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Forgotten Storylines: Giants vs. Ravens

The New York Giants, having lost 3 straight, are in a downward spiral that could have deeper repercussions down the line due to the hyper-competitiveness of the NFC East. While the main storylines related to the slump revolve around Eli Manning's poor play, here are some other things to be on the look out for as the Baltimore Ravens come into town

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   Injuries: New York and Baltimore come into this match-up with a combined 21 players on the injury report. Elvis Dumervil , Steve Smith, Terrell Suggs and Devin Hester are just some of Baltimore’s players that either did not practice or were limited. Big Blue, on the other hand, will be vulnerable in the backfield as Eli Apple, Nat Berhe, Darian Thompson and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (among others) are ailing and questionable.

All of this means that the classic “next man up” philosophy will be put to the test for both sides who can ill afford to add more bodies to the IR.  

OBJ: Lost in all the hoopla and controversy is the fact that Odell Beckham Jr. numbers are down, across-the-board. He had 5 catches for 56 yards and his first touchdown of the season against the Packers last week but he was thrown to 12 times. This, after catching only 3 balls for 23 yards the week before against the Vikings.

Some of this decline can be put down to facing above-average pass defenses as well as Manning's and the offensive line’s struggles but some of it needs to be shouldered by Beckham. He needs to be mentally checked-in and forget all the other stuff. Baltimore ranks 7th in the league for pass defense (higher than Green Bay and Minnesota) so this will be a good opportunity for the wide receiver to show off his game and perform.

Discipline: From Josh Brown in the preseason to OBJ’s sideline tantrums to the recent reports that Ereck Flowers shoved a reporter in the Giants’ locker room, the general discipline of the team is being called into question. The latter two episodes were borne out of frustrating losses meaning if Big Blue can get back to winning then maybe these types of outbursts are forgotten and forgiven.        


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