TODAY'S PAPER

New York Giants’ tough road no easier with Los Angeles Rams coming to visit

Sterling Shepard is on track to return to the field for the first time since Oct. 8. / Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Even a long break may not boost the Giants’ chance of earning victory No. 2 this season.

Although Big Blue is coming off their bye, the Rams will come to MetLife Stadium on Sunday also fresh off their weekend respite. Considering the Giants (1-6) lost their most recent game, 24-7 to the Seahawks and the Rams (5-2) blasted the Cardinals, 33-0, it’s clear which team has more momentum.

Here’s a look at the three biggest challenges the Giants face this weekend.

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Wide margin

While Sterling Shepard, the Giants’ most talented receiver not on IR, is expected to play for the first time in a month, he may have to deal with Kayvon Webster hounding him all day. That’s not the softest matchup against a cornerback in the midst of a career-best campaign for Los Angeles.

Gurley man

Rams running back Todd Gurley is on pace for more than 2,000 yards from scrimmage. Although the Giants have bottled up elite back before, Big Blue’s offense but stay on the field long enough to give the defense a rest. If not, Gurley has the tools to punish a worn down unit in the second half, both on the ground and through the air.

Manning down

Forget 300-yard games; Eli Manning might settle for crossing the 200-yard mark this weekend. His last two passing yardage totals (134 against Seattle, 128 against the Broncos) pale in comparison to the two-time Super Bowl winner’s standout games from his prime. Considering the Rams rank fourth in passing yards allowed this season, don’t be stunned by another paltry passing total from Manning, who turns 37 in January.