As the Baltimore Ravens get ready to battle the New York Giants, Baltimore Beatdown takes on Big Blue View, SB Natin's blog on the New York Giants.
Thanks go out to Edward Valentine, Editor-in Chief of Big Blue View, for giving me his take in a Q&A on this weekend's game when his New York Giants come to M&T Bank Stadium to play the Baltimore Ravens with playoff implication riding on the outcome for both teams.
1. In their two Super Bowl winning seasons, the Giants got hot at the end of the season on their way to hoisting the Lombardi Trophy. Is this one of those years?
Well, if they are going to win it is going to have to be. It is soooooooo frustrating to watch this team go through this type of thing year after year. I just don't know how a team that can be sooo good can play soooo bad so often.
2. How can Eli Manning look so good one week and so bad the next?
Your guess is as good as mine. Here is a little of something I wrote earlier in the week:
I think this is how I have come to see Manning. He is a great quarterback who makes more bad decisions, bad throws and has more bad games than any great quarterback I have ever watched other than Brett Favre. His ups and downs are a huge part of the inconsistency of the Giants' offense, and both the Giants and their fans just have to live with it.
3. The pass rush has always been the defensive strength. Is it still and if not, then why?
Well, it remains what the defense is built around and the question is why the Giants' sack numbers are down so much. The declining play of Justin Tuck is a concern, but there are other issues. You have to defend the run to put teams in situations where it's not 3rd and 2, and the Giants haven't done that. You have to score points offensively when you have opportunities, to get leads and put teams in position where they have to pass. The Giants haven't done that. You have to win the field position battle. The Giants haven't consistently done that, either.
4. How do the Ravens attack the Giants defense and stop the Giants offense?
Attack the defense two ways. First, run the football right at the Giants. Right up the gut, down their throat, however you want to say it and see if they can man up and deal with it. They haven't done that very well lately. Second, take shots deep down the field -- especially in the direction of Corey Webster.
5. Name one player on each side of the ball Ravens fans might not know but should watch.
Defensively, I would say Stevie Brown. The Giants got this guy as a pretty much unknown free agent from the Colts and he has 7 interceptions, 2 fumble recovers and 2 forced fumbles in 10 starts at safety. He a terrific ballhawk.
Offensively, left tackle Will Beatty is not really a guy who gets a lot of notice but he has only surrendered 2 sacks all season.
Check out their blog for some more great articles on the game from the enemy's point of view.