Ravens over Giants; The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
With strong performances on both sides of the ball, the Baltimore Ravens beat the New York Giants 33-14. With the win, the Ravens have won the AFC North for the 2nd straight season.
I went into this game believing the Ravens would have trouble with the Giants pass rushing abilities. This led me to thinking the Ravens needed to either be conservative, and concentrate on running the ball between the tackles in 2 TE sets; or being aggressive and spreading the field.
What the Ravens did today, was run their no-huddle offense to perfection. They had New York struggling to get set at the line, and make defensive adjustments. Flacco found a vulnerability in the Giants Secondary, and continued to attack. The offense made a statement right away on the opening drive, as they marched 73 yards for the score, and converted four different 3rd downs.
The 10-5 Ravens head to Cincinnati next week. The Bengals have won 6 of their past 7 games, with their defense playing lights out since the start of November. This will be a rematch of the Week 1 game that the Ravens won 44-13 in Baltimore.
1) The Ravens forced a 3 an out on the Giants first series. Graham had good coverage on Nix on 1st down. On 2nd down, Suggs and others wrapped up Bradshaw. A Suggs penalty wiped out a sack from Ellerbe, and set up 3rd and 2. However, Chykie Brown and others sealed the edge, and made the tackle for loss on Bradshaw to set up the punt.
2) Baltimore’s first series started with Flacco finding Boldin on an easy throw for 6 yards. Rice made something out of nothing on 2nd down for 3 more. On 3rd and 1, Flacco pitched to Rice for 14 yards taking the ball to midfield. A drop down to Rice gained another 7 yards. After another drop down to Rice, the Ravens faced 3rd and 4. Flacco stared down Anthony Allen, but Allen was able to move the chains; getting 5 yards on the grab. Pierce went to the right side for 5 yards, taking the ball to the Giants 35. He followed with another 18 yards down the sideline, moving to New York 17. Off play-action, Flacco attempted to find Jones in the end zone, but was not able to complete that pass. On a cut-back, Rice picked up another 5 yards to set up 3rd and 5 from the NY 12. Flacco would find Jones on a quick strike, picking up 7 yards, and another 3rd down conversion. On 3st and Goal from the 5, Flacco found Smith over the middle for the Touchdown! All things considered, this might have been the most impressive drive of the year. 14 plays, 73 yards, 5 and 1/2 minutes off the clock, with four 3rd down conversions. This gave Baltimore the 7-0 lead.
3) Nice job from the Baltimore defense on the Giants 2nd series as well. Another 3 and out, with Ihedigbo getting pressure on 3rd down. Jones would take the Giants punt 13 yards, and into New York territory.
4) On the Ravens 2nd drive, they continued to work on Webster. Smith used a double move to come up with a 43 yard completion to the Giants 1. Flacco would rush up the middle for the score, and the 14 (with the extra-point) lead.
5) With the 14-0 lead, Upshaw ripped Wilson to the ground on the Kickoff.
6) On the Giants 1st drive of the 2nd Quarter, Ngata got his 5th sack of the year. The sack of Manning was a loss of 15 yards for the Giants. New York would face 3rd and long, and be forced to punt.
7) Following a 3 and out on their previous series, the Ravens 1st drive of the 2nd Quarter started off on a more positive note. Flacco quickly found Smith for 11 yards and a 1st. Rolling out to his right, Flacco moved the chains again on a 13 yard pass to Boldin. On 2nd and 5, Rice found a large hole, rushing for 19 yards to the left. On 3rd and 18, Flacco and Boldin connected in the seam for 39 yards to the Giants 9. A perfect back shoulder throw to Jones could have counted for the Ravens 3rd score of the game, but was reversed on review. Having to settle for a FG felt like a loss, but of course having faced 3rd and 18 earlier on the drive; getting any points was a win. The Ravens took the 17-7 lead.
8) Following the Ravens 2nd Quarter FG, the Giants were again forced to punt on the following drive.
