Monday, October 17, 2016

Giants Survive Ravens, End 3-Game Skid

GIANTS 27 / RAVENS 23

It was not pretty at the Meadowlands on Sunday, and when it comes to the New York Giants lately, it never is. After watching the Ravens dominate the first quarter by jumping out to a 10-0 lead, Big Blue worked its way back into the ball game, and soon outlasted the Ravens in a fourth quarter shootout.

The star of the show? The same man who has become a lightening rod of controversy for the Giants this season: Odell Beckham Jr. In a lot of way's Beckham Jr's day was a microcosm of the entire afternoon. He started his day by fumbling the football on the Giants first play of the day. Baltimore quickly took advantage and punched it in for six points to make it 10-0.

Later, Beckham Jr. was hobbled by a hip injury that forced him to miss the Giants lone scoring drive of the first half.

Then, when the Giants took off, so did Beckham Jr. On the Giants opening drive of the third quarter, Eli Manning moved the Giants on an efficient 15-play 72 yard drive that ate up over five minutes of action. Manning completed two big passes to Sterling Shephard, an 11-yarder to Beckham, and a clutch 17-yarder to Victor Cruz to the Ravens' two yard line. The Giants would settle for the field goal, but the dye was cast.

After the Ravens took a 13-10 lead midway through the third quarter, the Giants wasted no time in responded. Manning hit Beckham Jr. in the flat toward the sideline and the speedy receiver did the rest. He made a move to peel off the corner was gone down the sideline, galloping home for a 75-yard touchdown to give the Giants their first lead at 17-13.

Keep in mind this game could have been a lot different had the Ravens not shot themselves in the foot. Baltimore drove the ball all the way down to the Giants 1-yard line, thanks in big part to a 70 yard completion from Joe Flacco to Mike Wallace. The Giants maligned defense held the Ravens out of the end zone on three goal line plays, forcing a fourth and goal at the one. Had Baltimore settled to kick a field goal to cut it to 17-16, they could have been in position to either tie or win the game later, instead they decided to go for it. It was a big mistake. The Giants held the Ravens out of the end zone when Terrance West was gang tackled by Jonathan Casillas.

Fast forward to 2:38 to go in the game, with the Giants now holding onto a 20-16 lead. The Ravens had just driven into Giants territory, when Baltimore got the biggest gift of them all when Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was flagged for pass interference. It was a horrible call, because Rodgers-Cromartie was underneath in coverage and had the advantage toward the football. The flag should have been on Breshard Perriman for offensive pass interference. It was a hideous call by the officials, and it nearly cost the Giants the game.

With Giants fans booing their collective heads off, the Ravens scored on Terrance West's two yard plunge on third and goal from the Giants two yard line to make it 23-20.

With 2:04, the Giants needed a miracle. They got it. On fourth and one at the Giants 34, Manning found Beckham Jr. breaking containment down the sideline and hit him in stride for a 66-yard touchdown that sent MetLife Stadium into a frenzy. Beckham dashed into the end zone, ripped his helmet off and even proposed to the kicking net as the Giants stunned Baltimore 27-23.

Beckham had 222 yards receiving on the day, while Manning earned his 100th career win with 300 touchdown passes to boot.

The Giants (3-3) head to London next Sunday to face the LA Rams.

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