I can't recall the last time I've seen this many significant injuries to any one team after one week. The Green Bay Packers come to mind a season ago, but their injuries didn't all occur at once.
Despite the injuries, expect the Rams to be very competitive in this game. At first glance you think that St. Louis would be pummeled by what may be a better New York Giant team. If you watched the Giants play the Redskins last week, you can see there is clear reason for optimism.
Rex Grossman, I repeat Rex Grossman, threw for 305 yards and two touchdowns against the Giants. Are you kidding me? Grossman averaged 166 yards a game with 40 touchdowns to 40 interceptions before that game. I'm not buying the whole rebirth of Rex Grossman since he has only had a positive TD to INT ratio 3 times in his 9 year career. This was just a poor outing for New York.
Also, ex-Arizona Cardinal Tim Hightower had his way with the New York defense. Hightower has had his moments in the past, but if he could have that kind of success running the ball, than the more talented Cadillac Williams should have his way as well.
Need I say more than Eli Manning? Every time it appears that Eli is ready to take that next step, he doesn't. Plain and simple Manning will turn the ball over in this game. After a two turnover performance against the Redskins, it appears that Eli may be trying to break his personal best of 30 turnovers. With the way the Rams pass rush was a week ago, it could be a field day for the Rams defense.
Thunder and lighting, or earth and fire, or whatever they're called now could be the main problem for St. Louis. The Rams' run defense was phenomenal last week until they let LeSean McCoy go for over 90 yards in the fourth quarter. Ahmad Bradshaw shouldn't be too much of an issue this week seeing how the Rams were able to limit McCoy's similar style last week. Brandon Jacobs is a different story. He is 260 pounds of man, and his continued punishment could wear down the defense.
Where the Rams have a glaring whole this week is in the secondary. Starting corner Ron Bartell may be done for the year with broken bones in his neck. Bradley Fletcher, who starts opposite him, injured his toe and it's unclear if he will play. That means the next guy up is 36 year old Al Harris. Yikes! All Eli Manning has to do is find a way to get Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham the ball and it could spell trouble for St. Louis.
The final concern for St. Louis is how they deal with the New York Giant pass rush. New York collected four sacks last week; all without Justin Tuck. Jason Smith, St. Louis' starting tackle, will either be playing gimpy or on the bench. This is the definition of match-up nightmare. Hopefully, for Sam Bradford's sake, the Rams have fixed the problems that plagued them against the Eagles.
What are the Rams chances of winning this game? Despite the injuries, I'd say around 50%. The Giants have home field advantage, and the Rams may not have anybody to stop Hakeem Nicks. The opportunity is there for St. Louis offensively, they just have to exceed everybody's expectations this week.