Last week the Ravens clinched a playoff berth even though they lost to the Broncos. This week the NY Giants come to town and the Ravens can clinch the division with a win, while the G-Men are fighting for their playoff lives. The Ravens are 2-1 all-time against the Giants with their biggest victory coming in the 2000 Super Bowl. The team’s last meeting was back in 2008 which saw the G-Men handle the Ravens 30-10.
The Ravens come into this Sunday with a must win mentality. If they lose, and the Bengals win Sunday, the Ravens week 17 match-up against the Bengals will be for the AFC North crown. Baltimore would much rather go into week 17 being the division champs than have to battle a younger, healthier Cincy team for the AFC North title.
Baltimore is entering Sunday riding a three game losing streak, which hasn’t happened since 2009. They will be looking to right the ship and correct their struggling offense to gain some momentum heading into the playoffs. The Ravens could get a huge emotional boost to the tune of Ray Lewis. Lewis may be returning from injury this week and his presence on the field would be huge.
What the Ravens need to do to win the game
Play football the way we are used to seeing the Ravens play football! Over the span of their three game losing streak the Ravens have only averaged 308 yards of offense per game and have been letting up an average of 379 yards a game. This week, Baltimore needs to get their offense on track and their running attack would be a good place to start.
The Giants are giving up 124 yards a game on the ground and Ray Rice needs to be fed the ball on Sunday. It seemed Cam Cameron didn’t like to lean on Rice as a workhorse, but since Cameron got dismissed two weeks ago and Jim Caldwell is the new Offense Coordinator, Rice’s workload will hopefully increase.
Joe Flacco is going to have to pick up his play as well. Over their three game slide, Flacco is averaging only 208 yards passing a game and only topping the 200 yard mark once. We are going to need to see the Flacco we are used to seeing Sunday if the Ravens want to clinch the AFC North. Players play, but stars win you games, and this week the Ravens stars Joe Flacco and Ray Rice need to step up and win this game.
This week’s match-up to keep an eye is going to be a battle of the QBs. Eli Manning is a two time Super Bowl winner and Flacco is fighting to prove he should be included in the short list of elite NFL QBs. This season though the numbers between Flacco and Eli and quite similar. Eli has 3,590 yards and Flacco has 3,474 yards with both attempting exactly 487 passing attempts this season. Both QBs have thrown for 20 touchdowns. Whichever QB elevates his game and the rest of their respective offense’s game will lead his team to victory.
Fantasy Sleeper of the Game
This week’s fantasy sleeper is Jacoby Jones. I have been wrong the last two times I said Jones was going to be the fantasy sleeper of the game but I have a good feeling this week. Last week against the Broncos he was the second leading receiver on the Ravens with 51 yards. This week I expect a heavier work load from Jones and I expect him to get into the end zone with a receiving TD. Now most of you are either in your Fantasy League Championship this week or sitting on the sidelines for the year, but if by some chance you need a receiver, pick up Jones. The third time’s a charm.
Early in the season no football fan in America would argue that the Ravens are the best home team in football. But they have lost their last two home games and will be looking for vengeance this week against the G-Men. The Ravens want to clinch the division title this Sunday and they will do so in a 24-21 contest that comes right down to the wire.