Giants (5-9) Ravens
Baltimore Ravens had a 26-0 half-time lead over the Jacksonville Jaguars in their
game on Sunday. They finished up with a 40-14 win, and have now won three straight
On Sunday night the Giants took their second loss in a row. The Cleveland
Browns had them down 13-3 at the half, and the final score was 20-6.
Cleveland Browns team owner Art Modell moved his team to Baltimore. Cleveland
retained the name Browns, the team's colors, logo and records. Modell referred
to his new team as the "Baltimore Somethings", and launched a fan contest to select
a name. His team became the Baltimore Ravens.
They did not do well that first
year finishing 4-12, but four years later in 2000 they reversed that number, finishing
second in the division with a 12-4 record.
Baltimore won the wild card and
divisional playoffs, and the AFC Championship game. They finished off the season
with a win over the Giants in Super Bowl XXXV. Since then, they've been to the
playoffs 11 more times, winning in Super Bowl XLVII with quarterback Joe Flacco.
Flacco was the Ravens first round draft pick in 2008, and he took the team to
the playoffs five straight years before becoming a Super Bowl MVP.
showed they know how to pick quarterbacks when they selected Lamar Jackson in
the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Jackson took over the starting role when
Flacco was injured that year, and became the youngest quarterback to start in
a playoff game. In 2019 Flacco was traded to the Denver Broncos, and in 2020 Flacco
signed on with the Jets.
You could say it's all about Lamar Jackson, the league's most valuable player
in 2019. Jackson took his team to first place in the division and to the playoffs.
You could say he literally took them, as he set a record for the most rushing
yards in a season by a quarterback. Jackson also led the league with 36 touchdown
passes. Jackson's trying to do it again. He leads all NFL quarterbacks with 828
rushing yards, and has scored 7 touchdowns on the ground. He's also thrown 21
The Ravens are a run first team, and just as he had last
year, Jackson leads the team in rushing yards. Gus Edwards is the second leading
rusher, and rookie second round pick J.K. Dobbins, is just behind him and both
have 6 rushing touchdowns.
Tight end Marc Andrews led the team last season
with 64 catches for 852 yards and had the most touchdowns -10. This year Andrews
has 48 catches, and 34 of them have been first downs. Wide receiver Marquise Brown
leads the team with 49 receptions and 703 receiving yards, and has 5 touchdowns.
their numbers have dropped slightly in terms of passing defense, rushing defense
and points allowed, compared to last year, they are still good. The one that matters
the most is points allowed, and they rank 5th in the league, giving up 20.5 points
They blitz more than any other team, and with 33, look to match last
years sack output of 37. Outside linebacker Matthew Judon leads the team with
5 sacks, and defensive end Calais Campbell has 4. Rookie inside linebacker Patrick
Queen has 3 sacks, and Yannick Ngakoue, acquired by the Ravens in midseason has
3 with the team, to go with the 5 he had playing with the Vikings.
secondary cornerback Marlon Humphrey does a great job in coverage, and also has
Cornerback Marcus Peters is tied with linebacker Tyus Bowser for
the team lead, with 3 interceptions.
Safety Chuck Clark has 1.5 sacks and
2 forced fumbles, and safety DeShon Elliott has 2.5 sacks. Cornerback Jimmy Smith
has allowed only 17 catches for 131 yards and no touchdowns. However, Smith is
out for this game, and Peters, who was inactive for the first time in his career
last week, is listed as questionable.
Where is it? They've scored only
13 points in the last two games. It hardly matters if you have the best defense
in the league, you're not going to win any games if you can't put up points. The
Giants have had only one passing touchdown in their past four games, and a grand
total of 9 on the season.
Daniel Jones missed the last game after suffering
an additional ankle injury to go with his previously strained right hamstring.
All indications seem to have him starting in this game in Baltimore, one that
the Giants at this point can't afford to lose. They can really use his throwing
arm, as the Ravens defensive secondary will be without cornerback Jimmy Smith,
and possibly cornerback Marcus Peters.
The Giants offensive line is the difference
maker. They allowed just one sack last week. If they can get things going their
way with some good run blocking for Wayne Gallman, and buy just a little extra
time for Jones to make the throws he's capable of, that will go a long way. Jones
will be without his fourth leading receiver
Golden Tate, who will not play because of a calf injury.
week the Giants had to play against the Cleveland Browns, a team that had averaged
over 40 points in their last two games. Now they're facing one that has averaged
over 40 points in their last three games. Sometimes it doesn't always seem fair
the way things happen to work out in the NFL. That felt especially so with the
Giants having to do without top cornerback James Bradberry in the secondary last
Sunday. Without a good pass rush, Baker Mayfield was able to complete 27 of his
32 passes for 297 yards, 2 touchdowns and no interceptions.
The defense did
sell out a bit. Focused on shutting down the Browns third ranked running game,
they held them to just 106 yards on 30 carries, and their plan did limit Cleveland's
scoring to just 20 points. If Bradberry was available, it likely would have been
less. Last year the Ravens led the league in rushing yards per game, and this
year it's the same story. They lead the league. On Sunday, the defensive plan
might have to be the same, but Bradberry will be on the field. Even with that
though, the Giants need more up front. They have had only 2 total sacks and 5
quarterback hits in the past two games.
The Giants are still in the race as are all
the other teams in the NFC East. Washington is in control. If they win their next
two games, the division is theirs. As for this Sunday, the Giants are still in
it if they win this game with the Ravens, even if Washington wins over the Carolina
Panthers. On the other hand, a Giants loss and a Washington victory will give
Washington the division title. The oddsmakers see things going that way. Well
there it is, the Giants will just have to beat the odds.
Sunday at 1:00pm Giants (5-9)
at Ravens (9-5).
Sunday at 4:05pm Panthers (4-10) at Washington (6-8).
at 4:25pm Eagles (4-9-1) at Cowboys (5-9).
Washington and the Eagles are the
NFC East teams favored to win in these games.
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Ravens tied the NFL high with 7 players named to the Pro Bowl.
Lamar Jackson is the only QB in NFL history with at least 800 yards rushing in
DEC 27 Giants at Baltimore
3 Cowboys at Giants