Run game vital against Ravens
For better or worse, every December is an adventure for Giants fans.
Since Eli Manning's first full year as the starting quarterback in 2005, the team hasn't won fewer than eight games in a season. Big Blue has earned five playoff appearances in that span, but this year marks the fourth in a row that the team won't know if it is playoff-bound until Week 17.
After a demoralizing 34-0 defeat in Atlanta last Sunday, the Giants can win out and reach the playoffs. They must leave Baltimore this Sunday with a victory. Here are a few keys to the matchup.
Run, run, run
It's hard to think of a time when running was the way to beat the Ravens, but injuries and age have set Baltimore back. The once-impregnable rush defense has fallen to 26th in the rankings (132.2 ypg). For the Giants, Ahmad Bradshaw could miss his second consecutive game, leaving David Wilson and Kregg Lumpkin in on most handoffs. They combined for 21 carries and 97 yards last week, and should do more damage in Baltimore.
Right place, right time
As bad as the Giants were last week, and as unpredictable as they can be on a week-to-week basis, at least they get to play a division-leading Ravens team that hasn't won a game this month. Baltimore has lost three straight, and needed OT for their win against the San Diego Chargers on Nov. 25.
Beware of Ray Rice
Of course, the Ravens didn't win nine of its first 11 games by accident. They have talented players, none more so than running back Ray Rice. Even in what can be considered a down year, Rice has compiled 1,458 yards from scrimmage and nine touchdowns on 288 combined touches. He was held to 41 yards last week, so the Giants are sure to follow Denver's example when it comes to stopping him.