The Baltimore Ravens come in losers of three straight and need one win over their last two games to clinch the AFC North. The task will not be easy tomorrow as the defending Super Bowl Champion New York Giants come in to Baltimore, also desperate for a win. In every game there are always certain matchups that determine the outcome, and this one is no different.
Below I have highlighted the key matchups to watch for and tomorrows heavy play-off implication matchup between the Giants and Ravens.
- Ravens offensive line v Giants pass rush – although the Giants pass rush has not been its normal self this season, the Ravens offensive line has been struggling and their ability to protect Joe Flacco will be a huge factor in this game. Marshal Yanda is questionable for tomorrows game, but his return would be huge for the Ravens.
- Ravens secondary v Giants talented receivers – Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, and TE Martellus Bennett have been causing havoc for opposing defenses all season, and Cary Williams, Jimmy Smith, Corey Graham and James Ihedigbo must find a way to contain them for the Ravens to have a chance in this matchup.
- Joe Flacco v Joe Flacco – You are not suffering from double vision, you read that correctly. Over the last five or so games, Flacco has really looked like he is pressing, even more so over the last two games. Flacco is going to have to find a way to get back in the mentality that he had in last year's AFC Championship game when he came out and played as if no one was going to beat him. That is the Flacco fans want to see, and this team is only going to go as far as Flacco takes them this season.
- Ravens special teams v Giants special teams – Both of these teams have dynamic return guys, with Jacoby Jones in Baltimore and David Wilson in New York, and the special teams unit that has the biggest play could ultimately determine the winner of this game.
It is no secret that both of these teams come in rather desperate for a victory on Sunday, but New York is the team that cannot afford a loss as they are in a three way tie a top the NFC East with the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins. Baltimore has already clinched a playoff spot and need to win one of their final two games to win the AFC North, so although they would love to avoid losing four straight games, a loss does not hurt the Ravens. Either way, it should be an exciting matchup in the final regular season game at M&T Bank Stadium this year as these two teams battle it out in a rematch of the 2000 Super Bowl, Baltimore was victorious for their lone World Championship.
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