9) The Ravens started their 2nd drive of the 2nd Quarter from their 32 with 3:15 left on the clock. Flacco carved up the Giants, as he marched the Ravens down the field. Using the no-huddle to perfection, the Ravens were able to negate the Giants pass rush. The 7 play, 76 yard drive culminated with Rice catching a slant over the middle for 27 yards for the score. The series started with Smith gaining 21 yards on 1st down. One of the more important plays of the drive, was Boldin catching a 3 yard pass on 3rd and 2 from the 47. With the TD, the Ravens took a 24-7 lead.
10) Ayanbadejo sacked Manning as the 1st half was coming to a close.
11) The 1st half went about as perfect as a Ravens fan could ask for. Baltimore had 16 1st downs, compared to the Giants 4. Baltimore was 6 of 8 on 3rd down, while NY was 0 for 5. The Ravens had 289 yards of offense, while the Giants were limited to 109.
12) During the Ravens 2nd drive of the 3rd Quarter, Boldin picked up a 1st down with a 3rd down catch. On 3rd and 20, Flacco escaped pressure, and Pitta for 36 yards down the sidelines. On 3rd and 9, Boldin picked up another 3rd down conversion with 16 yards over the middle on his diving grab. Tucker’s 2nd FG gave the Ravens a 27-7 lead.
13) Nice coverage from C. Brown on Hixon, and Nix on the Giants 3rd series of the 3rd Quarter. Later on that drive, Kruger would get pressure off the edge. On 3rd down, O. Brown got the sack on Manning.
14) On 2nd and 5 on the Ravens 3rd series of the 3rd, Pitta had a 7 yard grab for a 1st. On 3rd and 7, Rice ended the Quarter with a 17 yard catch. As FOX’s Joe Buck said, the Giants were just getting ripped apart. On 3rd and 1, Pitta gained 6 more. The 6 minute drive ended with Tucker’s 3rd FG, and a 30-7 Ravens lead.
15) While the scheme helped, the offensive line deserves credit for the blocking they provided, allowing Flacco the time necessary to make plays on 3rd down.
16) The Ravens offense was unbelievably great on 3rd down today, converting 11 of 17 opportunities.
16a) The Ravens defense held the Giants to 1 of 9 on 3rd down.
17) Baltimore put up 530+ yards of offense, while limiting the Giants to just 186. With all of the 3rd down conversions, the Ravens were able to completely control the clock, holding the ball for 38+ minutes.
18) Pierce followed a block from Leach, going between the tackles for 78 yards. Tucker’s 4th FG made it 33-7, with 7:25 to go.
19) Flacco was 25 of 36 for 309 yards, 2 TD’s passing, 1 TD rushing.
20) Pierce and Rice both went over 100 yards rushing. Rice had 30 touches today.
1) The Ravens went 3 and out on their 3rd drive, coming off of the Giants first score. On 2nd down, Flacco did not deliver a particularly easy pass to Smith, and Smith did not help things by unnecessarily attempting a 1 handed catch.
2) Baltimore received the 2nd half Kickoff, leading by 17. It was an opportunity to really put the game out of reach with a good drive. However, the Ravens quickly went 3 and out and had to punt.
3) Ihedigbo was charged with holding on the Ravens first punt of the 2nd half.
4) Smith was charged with a personal foul on a block, wiping out a decent offensive gain from Dickson.
5) On the Ravens 2nd drive of the 3rd Quarter, Oher was called for multiple penalties.
6) After reaching the Giants 3rd yard line, the Ravens had to settle for a FG on their 2nd drive of the 3rd Quarter.
7) Boldin left the game with a shoulder injury.
8) Up 33-7 with 7+ minutes in the 4th, there was really no reason for the Ravens to have starting players in the game.
9) Will Ed Reed’s 4th Quarter penalty cost him availability next week?
1) With all the momentum in their corner, the Ravens and Cary Williams allowed a 43 yard connection to Randle on the Giants 3rd drive. That was followed by 9 more yards to Dixon, and a 7 yard completion to Bennett. On 2nd and 6 from the 14, David Wilson exploded to the end zone. This made it a 14-7 game.