At this point last season the Ravens were down and out with nothing promising to look forward to in the up coming season. Their defense was aging, quarterback situation in utter ruin, and many devastating injuries to key playmakers on both offense and defense. There was nothing to cheer for, no playoff hopes, and no end in sight for a dismal offense and poor play calling. Their fate was altered in the offseason when the organization decided that a change in regime was needed from the old Baltimore football which had been strangling the very fan base that made them since 2001, to a relatively unknown coach with fresh ideas and tons of energy to boot. Of course there were nay-sayers, those few who supported Brian Billick 100%. You would have thought, and right fully so, that the Ravens could go shot for shot with any offense, I mean facts are facts, they had two coach’s running their offense (Brian Billick and Jim Fassel) who had faced each other a few years back when the Ravens defeated the Giants and were crowned Super Bowl Champions. It took a special teams coach from Philadelphia (John Harbaugh) and a coach (Cam Cameron) with a 1-15 record just a year earlier to turn this offense around. I know many fans circled this date on their calendars’ when the Ravens schedule was released simply because they were facing the Super Bowl Champions. Others, like I, looked to this game as a release, a release from the downward spiral the Ravens were thrown into after their Super Bowl XXXV victory of the Giants and a release from the tyrannical offense of once Giants Head Coach Jim Fassel.
The Baltimore Ravens (6 – 3) get the chance this week to exercise their demons as they head away from home to face the New York Giants (8 – 1). Both teams come into this game boasting two of the best defenses in the league as well as dominating rushing attacks. The Giants must contain Willis McGahee, Ray Rice, and Le'Ron McClain if they hope to beat the Ravens this week. The Ravens have contained numerous rushers throughout their streak of not allowing a 100 yd rusher and I don’t see Brandon Jacobs, Derrick Ward, or Ahmad Bradshaw (Earth, Wind, & Fire) being able to end the streak. Joe Flacco had been nothing short of impressive in the past four games throwing for six touchdowns and no interceptions. Todd Heap as well as the offensive line has stepped up in a big way these past couple of weeks and have this offense clicking. The Giants defense has been suffocating as of late and leads the NFL in sacks. This is an ultimate test os strentghs with the Giants damging rushing offense against the unmovable force that is the Ravens rushing defense.
KEY MATCHUP – Ravens OFFENSIVE LINE vs. Giants DEFENSIVE LINE – The Ravens must control the battle up front to allow the running game to get going and give Flacco the time he needs to find his open receivers down field.
PREDICTION – Baltimore Ravens 21 – New York Giants 20