The Baltimore Ravens (3-2) travel to take on the New York Giants (4-1) for an inter-conference battle from MetLife Stadium, the Ravens’ first of the 2022 season. The game also marks the second trip to the Meadowlands this season. The Ravens beat the Jets, 24-9, in Week 1.
The Ravens lead the regular season series vs. the G-Men, (4-2), including a (2-2) mark under head coach John Harbaugh. These clubs last met during the 2020 campaign, with Baltimore prevailing 27-13 at M&T Bank Stadium.
The Ravens are currently listed as 5 ½ point road favorites. The over/under is 45.
So last Sunday was Hayden’s revenge and this Sunday, it’s Wink Martindale’s turn. Now you know that October 16 has been circled on Wink’s calendar since he landed the DC gig with the Giants. It’s human nature to want to prove the person who handed you a pink slip, wrong. And for Wink that person is of course John Harbaugh. If the two were to square off in an amateur MMA cage, I’d bet on Wink. But fortunately for John and the Ravens, that’s not how this one will be decided.
It could be argued that the Ravens could be (5-0) if not for 14 of the most miserable seconds in franchise history. We all know that they’re not but what we do know is that to beat the Ravens teams need to throw the football. And that’s something that Daniel Jones & The G-Men don’t do very well. This game will be no different.
• Lamar Jackson has averaged 7.9 yards per attempt with seven scores and one pick against the blitz this season, and blitz is what Martindale does. Moreover, in his 12 career starts vs. the NFC, Lamar has produced 26 total TDs (20 pass & 6 rush), 2,167 passing yards and 1,115 rushing yards. Lamar will throw for 215 yards including 3 scoring tosses – one to Devin Duvernay and two to Mark Andrews. He’ll rush for another 80 yards.
• J.K. Dobbins workload will increase to 18 carries but it will be enough for him to crack the century mark. He’ll outpace Public Enemy No. 1, aka Saquon Barkley in yardage totals, by the number on J.K.’s jersey.
• Remember that revenge factor? It will be in play but the benefactor will be Jason Pierre-Paul who registers his second sack as a Raven against the team that drafted JPP. It will be a costly sack too, as Odafe Oweh picks up the resulting Daniel Jones fumble and takes it in for a score.
- Lamar is (12-0) against the NFC
- The Ravens (13-2) straight up in their last 15 games vs NFC teams.
- The Giants are (5-14) straight up in their last 19 October games.
- The UNDER is (7-1) in the Giants last 8 home games.
Lamar’s streak continues!
FINAL SCORE: Ravens 31, Giants 13
This one looks to be a bit tougher than it appeared before the season started, largely thanks to an old friend in Wink Martindale, a new head coach in Brian Daboll and the resurgence of running back Saquon Barkley. Still, I think the Ravens are a better team.
The Giants have given up 131.6 yards a game on the ground this season, which is 26th in the league, but don’t assume the Ravens will be able to just run power over the heart of their defense with ease. Dexter Lawrence is a monster inside, and he’s posted a PFF grade of 89.6, playing strong against both the run and the pass. Still, Greg Roman should be able to get creative again in the run game, and hopefully Devin Duvernay will continue to get touches to make the Giants respect the edges and gut. On offense, the Ravens need to worry about Martindale’s blitzes and, maybe more importantly, the fake blitzes that drop someone unexpected into coverage. This will be a battle of familiarity. Let’s look at some bold predictions:
• Lamar Jackson gets right this week and jumps back into the top of MVP discussions. Jackson will throw for more than 225 yards and three touchdowns, and run for another 110 and a touchdown.
• Demarcus Robinson gets Wink’s defense on a double-move on third and short, exploding for a 65-plus yard touchdown.
• Odafe Oweh picks up two sacks on the day and forces out a fumble.
• Kyle Hamilton gets his first pick, ranging over to steal a pass Daniel Jones makes on the run.
Ravens 31 Giants 16
The Ravens go on the road this week and go back to the worst field in the league up in NY.
This is a sneaky big game now that the Giants are 4-1, coming off a win vs. the Packers.
The Giants are led by Saquon Barkley, who is finally healthy and looking great in the run and passing game. Over half of his yards have come before any contact occurs, which tells you the o-line has been playing well. On top of that, the Ravens brought in Michael Pierce to help with the run stopping up front and with him out, it hurts things.
The Giants defense, led by former Ravens DC Wink Martindale, is playing well. They’re a very good pass defense and they are generating a lot of pressure. They also have Kayvon Thibodeaux back and he is a difference maker.
