Just when you thought the Giants may have a bad day running the ball, they proved you wrong. Against the NFL’s number one rushing defense, the trio of Brandon Jacobs, Derrick Ward, and Ahmad Bradshaw left Ray Lewis and his teammates scratching their heads. The 207 rushing yards given up by the Ravens’ defense was the most against them in over a decade.
While the Ravens had been giving up an average of 65 yards per game, Giants running back Brandon Jacobs exceeded that rushing total in the first quarter alone. Jacobs had a pair of touchdowns before leaving with a minor leg injury. According to what I’ve heard, the injury to Jacobs is not serious, but because the Giants have several running backs and are not in a tight playoff race, they can afford to play it safe with Jacobs. Rumor has it that he may not play this week against the NFC West-leading Cardinals, which is probably the best choice.
Following Jacobs’ departure, the Giants mixed things up with Derrick Ward, who fearlessly slammed his way through the Ravens’ defensive line and had one run that went for 22 yards. Even with Jacobs and Ward shredding apart the NFL’s best defense, the Giants easily managed to throw in a little bit of Ahmad Bradshaw at the end of the game, who made some moves and broke free for a 77-yard run before being caught inside the five yard line.
After halftime, it was clear that the Ravens defense wasn’t going to let up. Although the Giants tore them apart in the first half, the Ravens came out of the locker room ready to play. They forced the Giants into a quick three and out, hoping to gain some momentum.
Gain some momentum, they did. The Ravens narrrowed the Giants lead to 20-10 on a wide open, all-alone touchdown pass to backup running back Le’Ron McClain. However, before the Ravens could steal any more momentum, Aaron Ross made his second interception of the day, a pick six, when a bobbled pass from Joe Flacco landed in his hands as he ran the ball back for a touchdown.
The once-close NFC East now has the Giants beginning to pull away. Three games ahead of each team in the division with six weeks to go has to feel good on Tom Coughlin. This week, the 9-1 Giants will travel to the site of Super Bowl XLII to face the 7-3 Arizona Cardinals, who can clinch their division with a win and some help.