For the first time since the 2006 season, the St. Louis Rams will be showcased on the prime stage—Monday Night Football—tonight in New York City against Eli Manning and the Giants at 7:30 central time on ESPN.
With a win, the Rams would even up their record at 1-1 before heading home to face the Baltimore Ravens next Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome and move into a first-place tie with San Francisco and Arizona in the NFC West.
The Rams offense, led by Sam Bradford, will get a boost with the return of tight end Mike Hoomanawanui.
Hoomanawanui missed Week 1 with a calf injury. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is excited about his return. He is a big target in the passing game and is a stout run blocker.
His return will allow McDaniels to deploy his desired two tight end packages with the duo of his liking: Hoomanawanui with rookie tight end Lance Kendricks.
St. Louis also expects starting corner Bradley Fletcher, starting right tackle Jason Smith and reserve linebacker Josh Hull to be available for action tonight. All are listed as probable.
Pro Bowl running back Steven Jackson is still listed as questionable and will be a game-time decision.
If he cannot go, the Rams will start Cadillac Williams in his place.
Williams filled in nicely in Week 1 after Jackson went down with a strained quad after two runs. Cadillac compiled 91 yards on the ground plus 49 receiving yards in that game against the Eagles.
It will be interesting to see what impact rookie defensive end Robert Quinn and second year wide receiver Danario Alexander might have tonight. They were controversial game day inactives in week one against the Eagles.
It's never too early to start looking at action from around the NFC West.
Yesterday, all went well for the St. Louis Rams in that regard.
It was a rough day for Seattle all the way around. Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson threw for just 159 yards, as wide receiver Sidney Rice missed another game to injury. The Seahawks running game was anemic: Jackson led the ground game with a total of 12 rushing yards. The Seahawks will return home to face the Arizona Cardinals in Week 3.
Speaking of the Cardinals, they dropped a heartbreaker in Washington D.C. against the Redskins.
Losing 22-21, the Cardinals fell to 1-1 on the 2011 campaign. Kolb threw for two touchdowns and connected with Pro Bowl wideout Larry Fitzgerald seven times for 133 yards.and a touchdown. However, it was not enough, as the Redskins rallied late for the win.
Alex Smith threw for two touchdowns but the 49ers defense failed them late in the game. San Francisco travels to Cincinnati to battle the Bengals in Week 3.
As for St. Louis, there are six key areas that the Rams need to successfully scratch off of their game day to-do list to come home from the Big Apple with a win. Those are detailed here: Monday Night Football St. Louis Rams: 6-Pack for Success Against NY Giants
Shane Gray is a passionate St. Louis Rams fan and covers the Rams year round. To check out the rest of his work, go here.