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Rams vs. Giants Monday Night Football: Will Eli Manning Perform on Big Stage?

Jeffrey SchmidtCorrespondent IIISeptember 19, 2011

Rams vs. Giants Monday Night Football: Will Eli Manning Perform on Big Stage?

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    Tonight's Monday Night Football battle will feature two of the NFL's most banged up teams in the New York Giants and the St. Louis Rams.

    Eli Manning will look to prove that he can perform on the big stage, while Sam Bradford will get a chance to show the nation that he can be an elite quarterback in this league.

    Both squads are entering the game with a record of 0-1 after lackluster performances, and the Rams may have to have to overcome the loss of their best player, Steven Jackson, who is listed as questionable.

    Eli Manning will have to have a brilliant game to shake some of his critics, and here are four reasons why Eli will preform well on Monday night.

The Ground Game Will Be Improved

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    The Giants offense was in flux last week and failed to get the ground game going against the Washington Redskins.

    Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs combined for only 19 carries in the contest, which is something that Kevin Gilbride must change for tonight's game.

    I believe the two will combine for over 30 carries tonight, which will set up Eli Manning with the opportunity to showcase his elite play-action game.

The Giants Defense Will Provide Better Field Position

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    The Giants defense was carved up by Rex Grossman and clearly struggled as a unit during Week 1 against the Redskins.

    Justin Tuck was sidelined last Sunday with a neck injury, but he is ready to lead a ferocious pass-rush.

    I believe Tuck to wreak havoc on Sam Bradford and cause him to make ill-advised throws. The Giants defense will force two turnovers tonight, and Eli Manning will capitalize on them.

Victor Cruz, Domenik Hixon and Brandon Stokley Will Have a Larger Roles

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    Victor Cruz dropped a pass that would have given the Giants a clutch first down last week, and Eli Manning never looked his way again.

    Hixon hauled in two catches but failed to make a decisive impact, and the Giants picked up free agent wide receiver Brandon Stokley because of it.

    With Hakeem Nicks a little banged up, these three guys will have to produce if the Giants want to have a chance.

Been There Done That

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    Eli Manning has played on the biggest stages and has performed well on them.

    The quarterback had no help from his offense line and ground game in Week 1, but I expect all that to change with an extra day of preparation. 

    The Giants and Eli will come out with a sense of urgency especially with Washington and Dallas winning the day before.

    Prediction for Eli Manning: 265 yards and two touchdown passes.

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