How much did the loss of Kadarius Toney impact the Giants’ plans on offense?
A lot. Like, a whole lot. And the Giants weren’t shy about sharing that.
"He was a big part of it going in," Daniel Jones said of the rookie wide receiver.
Toney caught three passes for 36 yards in the game’s first eight plays but aggravated an ankle injury when he was tackled out of bounds and did not return to the game.
Toney had emerged as a triple threat for the Giants, not just catching passes but throwing them and running the ball from quarterback on direct snaps. The team never had a chance to tap into any of that before he left.
"He’s been playing at a high level and made an impact there early on," Jones said. "We missed him."
What happened to Andrew Thomas?
The starting left tackle came into the game nursing a foot injury that had him listed as questionable and then hurt his ankle in the second quarter when he had it rolled up on during a running play. He left the game and did not return.
Who replaced him?
Matt Peart, who made an immediate impact on the game. On his first snap, he was beaten by Ogbonnia Okoronkwo for a sack that resulted in a fumble by Jones. Peart had a good chance to recover the loose ball but could not, allowing the Rams to get the ball at the Giants’ 12 and setting up the touchdown that made it 14-3.
Is that part of the reason the Giants lost, because they were without most of their playmakers and their best protector in the passing game?
Yes, but they wouldn’t admit to it. "Our job is not to get discouraged or deflated based on a player going out," Joe Judge said. "You don’t want to see someone get hurt, but in terms of something happening and the air going out of the room, we can’t be that way. We have faith in all the guys in the locker room."
The Rams pulled their starting quarterback in the fourth quarter but the Giants kept theirs in even though he suffered a concussion a week ago. Why?
"Because we’re going to compete for 60 minutes," Judge said.
Even so, the Giants shied away from calling any designed runs to the outside for Jones, who had three carries (he was 1-for-2 on QB sneaks). He finished with a season-low 4 rushing yards.
What is the mood of the team?
"I can’t say morale is great," safety Logan Ryan said. "But what you don’t have is splintering. You don’t have selfishness. You don’t have guys in corners complaining. I think guys are voicing it and guys are unified and believe that we want to do better and play better. I don’t feel like we have that kind of cancerous locker room."