Throughout his first 12 years of his NFL career, Eli Manning has been the one stabilizing offensive force for the New York Giants.
This has continued to ring the same in his 13th campaign with the Giants who currently sit in the mix of things holding a 3-3 record through the first six weeks of the season. Despite the offense looking sporadic at times, Manning has been productive ranking second in the league in passing yards (1,788).
This has included throwing for more than 250 yards four times while holding passer rating above 100 three times. He's also coming off his best performance recording a season-high 403 on 32 of 46 completed passes with three touchdowns in a 27-23 win against the Baltimore Ravens.
However, Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams appears to honed in on the pace that the Giants' offense will play at on Sunday.
“A lot of quick counts, a lot of no huddles – we’ve been prepared for that," Williams said. "We do a good job and the head coach here does a good job of picturing those things up in practices. And we’ve already faced several teams like that, but it is fun to see when you watch how far Eli has come – a lot of these quarterbacks, if they can make it 10 years in the league and all of the sudden, from their 10 years on, if their physical skills haven’t declined, all of their mental skills are even better.
"They’ve seen so many looks, so many different ways to do things and it’s pretty hard to fool him. We just have got to go down with great technique, good toughness and hopefully to challenge as much as we can.”
Another aspect that has drawn Williams' attention is the Giants' wide receivers' ability to break free for the big play down the field after the catch. They currently rank third in total yards after the catch (957) while averaging 6.34 yards per reception.
"Very good run after catch. Not only do they catch the ball very well, but they turn in into running backs once they get a chance to catch the ball," Williams said. "They’re bigger wide receivers in body type, as far as in space. They’re able to break tackles, tremendous hand skills, good foot speed, but I don’t like defending it. But, you have to respect their running skills after they catch the ball.”
New York has a talented receiving corp that is led by two-time Pro Bowler Odell Beckham Jr., who has had a strong start to his third campaign with 35 catches for 581 yards and three touchdowns. He's also coming off a career-high 222 receiving yards on eight catches with a pair of touchdowns. He has also been a huge big-play threat currently tied for second in the league with four catches for 40-plus yards.
Sterling Shepard has shown to be an immediate impact player currently leading all rookies in receptions (26), fourth in receiving yards (302), second in touchdowns (two), and tied for fourth with four catches were for 20 or more yards. Although Victor Cruz hasn't shown the same burst that he had prior to his ACL injury, he still possesses big-play ability with four of his 19 catches this season going for 20 or more yards.
The Rams' secondary will have to venture into this daunting task with top cornerback Trumaine Johnson declared out for a second straight week due to an ankle injury. It will put undrafted rookie Troy Hill in his spot in the lineup while third-year veteran E.J. Gaines will take up the other starting job. With all this in mind, Wiliams has a strong belief that this group of cornerbacks minus Johnson can still get the job done against the Giants'explosive receivers.
"We don’t pick the personnel, but we coach the personnel. Whether it is the fifth, sixth, seventh corner on our team, they all get coached the same way," Williams said. "They’ve all grown because we have a next man up philosophy, to be able to step up, do your job in this league. If you make a team in the league, you deserve to be in this league. So, now, hopefully we can tweak a few things scheme-wise because I’ve had so many different kinds of athletics body types, hopefully schematically we can adapt to your strengths and somewhat hide your weaknesses."