Now, with all of that said, I think we need to pull in the reins some on this Giants team. They have four wins and three of them were against Tennessee (looking better lately but terrible early), Carolina and Chicago. And their 4th win was against an overrated Packers team with very few weapons. In other words, the idea that the pass defense has been good is a little overrated because they have faced some of the worst passing offenses in the league.
The talk has been, “can the Ravens stop Barkley?” The bigger question, for me, is will Barkley get a chance to get going? The Ravens have been good early and if they can get out to a big lead, the Giants may be forced to throw the ball. Now, to their credit, the Giants are outscoring teams by 35 points in the second half and have only allowed 22 points total. We all know the Ravens have struggled in the second half so far this year but the defense is playing better and the Giants lack the weapons to make a big come back.
I am expecting a big win here. Not only are the Giants not talented enough but they also had the London game last weekend, which could have messed up their body clocks.
Ravens 34 Giants 17
Get excited for a low scoring, grind it out, punt filled game on Sunday. I’m fully expecting this to be low-scoring & under 40 total points for a Ravens offense that has been trending in the wrong direction in recent weeks, and a Giants O that’s focused on ground & pound.
I’m going with 130 yards on the ground for Barkley on Sunday, but just 180 passing yards for Danny Dimes who gets sacked twice (Oweh, Calais) and throws a pair of picks to Peters & Pepe.
Offensively, the Ravens struggle early to maintain drives, but on the strength of Lamar’s legs (80 rushing yards) and Duv’s hands (5 receptions, 70 yards & a TD) the Ravens take a late lead and don’t let go.
Ravens 23 Giants 16
Once again my extremely confident colleagues have left me with the short straw. Everyone else is picking the Ravens, so I need to fall on the sword and be the only one to pick the opponent, just as I did – to great effect, mind you – against the Patriots and Bengals.
The things I do for this team.
So, I’m left coming up with the ways I see this potentially going wrong for the good guys. Here goes.
• The Ravens’ difficulties stopping the run prove to be a bigger problem than just “well, they were OK giving up yards to Mixon.” Barkley runs around, over, and through to the tune of 145 ground yards. This opens things up in the play-action game for Daniel Jones, who goes over the top of the Baltimore secondary – playing without Marcus Williams – to connect on a long TD with a WR you’ve never heard of.
• Due to that dominance, NYG owns time of possession, 35 minutes to the Ravens’ 25.
• Wink flummoxes his old colleague Greg Roman, exploiting the Ravens’ weaknesses on offense. He effectively eliminates Mark Andrews, forcing Jackson to find his other targets, who let him down with drops and miscommunications on routes. Jackson completes just 50% of his passes for 215 yards and one touchdown.
• The Ravens trail 23-14 in the fourth, when a garbage-time TD makes it look closer than it was.
Giants 23 Ravens 21
I would love to be able to predict a relatively clean game, but between the way the Ravens have fared with injuries and the god-awful track record of the MetLife turf, all we can do is cross our fingers and hope for the best. In terms of what I think will unfold on said nightmare turf:
• Daniel Jones seems to be righting the ship somewhat in terms of taking care of the ball, only having thrown two interceptions and having yet to surrender a fumble. Some of that is likely due to New York’s renewed confidence in Saquon Barkley, and due to the emergence of Andrew Thomas as a legit LT. However, the Giants have only exceeded 200 yards through the air once on the year, leaving no doubt what the offensive game plan is: force the run. Baltimore stacks the box and dares Jones to pass, and it ends poorly against this hungry secondary as the Ravens secure multiple picks on the day. They also hold Saquon to under 70 yards rushing.
• Baltimore’s shifting O-line pieces are in for a challenge facing premier draft pick Kayvon Thibodeaux, but I don’t think he ends up being the troublemaker for them. An old friend in Jihad Ward uses his knowledge of the system to record a sack and at least one TFL.
• That familiarity works both ways, though; Wink’s penchant for dialing up blitz packages backfires, as Lamar recognizes the rush and breaks free for a long touchdown rush. Lamar also ends up leading the Ravens in rushing on the day.
Ravens 24 Giants 13
I think the Ravens are about to go on a bit of a streak. They’re starting to put things together on defense. The offense feels due for a big day and I think Lamar Jackson will get back to the pace that he enjoyed in the first three games of the year. That means three touchdowns and a prolific day throwing the football.
