St. Louis Rams Vs. New York Giants: A Holiday Wish List

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Dec 7, 2014; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Giants fan expresses his Christmas wish prior to the game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

With the Holiday Season upon us, we wanted to change up our weekly routine, switching from our typical “Bold Predictions” to a more festive “Holiday Wish List.” With the St. Louis Rams already out of the playoffs, the rest of the season is simply an opportunity to a) build confidence and momentum for 2015 and b) ensure a handful of individual talents get recognized for their regular season contributions. Taking both of those into consideration, here are four things we’re marking on our wish list for this evening.

Eli Manning to take 5 or more sacks

As it currently stands, the St. Louis Rams are tied with a slew of teams for 11th overall in sacks this season. However, with another 5.0+ sack performance, the Rams will either jump into or be on the fringe of the Top 5 for the third-consecutive season. After the slow start to the year, there is practically no chance they’ll catch the league-leading Bills or Eagles. A nearly-the-top finish would suffice, particularly for a group that was without Chris Long for a majority of the year.

Aaron Donald registers another sack

As it currently stands, the top graded defensive tackle and front-runner for Defensive Rookie of the Year has recorded one sack in five-consecutive games. In fact, since becoming a starter in Week 6, Donald has managed one sack in 7-of-9 games. For some reason, some still see players like Khalil Mack and C.J. Mosley as worthy adversaries to the Rams’ interior powerhouse, despite him leading all rookies in almost every meaningful category applicable to a defensive lineman (i.e. sacks, tackles for loss. etc.). Another dominant game, one that will likely set a handful of rookie records, and Donald should be a shoe-in for the award.

New York Giants do not score an offensive touchdown

The St. Louis Rams have not allowed an offensive touchdown in for 12-straight quarters. In fact, in that time, they have pitched two shutouts and allowing only 12 total points in three games. The Rams unit is finally getting recognition as one of the top units in the league, but continuing this (obviously) league-leading streak of no-touchdowns-allowed quarters would only help to bolster that reputation. More importantly, expanding that streak alive will keep the Rams recently-stagnant offense in the game, and give the team a chance to win this evening.

Johnny Hekker notches 3+ punts inside the 20, allow zero return yards, and average 45+ net yards per punt

As it currently stands, Johnny Hekker is Top 5 in nearly every meaningful punting category and should be well on his way to his second-consecutive Pro Bowl and receiving his second-consecutive All Pro nomination. However, by notching the above numbers, it should allow Hekker jump into the either the No. 1 spot, or at least the Top 3, in every category. As of right now, he is 2nd in punts inside the 20 yard line, trailing Donnie Jones by two on the season. Hekker and the return unit are 6th in return yards allowed, but can easily move into the Top 3 with a zero yard performance Sunday and a 10- or 20-yard day from a handful of the units above him. Lastly, with several punts today resulting in a 45.0+ net yard punting average, it should move Hekker’s total on the season to around 43.0. That would slot him No.3, and would give him back-to-back 43.0+ net average years; likely a record in the modern era.