The defending World Champions proved way too much for the Ravens yesterday at the Meadowlands, humbling our purple birds 30-10. The Ravens, while a team on the rise, showed that they are not there yet, getting simply outclassed by a better group of players.
The much hyped match-up of the Ravens #1 run defense vs. the Giants #1 rushing offense was just that – all hype. Thanks to poor tackling and lack of containment, the Ravens D got absolutely embarrassed, allowing 207 rushing yards total, the most they had allowed since 1997. In a strange quirk of stats, though, no Giants runner gained over 100 yards individually – Brandon Jacobs had 73, Derrick Ward 41, and Ahmad Bradshaw 96. So, if you’re grasping for a silver lining from the game, at least we can still say that the Ravens consecutive games streak of not allowing a 100-yard runner is in tact…
On the back of Brandon “the juggernaut” Jacobs, the G-Men scored TDs on their first 3 possessions, staking a 20-0 lead midway through the 2nd quarter. That proved too much for even this new look Ravens offense to overcome, especially since they couldn’t put together anything resembling a running game of their own.
The Ravens version of the 3-headed backfield, which we had thought would be able to match the Giants’ yard-for-yard, was bottled up from the start. Case in point: when Joe Flacco is your leading rusher (57 yards), you probably are not going to win too many games.
Things actually started to look promising for a short time, though. After the Giants went up 20-0, the Ravens scored the game’s next 10 points, and were driving near midfield with the chance to make it a one-score game going into the 4th quarter. Unfortunately, Flacco’s short out pattern pass to Derrick Mason went through Mason’s hands, ricocheted off his helmet, and was intercepted by Giants CB Aaron Ross, who returned it 50 yards for the game sealing score. At that point, the Ravens seemed to pretty much pack it in, opting for conservative play calling from there on out. We’ll be interested to hear how the coaches defend what many fans may see as “giving up,” but we would speculate that it will sound a lot like this: “We didn’t think it was a good idea to start trying to throw the ball all over the field, with our young QB and a team that can get after the passer like the Giants, and with the windy conditions, and them already having 2 interceptions, and blah, blah, blah…”
It will likely be very “coach-speaky,” but it seemed pretty obvious that the staff had already moved their thoughts on to next week’s game against Philadelphia once the score was 27-10.
It’s like this:
The Ravens are a good team. We’re still convinced of that.
The New York Giants are a REALLY, REALLY good team. We are skeptical about that no longer.
Since the San Diego chargers choked and couldn’t hold on to a late lead in Pittsburgh, the Ravens once again find themselves 1 game back in the AFC North. On the bright side, 4 of the Ravens final 6 games are at home, so they are still in a very favorable position as the regular season enters its’ final weeks. They failed miserably to announce themselves as contenders to the league, as they had hoped to do, but finishing the brutal 5-of-6 on the road stretch with a mark of 4-2 (4-0 against quarterbacks not named Manning) is nothing to be ashamed of.
The Eagles, fresh off a TIE of the Cincinnati Bengals, visit M&T Bank Stadium for the first time in 8 years this Sunday. Let’s all put the stink of this game behind us quickly and hope our boys can regain their winning ways in front of a friendly crowd.