With Miami pulling off a miracle win last night in Las Vegas, the Ravens came into today’s game still needing some help to get into the playoffs. More importantly, they needed Weeks 16 and 17 to go in the win column to give themselves a higher likelihood of securing a playoff berth.
This has not been a team that makes excuses all year, and facing a relatively weak New York Giants squad allowed for none. Let’s see how it turned out:
The Ravens got the ball to start the game, which has been unlucky for them this year as all of their losses started off that way. The first drive was a methodical one, with Greg Roman and Lamar Jackson spread the ball around to seven different players as they chipped away at the grass in front of them.
After marching 76 yards down the field, Lamar threw a pretty floater to Marquise Brown in the corner of the end zone for his 11th touchdown contribution of the last four games. This was also Brown’s fourth touchdown reception of the last five games, a great sight to see for a guy who has faced a lot of scrutiny over the course of the season.
Lights, Camera, Action Jackson to Hollywood❗️❗️— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) December 27, 2020
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The offense got the ball back quickly after the defense forced a quick three-and-out. The Ravens once again chiseled the field away with ease, including big runs from Jackson and Dobbins and a tough catch from tough-catch-expert Willie Snead IV before Dobbins punched it in for six. It was the rookie sensation’s fifth straight game with a score.
JK ALL DAY ❗️❗️— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) December 27, 2020
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The game was quickly 14-0 in favor of the hometown squad, very reminiscent of their 2019 dominance.The defense made quick work of the Giants offense yet again, allowing two first downs before a dropped pass saw the punt unit come out on the field.
Gus Edwards started the next drive with a bang, slamming a defender’s face mask into the dirt before picking up five yards. For a third straight drive, the Ravens offense worked their way down the field with precision. Mark Andrews was a big factor, making two big catches to move the chains, but unfortunately was not rewarded with a score. Justin Tucker got his pitching wedge out and chipped through a 20-yarder with ease to put the good guys up by three scores.
The Giants finally managed to cross midfield on their third possession, but it only resulted in three points as the Ravens defense held strong on the goal line to force a fourth down.
The Ravens took possession of the ball for a final time in the first half, up 17-3 with 1:08 left on the clock. Mark Andrews came out of the gates hot, catching a pass on the first play and another on the second wherein he wrestled the ball away from a Giants defender before rumbling down the field for a 25-yard gain. A big 20-yard run from Lamar set the offense up on New York’s 10 yard line, but he wasn’t able to jam one in to Andrews on the goal line and Tucker came out once again for an easy three points.
The Ravens went into the locker room with a healthy 20-3 lead after scoring on every possession in the first half.
The second half started off great for the Ravens with Jihad Ward collecting his third sack of the season on the Giants’ first play. New York went three-and-out shortly after to cement another great drive by the defense.
Gus Edwards again started the offense out on the right foot with a big 32-yard run, but the drive stalled out shortly after.
A delay of game penalty wiped away the ensuing field goal attempt, forcing the Ravens to punt it away.
The Ravens secondary began to sustain injuries on their opening drive of the second half and it translated to a steady drive from the Giants. Despite their success, the drive was saved for the Ravens after consecutive tackles for loss with Pro-Bowler Matthew Judon busting through a block to stonewall a screen pass and Justin Madubuike bringing down Daniel Jones for his first career sack.
The Giants were forced to attempt a field goal and former Raven Graham Gano knocked it through to narrow the score to 20-6 in Baltimore’s favor.
After a short kickoff, the Ravens got to start out on their own 41 yard line. They would not waste this opportunity, riding the Gus Bus with Dobbins at the wheel to move in position for Dez Bryant to get his second touchdown catch in as many weeks.
An injured Marlon Humphrey rejoined the defense on the following possession and made a beautiful pass breakup deep down the field on the first play. After three consecutive sacks by Judon, Pernell McPhee and Chris Board—with assistance from Calais Campbell and Tramon Williams—the Giants were forced to punt it away. Unfortunately, Justice Hill caught a roughing the kicker penalty to give the Giants new life.
This—plus some extra penalties the Ravens picked up just for kicks—would prove detrimental as the Giants swiftly moved into opposing territory and down inside the five before tossing an easy touchdown to Sterling Shepard.
The mental mistakes would help New York cut their deficit to 27-13 with 8:40 left in the game. This misfortune would compound on the Ravens’ following drive after the Giants defense quickly forced their first three-and-out of the day.
The Ravens defense held strong as well, allowing a first down on the first play before forcing a turnover on downs after a second Chris Board sack on third down. Gus Edwards continued to make his case for WR1 on the following Ravens drive, going up for a tough catch and busting through some tackles to pick up 27 yards down the right sideline.
He nearly put the ball in the end zone a few plays later on another great run, but was stopped just short. This would prove to make a difference when Edwards and Jackson fumbled the ball away on a goal line handoff two plays later.
The Giants offense immediately got a boost from John Hussey’s crew, picking up an incredibly suspect pass interference call on Chuck Clark to get some breathing room on their first play. Despite this, the game was effectively ended when a fourth down pass by Daniel Jones fell incomplete.
Ravens win 27-13 to move to 10-5 on the season.
The Ravens extended their streak of wins when up 14 at halftime to 97. To add a cherry on top of the win, both the Colts and Browns faced defeat, moving the Ravens out of the playoff hunt and into a wildcard spot.
All the Ravens have to do now is handle business next Sunday against a downtrodden Bengals squad to lock up a date in the postseason. However, as many in Baltimore know, a Week 17 divisional matchup with playoffs on the line is far from an easy task.