Written by: Tony “The Prophet” Yantosca
The Giants without Daniels Jones and Pro Bowl cornerback James Bradberry were beat by 2 touchdowns by the Browns last Sunday night. The outcome was never in doubt. Some questionable offensive decisions and a Giants team that came up small in the red zone. The Browns running tandem of Chubb and Hunt had a night off as they only combined for 71 yards rushing, Mayfield without Bradberry sliced and diced the Giants zone defense for 297 yards, 84% completion percentage on 32 passes, 2 touchdowns, and a 126.2 quarterback rating.
This week’s opponent, the Ravens, have been playing much better and need to win the next 2 games to have a chance at a playoff berth. The only way the Giants can win is to limit the run game because they are not going to stop it. They need to force the Ravens to throw more than they want. Bradberry will be covering the Ravens only deep threat, Hollywood Brown. Snead and Boykin are not much of a threat. Mark Andrews is probably the 4th best tight in the league behind Kelce, Kittle and Waller. He has had 301 yards on 22 catches on 27 targets and 2 touchdowns the past 4 weeks. Martinez and the Giants safeties will have to keep him in check. Andrews is the passing red zone target.
The Ravens are the number one rushing team and they average 174 yards/game. Lamar Jackson is the number one rushing quarterback with 828 rushing yards and 7 rushing touchdowns and the number one rusher on his team. The Ravens top two running backs have almost identical stat lines: J K Dobbins 578 yards and 6 touchdowns and Gus Edwards 568 yards and 6 touchdowns. The Giants are 6th vs the run only giving up 102 yards/game. This is the key matchup of the game. If the Giants can limit Jackson and the run game, they have a chance. Ideally you want to force Jackson to throw. They will have to keep him in the pocket the same way they bottled up and sacked Russell Wilson. They had less success vs Kyler Murray in the Arizona game.
When the Giants have the ball, they have to be successful running to keep Jackson off the field. The When the Giants were winning 4 games in a row, it was during a stretch where they had 7 straight games of over 100 yards rushing/game with a high game of 190 yards. Gallman will have to get some longer runs to keep the chains moving. Jones who has 403 yards rushing will have to break some runs when he meets the pressure vs this good Ravens front seven. Jones cannot turn into #DannyTurnover or this game is over. Jones will have to make some throws off of play action. The Ravens are middle of the pack covering tight ends. Pro Bowl selection, Evan Engram (which is a joke) will have to make some plays in this game. He has been in The Witness Protection Program the past 3 weeks only averaging 32 yards/game.
Here are the NFC Tight End Stats, for similar tight ends with better stats than Engram:
Logan Thomas, Washington, 62 Receptions, 570 yards, 5 touchdowns
Evan Engram, Giants, 54 Receptions, 572 yards, 1 touchdown
Dalton Schultz, Cowboys, 53 Receptions, 524 yards, 4touchdowns
Robert Tonyan, Packers, 49 Receptions, 551 yards, 10touchdowns
You tell me who belongs in the Pro Bowl? Engram is allergic to the end zone and he is “The King of Drops”. The voting has been a joke for years. Sometimes it takes 3 good years to get recognized. Engram had name recognition in this group. Shepard and Slayton will have to make some plays when called on during 2nd and 3rd down and long. Both did most of their damage during garbage time when the game was over in the 4th quarter last week.
In analyzing the final score, you have to factor in how well the Giants play on the road. The Giants are 9-1 their last games 10 on the road vs the spread so they keep the road games close. Off the top of my head, I think the string is 16-4 ATS the last 20 road games. It worries me if the Giants get behind, and Jones has to throw on 3rd and long, he could turn it over and this will turn out to be a blowout. The Giants defense has played better through the year and I think they can keep the Giants in this one. At the end of the day Baltimore is the superior team. Martinez and Fackrell are questionable but I think both will play. They could keep the Ravens run game in check and the lead to single digits. If Blake is out they have no chance. Williams and Lawrence will have to step up stuffing the run. The defense needs to get some turnovers to win. I am calling this one, Ravens 24 and the Giants 16.