Kenny Golladay likely out, while Daniel Jones, Kadarius Toney, Sterling Shepard, and Darius Slayton are all uncertain to play.

Given the fact that several Giants players may not suit up, Los Angeles is the heavy road favorite on Sunday. Ahead of what could be labeled a ‘trap game’ for McVay’s squad, here are four players to watch on the Rams when they face the Giants in Week 6.

Darrell Henderson Jr.

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

In my four players to watch article last week, I listed Henderson as someone to keep tabs on versus the Seahawks on Thursday night. The third-year back responded by scampering for 82 yards and a touchdown on 17 attempts while adding one reception for 17 yards.

Whenever Henderson has been healthy this season, he’s definitively been a workhorse back for the Rams. That shouldn’t change in Week 6 against a Giants defense that is surrendering the fifth-most rushing yards (138.4) per game this season.

With the Rams being heavy favorites, McVay may elect to lean on the ground game more often to ease some pressure off of Stafford and the aerial attack. Maybe this is the week we finally see Henderson eclipse 100 rushing yards in 2021.

Robert Rochell

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jalen Ramsey continues to show why he’s the No. 1 cornerback in the NFL week in and week out. While Ramsey has been a consistent contributor for the Rams this season, Los Angeles is going to be without Darious Williams at the cornerback position in Week 6.

With Williams nursing an ankle injury that landed him on injured reserve, all eyes will be on rookie Robert Rochell. Rochell replaced David Long Jr. in the starting lineup in Week 5 due to Long’s struggles thus far. Until Williams returns, I would expect Rochell to move outside while we could see Long return to the nickel spot or we could finally see Terrell Burgess receive playing time.

Rochell gave up a touchdown and committed a pass interference penalty versus Seattle in Week 5, but he has a chance to bounce back moving forward. For the time being, Rochell is going to have to step up for the Rams alongside Ramsey and the other defensive backs sans Williams.

Leonard Floyd

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

I have typically listed two offensive players and two defensive players in my weekly players to watch pieces. But this week, I believe it is more about the defensive side of the ball than the offensive side for the Rams. This should be a game, especially against an injury-riddled Giants team, where Los Angeles’ defense should be able to wreak havoc for four quarters.

We all know that Aaron Donald is going to be his usual self in the interior. On the edge, Leonard Floyd is primed for a productive outing on Sunday versus the Giants. Floyd should be spending the majority of his snaps across from Nate Solder on Sunday, who has been dreadful in pass protection.

Solder has allowed 19 total pressures and two sacks in 314 offensive snaps for New York. Amid having three sacks in the first five weeks, Floyd should be able to add to that total in Week 6 against a declining offensive tackle in Solder.

Taylor Rapp

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

If you’re someone that follows along with Rams Twitter, you would know that Taylor Rapp is a popular player in discussions. For the most part, he usually is mentioned for the wrong reasons as he continues to struggle in certain moments this season.

While Rapp excels in the box and diagnosing run plays, he’s far from reliable in coverage. Rapp has been targeted a decent amount for a safety, allowing 15 receptions on 20 targets in coverage this season, per Pro Football Focus. Up to this point, Rapp has played in all but one snap for the Rams on defense this season.

But due to his woes in coverage, Rapp could begin losing snaps to Nick Scott or Burgess in the future. On Sunday, Rapp could see plenty of time covering Evan Engram and the other tight ends on the Giants. The third-year safety out of Washington will hope to put together a mistake-free game for the Rams in Week 6.

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