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Rams in the House: A History Lesson

by Mike Elwell @SpartanMike96

The Giants should come out fast and hard on Sunday. Their backs are against the wall and like a wounded animal they need to be unpredictable to win. Let’s look back at some Giants vs. Rams history.

The Giants and Rams may not be known as an epic football rivalry. The franchises represent America’s largest cities, New York and Los Angeles. And although there is some rivalry from that aspect, the best Giants wins against the Rams are not nearly as memorable as our victories over teams such as the 49ers or the Patriots. However, looking back at these wins, one word comes to mind: Significance

Honorable Mention:Battle in London – 2016

We start off this list by recapping the Giants’ most recent victory against the Rams. This game was part of the ongoing NFL International Series in London. It was the Giants’ second time ever playing in the UK. The Giants very much needed this win to stay alive in the playoff hunt. The Giants fell behind early but rebounded to score 17 unanswered points, picking off Case Keenum four times. One of these interceptions was returned for a 44-yard touchdown by 2016 All-Pro Landon Collins. To wrap up the game, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie had two endzone interceptions in the fourth quarter. This was the last year in which the Giants made the playoffs.

5. Eli Comes of Age – 2005

There is still debate about whether or not Daniel Jones has sealed his fate as the Giants franchise QB. Early in 2005, this question was still in the air for Eli Manning as well. By this year, the Rams were complete shells of their “Greatest Show on Turf” years. The Giants had some momentum with a  2-1 start but needed to prove they were contenders. The Giants struck early, as Manning connected with Plaxico Burress for a 31-yard touchdown pass. The Giants dominated, crushing the Rams’ 44-24. This game had offensive excellence, highlighted by Tiki Barber’s 128 yards rushing, 1 TD, and Plaxico Burress’ 202 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

Manning was most impressive, completing four touchdown passes with zero interceptions and 296 yards. Eli had a tough rookie season in 2004. In 2005, despite a strong start in weeks 1 and 2, he had one of his worst all-time performances in the previous week against the Chargers. The 2005 season was crucial for Eli’s development.

4. Spagnuolo’s Homecoming – 2011

On this Monday Night Football matchup, former Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo returned to the Meadowlands, now as the Rams Head Coach. The fans welcomed Spags back with applause, for Spags was known as the defensive mastermind of the Giants 2007 Super Bowl victory. Eli was picked off early in the first quarter, but the Giants’ defense stopped the bleeding with a huge goal-line stand. Down 0-3, the Giants recovered a muffed punt and turned the opportunity into 7 points with a Hakeem Nicks touchdown.

Linebacker, Michael Boley recovered a Sam Bradford fumble, taking it to the house 65 yards for a touchdown. The defense played strong all throughout the game, forcing the Rams to punt 8 times. The two final touchdowns of the game for the Giants were scored by Domenick Hixon and Brandon Jacobs to seal the win 28-16 and the first victory since the 2011 Super Bowl run. Steve Spagnuolo was eventually fired as the Rams head coach and returned to the Giants in 2015 as the Defensive Coordinator.

3. Forgotten Gem – 1979

This might be shocking to some, but the Giants actually beat the Rams in 1979. The Giants were not known for beating championship-contending teams in the 1970s. In fact, this was their first victory against an eventual NFC Champion since 1970. The Rams came in at 4-4 and would eventually finish 9-7. However, do not be fooled. This team was loaded with serious talent and gave the Pittsburgh Steelers a run for their money in the Super Bowl that year. The Giants held the Rams scoreless until the 3rd quarter when the rookie quarterback (Simms) lit it up with two touchdown passes despite being sacked 5 times. The Rams marched back with two TD’s, but were squashed when Dan Lloyd intercepted a pass from Pat Haden. It is very possible that the 2021 Rams can make the Super Bowl. If the Giants win on Sunday, fans can look back on the game in a similar fashion to the 1979 matchup.

2. Sweet Revenge – 1990

The Giants have had multiple infamous moments throughout their storied past. Few worse than the 1989 divisional playoff game when Flipper Anderson caught a game-winning TD in overtime and ran up the tunnel, never to return. The Giants got their revenge in 1990, crushing the Rams 31-7. The Giants came into the game 8-0, and easily added their 9th win of the year. Great teams have a diverse range of weapons and the Giants rolled out Mark Bavaro, Ottis Anderson, Rodney Hampton, and Lewis Tillman. Each scored a touchdown. The Giants D rattled Jim Everett to a QB rating of 28. It’s been a long time since fans could enjoy a game where the Giants are winning by enough to leave in the 3rd quarter.

Wildcard Playoff Victory – 1984

The Giants’ only playoff victory over the Rams is almost certainly the best moment in the history of this matchup. The Rams were favored to win this game, however, the Giants’ defense showed their dominance in the rematch, holding Jeff Kemp and Eric Dickerson to just 13 points. This was the Giants’ second playoff victory since 1963. During the game, it was evident that the Giants had the means to eventually be a championship-winning team, which the Giants accomplished two years later in 1986.

All in all, the Giants and Rams have had some strong matchups in their histories, particularly in their respective 1980 Hay Days. Since then, it has been very streaky, as neither team has not been particularly great. Do the Giants stand much of a chance this Sunday? The odds are certainly not in their favor. But who knows. Maybe the Giants, could reach back and grab some old mojo from the past.