If Lee Evans could catch, today’s game between the Ravens and Giants would be not only a Super Bowl XXXV rematch, but a Super Bowl XLVI rematch.
Unfortunately, as it stands, today’s contest is merely a game between the defending champions, who are moving in the wrong direction as the postseason approaches, and our purple and black, who are unfortunately doing the same.
Both squads are desperate for a victory today. Though the Ravens have locked up a playoff spot, the AFC North is still up for grabs, while the Giants have yet to even secure a their postseason berth.
HEY, YOU LOOK FAMILIAR! Key Connections
Giants head coach Tom Coughlin’s first NFL coaching job came with the Philadelphia Eagles as the team’s WRs coach in 1984, the last season of Ravens RBs coach Wilbert Montgomery’s playing career with the team. Over Montgomery’s eight years as an Eagles RB, he set franchise records for career rushing yards (6,538) and attempts (1,465).
When Montgomery was the Rams’ RBs coach (1997-2005), Giants secondary/cornerbacks coach Peter Giunta was the Rams’ DBs coach and assistant head coach/defensive coordinator from 1997-2000. The two helped St. Louis win Super Bowl XXXIV (1999) over the Tennessee Titans, 23-16. Montgomery also coached in St. Louis with Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell, who was the Rams’ secondary coach from 2003-04.
Ravens defensive line coach Clarence Brooks (2000-04) and Giants defensive line coach Robert Nunn (2000-02, 2004) coached on the defensive side of the ball for the Miami Dolphins. Brooks served as the team’s defensive line coach, while Nunn was a defensive assistant in 2000, assistant defensive line coach/quality control from 2001-02 and special assistant in 2004.
Giants QB David Carr (2002-06) and Ravens assistant offensive line coach Todd Washington (2003-05) played for the Houston Texans. Carr was the Texans’ first draft pick in franchise history, going first overall in the 2002 NFL Draft.
BY THE NUMBERS – STATISTICAL COMPARISON
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
“I thought you said he was one of the best safeties, and I was going to correct you. He is the best safety in the league and has been really for this past decade. You can kind of go on and on. [He has] unbelievable ball skills, unbelievable range, great hands. You can tell what kind of athlete he is by what he’s done once he’s got the ball in his hands – returning [turnovers] for touchdowns. [He’s a] smart player. The list goes on and on.” - Broncos QB Peyton Manning on S Ed Reed
“He’s a bruiser. He wants to do one thing – he wants to destroy linebackers, and that’s all he thinks about doing. He’s like my armed security guard. I feel like I can go anywhere with Vonta, even if it wasn’t playing football.” - RB Ray Rice on FB Vonta Leach
“Harbaugh’s greatest strengths as a coach are his attention to detail, motivation and focus, all of which are vital after an offseason like this one. Walk the halls of Ravens headquarters, and you’ll see one of Harbaugh’s favorite slogans throughout the building: W.I.N. (What’s Important Now). ‘You try to take care of business today, what’s important right now,’ Harbaugh said. ‘Today, let’s do our job, and then the future takes care of itself. That’s how it applies.’” - ESPN.com’s Jamison Hensley on John Harbaugh
“The most important thing to understand is that – and our guys understand this – every goal that we have, starting with our first goal, which is to win the AFC North, is in front of us. It’s still there, and every dream that we have, which is the ultimate dream, is still available to us. And that’s what you keep in mind. It’s a tough league for tough guys, and you have to find a way to put it behind you, improve, address the issues, own them and move on. That’s what we plan on doing. That’s really the message. It’s going to be the message now. It’s going to be the message next week. It’s going to be the message going forward.” - John Harbaugh on Week 16’s message and moving forward
GETTING TO KNOW YOU ~ Q&A with Ray Rice
What has been your favorite moment on the field so far?
“It happened this year, on my fourth-and-29 moment in San Diego. I know myself as being a playmaker, so when I got the ball, I just felt like it was time for me to make a play. I felt an emotion come over me like never before. After I found out we got the first down, there was definitely a ‘wow’ feeling.”
If you had a time machine that would work only once, what sporting event would you want to visit?
“I would have to go back and watch Michael Jordan play. Doesn’t matter the year, I would just want to watch one of his games in the NBA Finals.”
Was there a running back that you admired while growing up?
“I grew up liking Emmitt Smith and Barry Sanders. Barry was the shiftiest guy. I would watch how he would cut back across the field and make big plays. I try to model my play after several different backs now. People think because of my size I can’t run between the tackles. But, I’ve proven I can. However, I also like to show my elusiveness in open spaces, too.”
What has been your favorite community event that you do?
“Thanksgiving at the Helping Out Mission, where you help feed families. All the Thanksgiving events really are my favorite.”
What are the top three goals on your bucket list?
“First one is to win a Super Bowl. The second one would be to go to Bora Bora, and somewhere down the line, I want to buy a new Lamborghini.”
What is one activity from your childhood that you are excited to do with your daughter?
“I can’t wait to teach her how to play basketball. I’m pretty sure the one-on-one games will get pretty competitive, because I don’t like to lose – even to my little girl. She’s going to have it the roughest. I’m not going to take it easy on her. She can’t win.”
If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
“I want to be telepathic. I would be able to read everybody’s mind. I think that’s very powerful. I could tell if they had good or bad intentions.”
If you could paint a scene that you’ve imagined, what would the picture be?
“It would be at the Super Bowl with the confetti dropping. Roger Goodell would be there, and the Baltimore Ravens are Super Bowl Champions. I’ve painted that picture in my mind so many times. I’m holding the Lombardi Trophy and just accepted the MVP award.”
LAUGH OF THE WEEK AT THE EXPENSE OF RAVENS’ OPPONENT