You could classify the Ravens chances against the New York Giants as slightly below upset, and well above ‘no chance in hell.’ Both teams have a propensity to do things they aren’t built to do. The Giants, under Tom Coughlin, aren’t built to play down to competition. But in three games against the AFC North, the Giants have played it close in two wins against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals, and choked it against the Cleveland Browns.
On the Ravens side, they appear to be so maniacal about stopping the run, they give up big plays in the passing game. They are too thin at corner to become too wrapped up in their “smack-the-line-around” philosophy, and they can’t get too hung up about the bounty that is likely sweeping through Owings Mills on Brandon Jacobs. They have to be balanced at every level to compete with the Giants.
Offensively, this will be the first real test for Joe Flacco’s decision making since the Flacco Debacle against the Indianapolis Colts. The Giants are tough at linebacker and tough on the edges, which should make for plenty of quick throws from Flacco. But if the Ravens can work screen plays and quick routes across the middle, they will have a chance to open things up to the outside for Ray Rice and Willis McGahee, and create chances for scoring.
Or, you could expect a good ol’ fashioned slobber knocker, where the first team to capitalize on a fumble by the other team will win. Either way, Ravens-Giants should be closer than the experts expect.