The 4-1 Giants are back in East Rutherford after a huge win over Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in London last Sunday.
But it won’t be an easy homecoming. The 3-2 Ravens are coming to town and this Giants defense will have an enormous task going against quarterback Lamar Jackson, who could still make a run at the prestigious NFL MVP Award.
Coordinator Wink Martindale’s defense has impressed and is ninth in the NFL with 18.6 points allowed per game. But against this powerful Ravens offense (fourth in the league with 27.6 points per game), the narrative surrounding the unit could quickly change.
Martindale’s crew can’t let that happen.
Giants vs. Ravens
When: Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022
Where: MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
Radio: WFAN 101.9 FM
Giants’ keys to victory
Contain the quarterback. The Ravens find offensive success through their star quarterback. The Giants’ defense, with its Kayvon Thibodeaux-led pass rush and Xavier McKinney-led secondary, must limit Jackson’s impact if Big Blue is even going to come close to a victory.
Another Barkley masterclass. The Giants need another big game out of running back Saquon Barkley, who should assume a full workload after suffering a shoulder injury last week. The Ravens’ run defense is 12th in the league with 108.0 average rushing yards allowed. If the Giants can tire out this Baltimore front seven, Daniel Jones should be able to take advantage of a weak Ravens secondary (last with 209.2 average passing yards allowed).
Involve whoever’s healthy. Whoever is left in the Giants’ receiving corps needs to be used (this excludes Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney, who will be sidelined yet again on Sunday). Given the Ravens’ pass-defending struggles, Big Blue would benefit from involving various names, such as Darius Slayton, Richie James, David Sills, and tight end Daniel Bellinger. The same goes for Wan’Dale Robinson (questionable with a knee injury) if he’s healthy.
WFAN Sports Radio host and former Giants running back Tiki Barber said earlier this week Darius Slayton could be an X-Factor against the Ravens. And I have to agree with him.
With injuries across the board, the Giants finally got Slayton involved against the Packers. The fourth-year receiver caught six balls for 79 yards — both marks were his highest since 2020.
If Jones and Slayton can rekindle that 2019 rookie-year connection against this Ravens secondary, the Giants’ passing attack may finally find a spark.
Did you know?
Daniel Jones has never won three straight games as a starter. In fact, the Giants haven’t put together a three-game win streak since the 2016 season, the last campaign in which they made the postseason.
In Ben McAdoo’s first season as head coach, the Giants started 2-3 but rattled off six straight wins. This momentum ultimately helped them reach the playoffs as an NFC Wild Card team.
Of course, we know what happened after that: a nice little trip to Miami, the receivers took a group picture on a boat, and then they put together a lackluster showing in a playoff loss to the Packers.
The Giants have won two straight. The run game and Martindale’s defense continue to impress and will have the opportunity to add to their strong seasons against the Ravens.
However, I’m not too confident the Giants will be able to squeak out a win against arguably the best quarterback they’ve faced all year. Lamar Jackson has thrown for 1,067 yards to go with 374 rushing yards through five games. He also has a receiving corps that is a bit more talented than the weak Packers receiving corps the Giants faced last week. Not to mention the strong Ravens run game should also be a problem for New York.
Considering all that, and the fact Big Blue is dealing with various injuries in the secondary, it’s unclear if the defense will be able to truly weaken the impact of Baltimore’s offense. Ravens 27, Giants 20.