Ravens beat Giants 27-13 and are now in control of their own playoff destiny
The Baltimore Ravens took care of business on Sunday by notching their fourth straight victory with a 27-13 win over the visiting New York Giants to improve to 10-5 and finally got some much needed outside help from a pair of division rivals to move into position to punch their ticket to the playoffs.
The Ravens used a well-balanced offensive attack that was highlighted by their punishing and highly potent run game and another strong performance from their resurgent pass rush, particularly in the second half, to dominate and suffocate the Giants in a lopsided affair.
For the fifth time this season and third time in the last four games, the Ravens offense eclipsed 200 yards rushing led the three-headed monster consisting of the reigning league MVP in Lamar Jackson, Gus ‘The Bus’ Edwards, and sensational rookie J.K. Dobbins.
“I thought our guys did a great job,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said. “Our offensive line [and] our tight ends. Of course, Gus [Edwards] and J.K. [Dobbins] ran the ball exceptionally well. Lamar [Jackson] ran the ball exceptionally well. It was really a good performance by our run offense.”
All three players recorded over 75 yards rushing with Edwards leading the way with a team-leading 85 yards on 15 carries, followed by Jackson with 80 yards on 13 carries and Dobbins picked up 77 yards on 11 carries. The rookie averaged a team-high seven yards per carry and scored a rushing touchdown for the fifth game in a row.
“It’s what’s expected every time we’re out there,” Edwards said. “Big ups to our O-line. Great push, they worked hard all week. Communication was key. They kept coming back to us, giving us input on what they were doing out there. A lot of credit to them. They kept us going the whole game.”
Edwards went over 100 yards from scrimmage by adding 37 yards on a pair of catches to bring his yardage total to 122 on 17 combined touches.
He ripped off several chunk runs but his most impressive play came when Jackson was under heavy pressure and decided to dump the ball off to Edwards after he leaked out of the backfield to present him with a last-ditch outlet receiver.
From there he proceeded to come down with a contested catch on the sideline, stay in bounds, broke a tackle, barreled through a defender, and picked up a bunch of yards after contact/catch before finally being dragged down from behind by two defenders deep in Giants’ territory.
“Gus deserves a lot more credit than he gets,” tight end Mark Andrews said. “He’s the heart-and-soul of our team really with everything he does. The way he runs the ball, you see the way he catches the ball, he breaks tackles left and right. He’s a beast, man. He’s one of our best players. It’s so much fun to play with him.”
Jackson looked like the same dynamic dual-threat that set the league ablaze in 2019 for the fourth week in a row and was just as lethal with his arm as he was with his legs.
In addition to finishing second on the team in rushing, he led the Ravens in passing by going 17-of-26 for 183 yards and a pair of touchdowns with no interceptions and not many errant or off-target passes.
He finished with a passer rating of 111.5 which marked his seventh game recording a rating of 100 or more this season and the fourth straight since recovering from his bout with COVID-19.
Andrews was the leading receiver for the Ravens in this interconference matchup and was targeted more than double any other skill player. He caught six of the 11 passes thrown his way for 76 yards, made many contested catches, and came up with several snags in clutch conversion situations.
On defense, the aforementioned pass rush followed up their big breakout performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars with an even more productive outing against New York.
Baltimore tied their season-high sack total in a single game by bringing down Giants’ quarterback Daniel Jones down behind the line of scrimmage six times in the second half and pressured him on numerous other occasions.
Even though Jones was under constant duress in the first half while the Ravens were building up a double-digit lead with one methodical drive after another, the pass rush wasn’t able to get home in the first two quarters so it made what they were able to do in final two even more impressive.
The Ravens defense sacked Jones three times in succession on the Giants’ first possession of the final corner but a bone-headed penalty on special teams extended what ended up being a scoring drive eight plays later.
Baltimore had five different players record a sack for the first time this season with inside linebacker CJ Board leading the pack with two. Cornerback Marlon Humphrey led the team in total tackles and pass deflections with six and three respectively.
“It was definitely huge to get all the sacks – six total, that’s amazing,” Board said. “The coaches definitely put us in position to make plays, and we just went out there and made the plays.”
It was a milestone day for the Ravens rookie class with several of their early picks in this year’s draft making an impact and making team history.
Dobbins set the franchise record for rushing touchdowns by a rookie with his seventh of the season, first-round linebacker Patrick Queen became just the third rookie in franchise history to record at least 100 tackles and he recorded four quarterback hits, defensive tackle Justin Madubuike logged his first career sack, and wide receiver Devin Duvernay was both explosive and elusive in the return game and even picked up seven yards on a jet sweep.
“It means a lot to me,” Dobbins said. “Jamal Lewis, I mean, he won NFL Offensive Player of the Year [in 2003], and he’s an amazing player. So, for me to do that, it’s an honor and a blessing. I’m just going to keep trying to get better.”
Thanks to the Pittsburgh Steelers coming back and scoring 21 unanswered points to beat Indianapolis and the New York Jets picking up their second win of the season in a shocking upset of the Cleveland Browns, the Ravens are in the driver’s seat of one of the three wildcard playoff spots and finally in control of their only postseason fate.
“You try not to look too far elsewhere, but we control our own fate, and that’s a great feeling,” Andrews said. “All we can focus on is the next game, not focus on the playoffs. We’re just trying to get better and win this game, and the cards will fall how they fall.”
Baltimore is now in possession of the AFC’s sixth see in the current playoff picture and needs to win next week over the 4-10-1 Cincinnati Bengals to not only complete the season sweep but to officially clinch a playoff berth.
“It feels great, but we still have Cincinnati in our way,” Jackson said. “We have to get ready for them because those guys are going to come to play. We’re going to Cincinnati, so we just have to be ready and focus on those guys.”