Dec 102004

Approach to the Game – New York Giants at Baltimore Ravens, December 12, 2004: I can not imagine two worse opponents for the Giants to play right now than the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers. Because of injuries, inexperience, and/or talent deficiencies, the Giants match up very poorly with both teams on offense and defense. But let’s focus on the Ravens since that is the first game up.

The Raven defense is the best in football, superior to that of Redskins and Eagles. The Eagles held the Giants’ offense to six points and eleven first downs. The Redskins held the Giants’ offense to zero points and seven first downs. Not only are the Ravens extremely talented across the board on defense, they are coming off an embarrassing game against the Bengals where they gave up 24 points in the 4th quarter. The Raven defense will be very angry on Sunday. They are a physical, intimidating group that likes to punish and embarrass opponents. There will be no quarter given. I expect the Giants to be shut out on offense and the Giants will be fortunate to match their first down total against the Redskins.

Defensively, the Ravens, like the Steelers, are one of the few power rushing attacks left in the NFL. A depleted and talent deficient Giants’ defense allowed 211 rushing yards to what was the 24th-ranked rushing attack in the league last week. This defense has never been good at defending against the power running attack and with guys like Norman Hand, Michael Strahan, and Keith Washington out, the Ravens are going to run roughshod all over wimpy Giants, with or without HB Jamal Lewis. This will set up the passing game for the inconsistent QB Kyle Boller. The Ravens will have little problem moving the football and scoring.

Finally, even on special teams, the news is not good. The Giants have allowed two blocked punts in two weeks. And the Ravens have the best kick blocker in the league (who is also the best defensive player in the league): safety Ed Reed.

The Ravens need this game to remain in the playoff hunt. This contest is going to be so ugly that most Giants’ fans will turn off their sets by halftime. Look for a 34-0 score, with Jim Fassel looking on quite pleased. Thanks again Mr. Mara, Mr. Tisch, and Mr. Accorsi!

Giants on Offense: Only thing worth watching here is to see how Eli Manning handles adversity. If Jamaar Taylor (quad) plays, this will be good experience for him too.

Giants on Defense: Keep your eyes on DT William Joseph. Whether he will end up being a complete bust or not will depend on his ability to defend the run. Joseph will be on the spot again this weekend.

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Eric Kennedy

Eric Kennedy is Editor-in-Chief of, a publication of Big Blue Interactive, LLC. Follow @BigBlueInteract on Twitter.

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