The Ravens are 30 minutes away from the AFC North title and the Giants are 30 minutes away from losing control of their playoff destiny.
The Ravens lead 24-7 at halftime in Baltimore after a first half that featured a lot of Torrey Smith, Ray Rice and the Ravens pass rush. Smith has four catches for 81 yards and a touchdown as the Ravens have made point to throwing at whoever Corey Webster’s covering in the first half. It has worked well, Anquan Boldin had a 39-yard gain against Webster too, and Joe Flacco is 15-of-20 for 202 yards.
Rice has added 62 yards on 13 carries and he put the Ravens up by 17 with a 27-yard scamper after catching a pass from Flacco with 64 seconds left in the half. It’s been a very welcome change from recent weeks for the Ravens offense.
The Giants defense has struggled to find the answer to stopping the Ravens offense in all phases of the game and the pass rush remains missing in action. Their offense hasn’t been much better. Eli Manning has been sacked twice and pressured relentlessly by the Ravens. The line is part of the problem, but there have been moments when Manning has time and can’t find anywhere to go with the ball. They put together one nice 77-yard drive for a David Wilson touchdown (complete with backflip), but they’ve gained just 33 other yards in the half.
They’ll need some of that second half magic from last year or they might not get a chance to repeat last year’s playoff magic come January.