This is a game against Wink Martindale’s defense and the Ravens know what to expect. While Martindale is very familiar with Jackson, stopping him is a very challenging thing. I think the Ravens will use the aggressiveness of the Giants’ defense against them. The run game will get going and Jackson will create on the ground. This will open everything up in the passing game. If Greg Roman has been paying attention he will use screens and quick passes to slow down the pass rush of the Giants. The offense playing more no-huddle and going with more tempo may be too much of a good idea to ask Roman for, but we know that’s been a problem for Martindale’s defenses. One way or another, the Giants don’t have an answer for Mark Andrews – nobody really does.
A fast start is crucial in this game and the defense has to be a part of that. If the Ravens can make the Giants play catch up they can neutralize the incredible weapon that is JBarkley. Look for the defense to be aggressive in this game. Remember the playoff game in Tennessee where the Ravens dominated Derrick Henry? I think that’s the kind of game Mike Macdonald will want to emulate with his game plan this week. The Ravens’ defense will have its best game of the season and continue an upward trajectory.
Here are some bold predictions for you:
• Lamar Jackson will have 65 rushing yards in the first half, then torch the Giants through the air in the second half.
• Mark Andrews scores twice, and Devin Duvernay scores a touchdown on the ground and catches one as well.
• JK Dobbins will have his first 100-yard game of the season
• Daniel Jones will be sacked four times
• Barkley rushes for only 60 yards
• The Ravens will dominate in the time of possession battle
Ravens 31 Giants 14
I know Wink’s defense is playing well and the Giants are 4-1 but really the only thing that worries me is Saquon Barkley. It would have been nice to have Michael Pierce for this game. I still think the Ravens are still fairly stout between the tackles. The outside runs along with Barkley’s reps as a receiver are another problem.
• Barkley will have 120 total yards from scrimmage and a touchdown.
• Lamar will have more rushing yards than Barkley. He will have 2 touchdown passes.
• JK Dobbins will have 75 yards rushing and a touchdown.
• Andrews and Likely will be the touchdown recipients.
• Geno Stone will have an interception.
• Justin Madubuike will have a sack.
Ravens 24 Giants 13
I can’t help but worry for the Ravens this week as they travel back to MetLife Stadium—a field known for its firm artificial turf that reaps handfuls of injuries every season. After losing both Ja’Wuan James and Kyle Fuller in Week 1 against the Jets, Ravens fans should feel a bit tense going into this weekend.
That being said, a very interesting matchup is in store for Baltimore this week. After holding Joe Burrow to just a single passing touchdown last week, success is in store for Baltimore’s secondary. Given its injuries, New York’s biggest threat in the passing game is currently WR Richie James, who has averaged only 10.1 yards per reception. James will rake in no more than two receptions from QB Daniel Jones who will be forced to scramble a lot on Sunday. Jones will be sacked at least three times and will have his lowest amount of passing yards so far this season.
In regard to the Giants’ run game, RB Saquon Barkley has been a tad inconsistent so far this season but serves as New York’s cheat code for winning games. Barkley will just break 100 rushing yards and earn himself a pair of touchdowns in what will be a run-heavy game for New York.
In terms of Baltimore’s offense, the biggest playmaker this week is sure to be TE Mark Andrews. Given the uncertainty of WR Rashod Bateman’s foot injury right now, Andrews will be heavily relied on just as he was against Cincinnati last week. He will lead the team in targets as well as touchdowns. WR Devin Duvernay is also in store for a touchdown after a solid performance last week.
Baltimore’s rush defense will outperform New York’s pass defense, ensuring a victory for the Ravens.
Ravens 24 Giants 17
The Ravens will face a familiar face this week. The Giants have been one of the NFL’s best stories this year starting out 4-1 with wins over competitive teams. It seems like the adults are finally in charge of this organization. Brian Daboll is a great coach and a smart offensive mind, that has gotten the most out of less.
The Giants offense isn’t flashy but it works and Daboll is playing into their strengths of running the ball a ton and passing when needed. An old school mentality. Saquon Barkley has looked like the generational running back he was supposed to be and the Giants have the highest graded player according to PFF in Andrew Thomas at left tackle.
The defense has looked great so far for the G-Men and Wink has gotten back to his old self and his doing some cool things with a unit that is lacking talent.
On paper this should be an easy win for the Ravens but if they are to win, they have to play mistake free and discipline because this Giants team is no slouches and they get the most out of their players.
This game will have its frustrating moments but the Ravens do pull ahead and win this game.
• Lamar bounces back and has a gray game.
• Kyle Hamilton gets his first pick.
• Duvernay has another great game and continues his impressive stretch.
• The pass rush gives the non-Thomas part of the Giants o-line hell and seals the game for the Ravens.
Ravens 27 Giants 14