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Giants look to end the losing streak against the Baltimore Ravens

Photo Credit: Getty Images, Al Tielemans

 

After a 2-0 start the Giants are now headed in decidedly different direction, losing three games in a row and falling to last place in the NFC east division.  The need to get back on track with a win at Metlife stadium on Sunday cannot be underestimated as their division rivals have looked strong in recent weeks.  A loss on Sunday will extend their losing streak to four and make a playoff run that much more of a challenge.  There are two aspects of the game to focus on as the Giants attempt to get back in the win column and end their skid.

 

Eli and the offense need to put points on the board:

It may be a bit of an oversimplification to say that the Giants simply need to score more but when your quarterback has thrown 5 touchdown passes through 5 games its clear the offense is not succeeding.  In addition to just five touchdowns, Manning has thrown 4 interceptions and has a completion percentage of just over 63 percent.  It doesn’t help that the offensive line has been frequently bad and incapable of giving Manning ample time to find his receivers.  The Giants expected left tackle Ereck Flowers to take a step forward and continue to develop this season and thus far all he’s shown is his propensity for picking up penalties ( six through five games, 4 holding, 1 false start and 1 face mask ) and allowing opposing defensive lineman to get the better of him.   Right tackle Bobby Hart has not been very good either which may be a substantial reason why Eli Manning has frequently looked rushed and uncomfortable in the pocket over the past few games.  The offensive line will have to contend with the Ravens defense who are ranked in the top 10 in five defensive categories.  They are tied for 2nd in yards allowed per game – 266.8, 4th in rushing yards allowed per game – 76, 5th in passing yards allowed per game – 190.8, 7th in points allowed per game – 17.6, and tied for 5th in interceptions with 6.  Mind you the Giants are averaging 17.8 points per game and have only scored more than 20 points once through the first five games.   The Ravens offense is not a high octane offense (18.8 points per game) and Joe Flacco’s numbers this season are not especially impressive either ( 5 touchdowns, 4 Interceptions, and a completion percentage of 63).   For the Giants to win tomorrow’s game Eli and the offense will need to score more than 20 points.

 

An effective pass rush:

Through five games the Giants have only 4 sacks as a team which puts them last in NFL.  Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul each have 1.  They both have 9 defensive hurries, which does mean that on occasion they have been getting pressure on the quarterback.  The expectation at the beginning of the season was that this newly revamped defensive line would have numbers vastly exceeding what they’ve currently accomplished.  The Ravens offensive line is currently pretty banged up with left tackle Ronnie Stanley and right guard Marshal Yanda both listed as doubtful and right tackle Rick Wagner as questionable.  If the defensive line can find a way to take advantage of this and keep Flacco from developing any kind of rhythm throughout the game then the Giants will be able to limit offensive production.  The Giants defense was incapable of getting any pressure on Aaron Rodgers and he had seemingly endless amounts of time in the pocket to make decisions.  They cannot allow a repeat of that performance against the Ravens if they expect to keep the score low and prevent Flacco from having a break out game.

 

Prediction: Giants win 24-20

 

 

Dan Evans is a Contributing Writer for PureSportsNY    You can follow him on Twitter @DanEvansPSNY

 

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