First things first, how excited do you think the Los Angeles Rams are to play overseas in London?
BG: This is a unique experience for many of the Rams players with it being their first time playing overseas. There will definitely be a different feel to the game as it will be played at Twickenham Stadium, which is known as a legendary soccer venue. The excitement level come game time will be at a new high.
Do you think it is an extra challenge to prepare for this week having to travel overseas, or does the team view it as just another business trip?
BG: There are many challenges that come with playing overseas that begin with the long flight. Once the players land, there is an immediate adjustment that is needed because of the eight-hour time difference. Keep in mind, it will be the third different time zone that the Rams will have played in over the last three weeks. Along with that, this will also throw off their sleeping patterns that will subsequently affect how their bodies respond. All in all, this may be an extra obstacle overcome, but not one that will affect how they prepare for the game.
Other than the location, the biggest story coming into this week has to be Giants CB Janoris Jenkins going up against his former team. Do you think it will be a reunion between the two sides or some hard feelings?
BG: There are plenty of reasons for Jenkins to hold some sort of grudge toward the Rams given the frustrating contract negotiation process that saw him fire his agent. He had also vented his displeasure on social media stating that the front office had disrespected him with what he believed was a low-ball offer of a five-year deal worth $45 million. A week after this mess, Jenkins accepted a five-year, $62.5 million contract, with $29 million guaranteed from the Giants.
Although many would presume that Jenkins would still have some sort of disdain toward the Rams, it came down to it just being strictly a business decision. Keep in mind, Los Angeles had already committed their only franchise tag worth $13.9 million on cornerback Trumaine Johnson. The bottom line here is that Jenkins got the contract that he desired it just happened to be from a different team.
Do you think Jenkins has the upper hand knowing the Rams receiving corps, or vice versa?
BG: Whenever a player plays against his former team for the first time, there is always going to a strong sense of familiarity. In Jenkins’ case, the Rams are still operating under defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who has built a strong reputation with his heavily reliance on blitz packages. If there’s any advantage at all, it’s the familiarity with the type of formations that the Rams run in certain situations. However, this is a double-edged sword as Los Angeles also knows his tendencies both in coverage and against the run. For example, during his four-year tenure with the Rams Jenkins developed the habit of falling victim to the double move from time to time. With that mind, expect their wide receivers to occasionally throw that into their repertoire against him.
Though it is a Rams home game and both teams are 3-3 on the year, Vegas views them as the underdog with a +2.5 spread at the moment. Do you beg to differ?
BG: First of all, it’s hard to call a game at a neutral site overseas a home game for any team. There’s no competitive advantage for either team with both having to travel to unfamiliar territory. As far as the spread goes, the Rams are coming off two consecutive losses while possessing one of the least productive offenses in the league. Meanwhile, the Giants are coming off an encouraging win over the Baltimore Ravens. The momentum is clearly favoring New York heading into this contest.
Finally, what is your prediction for Week 7?
Although Case Keenum is coming off a strong performance, the Rams’ offense has struggled to consistently produce through the first six games of the season. This along with a porous running game that features All-Pro tail back Todd Gurley, it’s hard to envision them breaking their six-game losing streak to New York. I see the Giants prevailing comfortably 23-13 over the Rams.
Behind Enemy Lines: Los Angeles Rams
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