Eli Manning never saw MLB Ray Lewis lurking near Baltimore's 5, so Lewis easily intercepted Manning's pass intended for TE Kevin Boss just before halftime. Manning completed 5-of-6 passes for 52 yards and a touchdown during a drive in the second quarter. An offside penalty spared Manning an interception late in the first quarter on a tipped pass that LCB Fabian Washington picked off at Baltimore's 19. The Giants went ahead 13-0 on Brandon Jacobs' 1-yard run four plays later. Bottom Line: He had an average day.
RB Ahmad Bradshaw's cutback at the line of scrimmage faked out Lewis and allowed Bradshaw to race up the field for a 77-yard gain early in the fourth quarter. RB Derrick Ward's acceleration on back-to-back plays early in the second quarter, a 19-yard reception on a screen pass and a 22-yard run up the middle, advanced the Giants from their 12 to Baltimore's 47. RB Brandon Jacobs jumped over the attempted tackle of FS Ed Reed inside Baltimore's 5 and landed just across the goal line for the Giants' first score, 6:10 into the game. Bottom Line: They ran over and around the league's best run defense.
WIDE RECEIVERS/TIGHT ENDS
TE Darcy Johnson disguised his route well, got wide open in the end zone and snagged Manning's high throw for a 1-yard touchdown that helped put the Giants in front 20-0 at the 7:14 mark of the second quarter. WR Plaxico Burress' fake on Washington near Baltimore's sideline accounted for nine more yards on a 15-yard reception that brought the Giants to the Ravens' 21 in the second quarter. Johnson caught his touchdown five plays later. Bottom Line: They were quietly effective.
C Shaun O'Hara and LG Rich Seubert took out NT Haloti Ngata to open a huge hole in the middle of the Giants' offensive front, which Ward used to run for a 22-yard gain early in the second quarter. The group combined to keep Manning relatively clean (one sack), despite five official hurries. Bottom Line: They were their usual stellar selves.
With the Giants ahead, 27-10, and the Ravens driving, RDE Mathias Kiwanuka, RDT Justin Tuck and LDE Dave Tollefson all helped collapse the pocket and forced QB Joe Flacco into an incompletion that made Baltimore punt early in the fourth quarter. Kiwanuka blasted a scrambling Flacco from behind, preventing him from finding open WR Mark Clayton in the end zone in the first quarter. Flacco's incompletion on third-and-3 from the Giants' 13 forced Baltimore to try a 32-yard FG, which was blocked. Bottom Line: They harassed Flacco just enough.
SLB Danny Clark missed a tackle on FB Le'Ron McClain at the Giants' 36, allowing an extra 10 yards on a 12-yard reception that helped lead to a Baltimore touchdown that cut the Giants' advantage to 20-10 at the 4:26 mark of the third quarter. Bottom Line: Their three starters were in on 18 total tackles.
Rookie nickel CB Terrell Thomas appeared to be out of position when WR Derrick Mason caught a 14-yard pass in the middle of the Giants' zone on a third-and-9 play from the Giants' 26 in the third quarter. LCB Aaron Ross read Flacco's progression perfectly and stepped in front of Mason to intercept a pass at the Giants' 37 just after the two-minute warning in the first half. Ross returned the pick 10 yards. Bottom Line: Ross enjoyed the best day of his young career.
K Lawrence Tynes' kickoff landed out of bounds just after the midway mark of the second quarter, which enabled the Ravens to start a drive at their 40. K Matt Stover's 38-yard FG cut the Giants lead to 20-3 seven plays later. LS Jay Alford skipped his snap to holder Jeff Feagles, which prohibited Tynes from even attempting an extra point after Jacobs' 1-yard run moved the Giants in front 13-0 late in the first quarter. Bottom Line: Other than one errant kickoff, the move away from John Carney didn't hurt them.
Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride might've been tempted to run Jacobs more after all that success on their first two drives, but using all three backs proved to be effective yet again. Tom Coughlin's successful challenge of what was initially ruled an interception by RCB Samari Rolle would've helped the Giants gain 20 yards in field position late in the third quarter, if not for a 10-yard tripping penalty on the ensuing punt. Bottom Line: They beat up a physical team for their fifth straight win.
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