Traveling to MetLife Stadium following consecutive home losses with a ridiculous number of key starters unavailable due to injury, the odds were stacked against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 6. The crippling injuries, including the loss of Jimmy Smith and Terrell Suggs during the game, were too much for the team to overcome.
On the opening possession, the Ravens trotted out a patchwork offensive line comprised of Alex Lewis, John Urschel, Jeremy Zuttah, Ryan Jensen and James Hurst from left to right. Joe Flacco went deep for Breshad Perriman, resulting in a 41-yard gain on the first third down of the contest. Kyle Juszczyk converted another third down but Dennis Pitta was stopped short of the end zone, leading to a 23-yard chip shot field goal for Justin Tucker.
Eric Weddle caused an Odell Beckham fumble that Zach Orr recovered on the Giants first offensive play. Then, the Ravens offense put together an efficient drive and cashed-in with a short Terrance West touchdown. Baltimore led 10-0 less than 10 minutes into the contest.
A swarming Ravens defense had the Giants fans booing their team in the first quarter after they forced three-and-outs on consecutive Giants drives. Newly promoted offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg’s play calling was superb early on, establishing the running game and helping Flacco spread the ball around. While the Ravens were able to effectively flip field position, penalties stalled a couple promising drives in the first half.
After trading punts, Jimmy Smith broke up a deep shot to Beckham, but was knocked out of the game with a concussion soon thereafter. With Smith out, the Giants finally found their offensive rhythm and scored a touchdown against Tavon Young in man coverage. The Giants blitzes found Flacco late in the second quarter, but Ravens reserve corner Will Davis intercepted Eli Manning to end the half with the Ravens leading 10-7.
In the second half, the Giants exploited the Ravens defensive injuries with a no-huddle passing attack. Still, the Ravens goal line defense stood tall and held New York to a game tying field goal. The Ravens offense was unable to answer after more frustrating penalties.
Momentum was with the Giants late in the third quarter, until Tavon Young made a great play to intercept Manning. On the ensuing drive, the Ravens were unable to earn a first down and had to settle for another field goal. Trailing by three, Beckham beat Davis for a 75-yard touchdown.
Suddenly, this penalty and injury marred game opened up. Mornhinweg dialed up a successful deep pass to Mike Wallace down the sideline. But the Ravens did not come away with points after John Harbaugh gambled on the first play of the fourth quarter, and West was stuffed on 4th and goal.
After an interception slipped through Shareece Wright’s grasp, Eric Weddle made another sure tackle short of the sticks to force a punt. With the Ravens missing C.J. Mosley, Weddle was a stabilizing presence on defense all afternoon.
Given another opportunity to claim the lead, Wallace drew a long pass interference penalty but the patchwork offensive line allowed pressure to get to Flacco and Tucker made the score 17-16 Giants.
Unfortunately, Manning immediately connected on another long pass to Beckham. And the injuries continued to pile up on defense when Wright went to the sideline and Terrell Suggs hurt his shoulder on the Ravens first sack late in the fourth quarter. The Giants extended their lead to four with a field goal.
The Ravens took over with less than six minutes on the clock and Kamar Aiken caught a jump ball on fourth down. Next, Flacco targeted Perriman in the end zone and the play caused another defensive pass interference. Right before the two minute warning, Terrance West punched in a crucial touchdown that put the Ravens ahead 23-20.
The Ravens injury ravaged defense could not hold the slim lead. Beckham caught an intermediate pass and outran the Ravens defense for a 66-yard touchdown giving the Giants a very late 27-23 lead.
With precious little time remaining on the clock, Flacco moved the ball down the field with several underneath passes. A roughing the passer penalty gave the Ravens life after an incompletion on fourth down. Ultimately, Flacco threw incomplete into the end zone on successive plays to end the game.
The Ravens missed an opportunity to gain a game on all of their divisional opponents, since the entire AFC North lost in Week 6. Baltimore hopes to stop the bleeding when they return to New Jersey next Sunday against the Jets.