The New York Giants are having a magical season thus far with a 4-1 record after five games. Last week win over the Green Bay Packers was a defining moment and now many football analyst have joined the Giants bandwagon as a legit playoff team. The Giants will once again be tested with the 3-2 Baltimore Ravens coming to town, led by Quarterback and former MVP Lamar Jackson.
A victory against the Ravens will surely enhance the Giants respectability around the league and also give them more wins with 5 than they had for the entire season in 2021. However; it won’t be easy as Baltimore presents a lot of problems on both sides of the ball. Here are my top 5 ways the Giants could secure a win to extend their winning streak to 3:
- Keeping Lamar Jackson in the Pocket: It’s no secret that Lamar Jackson is arguably the best dual threat at the quarterback position in the NFL. I don’t expect the Giants defense to shut down the former MVP, but I believe former Ravens DC Wink Martindale will devise an efficient defensive game plan to hinder and minimize the damage and put the Giants in a better position for the win. Keeping Jackson from freewheeling outside of the pocket is essential.
- Giants having a Balance Offensive attack: Last week Quarterback Daniel Jones finally threw for over 200 yards and was instrumental on two key drives in the 2nd half which led to touchdowns. I believe HC Brian Daboll and OC Mike Kafka will continue to open the playbook for Jones and against team like the Ravens that have allowing 425 yards per game with most of that through the air; we could see Jones throw for 250 yards or possibly more. Lastly, I see RB Saquan Barkley once again being a major cog for the Giants offense; with more emphasis in the passing game.
- Limit & Make Big Plays/Penalties: Lamar Jackson is all about making big plays; especially with his legs and I certainly don’t believe the Giants can stop him, I do believe they can limit him from making too many big plays that could decide the game in the Ravens favor. On the other side of the coin, the Giants offense will need to make a couple of big plays; whether that’s from the arm or legs of Daniel Jones or from Saquan Barkley. Defensively, the Giants must continue to put as much pressure on Jackson and limit his time in the pocket and force him to throw the ball into coverage. Lastly, the Giants have committed more the double the penalties than the Ravens (37/17) and they must minimize this flaw to prevent extending drives for the Ravens offense.
- Red Zone Efficiency/Special Teams: The Giants have been much better in the Red Zone this season and must continue this trend against the Ravens. Settling for field goals instead of touchdowns could be the difference maker in this game as both team’s feature elite kickers with Justin Tucker and Graham Gano. I expect the Giants and Ravens to be equal in the red zone department and this game could boil down to the kicking game.
- Time of Possession: The Giants did a great job against the Packers last week by keeping the ball away from Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense; especially in the 2nd half. That recipe of success could go a long way against the Ravens as well by keeping Jackson on the sidelines as much as possible.
This game will not be easy for either team as I expect another typical close game by the Giants. Field position could be fatal and of course limiting the turnovers as well. The Giants thus far have not been a fast-starting team and have been extremely good in the 2nd half.
I believe this formula could catch up with them in a bad way and they need to start games with more urgency and perform better. I expect this to begin against the Ravens to avoid playing from behind. Again, this game seems evenly matched, and we could see a late field goal to decide the outcome with two elite kickers I’m leaning towards the Giants to pull out the upset behind Gano’s right leg. Final Score: Giants-23/Ravens-20