What We Learned: Ravens-Giants
Four things we learned Sunday during the Giants' impressive 30-10 victory (
On Sunday, the battle within the battle was over early.
The Giants dominated the entire line of scrimmage in totaling 207 rushing yards, running the ball up the middle 11 times, to the left 11 times and to the right nine times (unofficially and not counting the two kneel-downs in the final minute). The balance kept the Ravens (6-4) defense from finding a rhythm and embarrassed a Baltimore defense that hadn't allowed more than 76 yards rushing to a team all season.
In the most misleading stat of the day, the Ravens did extend their streak to 29 games of not allowing a 100-yard rusher, with neither Bradshaw (96 yards), Jacobs (73) or Ward (41) able to break through. Try to remember this throughout the rest of the season and beyond as the Ravens PR staff continues to trot out this stat.
For the record, Flacco, who finished 20-of-33 for 164 yards with one TD and two picks, was not the reason the Ravens fell short. Flacco kept Baltimore in the game, running for 57 yards, including three for first downs in the second half. The Ravens simply weren't good enough to overcome the myriad mistakes -- blocked field goals, 10 penalties and dropped passes -- made against the
A 2-2 mark against the NFC East, along with two wins against the only teams with losing records (Cincy and Jacksonville), would leave the Ravens with 10 wins and five losses and would likely mean the Week 15 game at AFC North leader Pittsburgh wouldn't be a must-win. But dropping three of four in the NFC East, or all four, and the Ravens would put themselves in a difficult position to make the postseason.
On the flip side, the Giants appear to be in prime position for a return trip to the playoffs. But the road to home-field advantage will be tough -- New York doesn't face a team with a losing record the rest of the way (at Arizona, at Washington, vs. Philadelphia, at Dallas, vs. Carolina, at Minnesota). The Giants will definitely need a healthy Jacobs, who left Sunday's game with a sore knee, for this brutal end of the season stretch.