Posted December 24, 2012 on
AP on Fox
New York Giants
A celebration four weeks in the making featured laughs and hugs, a surprise appearance by team owner Steve Bisciotti and the distribution of hats announcing the Baltimore Ravens' stature as AFC North champions.
Joe Flacco threw for 309 yards and two touchdowns, and the Ravens defeated the New York Giants 33-14 Sunday to end a three-game losing streak to secure their second straight division crown.
''It feels good,'' wide receiver Torrey Smith said in the upbeat locker room. ''I'm just glad we finally got it done.''
The Ravens (10-5) led 24-7 at halftime and cruised behind a short-handed defense that harassed quarterback Eli Manning and limited New York to 186 yards.
Playing its second game with Jim Caldwell as offensive coordinator, Baltimore scored touchdowns on its first two possessions and amassed a season-high 533 yards -- 289 in the first half alone.
''It's about execution, man. It's a simple word, but it's a very tough task to do,'' said running back Ray Rice, who ran for 107 yards and caught six passes for 51 yards and a touchdown. ''This was a championship game for us.''
After ending their longest losing streak since 2009, the Ravens are assured a home playoff game on the first weekend of January.
''We know what's at stake. We want the AFC championship and it starts tonight,'' safety James Ihedigbo said. ''We're not looking at regular season. Playoffs started for us and we're going to keep on playing.''
The defeat eliminated the defending Super Bowl champion Giants (8-7) from contention in the NFC East and severely damaged their chances of qualifying for the playoffs.
New York has lost five of seven and was coming off a 34-0 defeat at Atlanta. In this one, Manning went 14 for 28 for 150 yards and was sacked three times.
''We have a bad formula going on right here,'' coach Tom Coughlin said. ''We're having trouble stopping people and our offense doesn't hold the ball at all to give the defense a chance to catch their breath. We've had two games in a row, pretty much the exact same scenario.''
Flacco, meanwhile, rebounded from a stretch in which he committed two turnovers in each of Baltimore's three straight defeats. He completed 25 of 36 passes, ran for a score and did not throw an interception or lose a fumble.
He repeatedly picked on cornerback Corey Webster, who simply couldn't contain Smith or Anquan Boldin. Smith caught five passes for 88 yards and a touchdown, and Boldin finished with seven receptions for 93 yards.
Backup Bernard Pierce gained 123 yards as part of a running attack that generated 224 yards.
Baltimore's defense was also impressive despite missing injured linebackers Ray Lewis and Jameel McClain, along with safety Bernard Pollard.
New York fell out of a first-place tie in the NFC East. The Giants will need a win over Philadelphia next week and help from other teams to squeeze into the postseason.
''I feel badly for everyone in that locker room because they can't turn this thing around either,'' Coughlin said. ''What has happened over the course of the last couple of weeks is very difficult to explain. We just don't look like a well-oiled machine offensively at all.''
Said Manning: ''We knew we had to play our best football at the end of the season to get into the playoffs, and we haven't done that. When you're not playing your best, teams can come out and embarrass you.''
Baltimore's first drive ended with a 6-yard touchdown pass from Flacco to Smith after officials overturned a fumble by Jacoby Jones at the New York 5 following a replay review.
The 73-yard march featured a few new wrinkles from the Ravens, most notably an option pitch from Flacco to Rice. and third-string running back Anthony Allen's first catch of the season, a first-down grab at the New York 40.
After the Giants went three-and-out for a second straight time, Smith made an outstanding catch behind Webster for a 43-yard gain and Flacco scored from the 1.
Manning followed with a 43-yard completion to Rueben Randle before David Wilson ran 14 yards for a touchdown. New York didn't score again until Domenik Hixon caught a 13-yard touchdown pass with 3:18 left.
After racking up 52 points against New Orleans, the Giants have totaled 14 in the past two weeks.
''All we can do is go out and get back to playing better football,'' Manning said.
The Ravens went up 17-7 midway through the second quarter. After Boldin burned Webster for 39-yard gain on a third-and-19, a replay erased a 9-yard touchdown catch by Jones and forced Baltimore to settle for a field goal.
Late in the half, the Ravens moved 76 yards in seven plays for a 24-7 lead. Flacco went 5 for 5, including a 27-yard touchdown pass to Rice.
Baltimore opted for ball control in the second half, and the Giants were powerless to stop it. The Ravens moved 82 yards in 16 plays, holding the ball for just short of eight minutes, before Justin Tucker kicked a 20-yard field goal.
The lead became 30-7 when Tucker concluded a 13-play, 62-yard drive with a 30-yard field goal. Tucker added his fourth field goal after a 78-yard run by Pierce.
NOTES: Flacco has thrown for a career-high 3,783 yards this season. ... New York defensive linemen Marvin Austin and Chris Canty both left with knee injuries. ... Boldin hurt his shoulder in the third quarter and did not return. ... Baltimore has won 10 straight regular-season home finales and has 13 consecutive home victories over NFC foes. ... It was only the fifth time in 47 games that New York did not force a turnover.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Tweet Baltimore Ravens wide receiver/return specialist Jacoby Jones has found the end zone via a reception, a punt return, and two kickoff returns this season. When Jones crosses the goal line he rarely disappoints in the celebration department. Against the Pittsburgh Steelers Jones gave us this gem. He channeled his inner Deion Sanders after [...]
Joe Flacco was smiling at the end of the game. Maybe a big part of that was a ton of second-guessing criticism was just lifted from his shoulders.
I've said it all along--- Flacco makes big-time throws, he just can't always count on his receivers making big-time catches. Well, Sunday, they did...
A celebration four weeks in the making featured laughs and hugs, a surprise...
Following today’s big win over the Giants, Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh confirmed that linebacker Ray Lewis won’t be ready to play in next week’s season finale, but they’re hoping to be on the field for the playoffs.
John Harbaugh confirmed that Ray Lewis won’t play next week. They’re aiming for him to return in playoffs.
— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiecsun...
Have yourself a day, Joe Flacco.
Flacco has 202 yards and three touchdowns (one rushing) in the first half of the game. All that adds up to a 24-7 Ravens lead at halftime.
Baltimore has 289 yards of offense.
The defense has sacked Eli Manning twice and has been aggressive all day.
Baltimore receives the ball to start the second half.
The Ravens have to win this week to clinch the AFC North but can their do it against the Giants.
Now that we're in the last two weeks of the season, the playoff scenarios are starting to come into focus.
Here's a look at the scenarios and my predictions:
AFC - Playoff Scenarios
HOUSTON TEXANS - Playing Minnesota
Houston can clinch a first-round...
Public opinion backs the Giants on the road this week but the selection is misguided. After losing to the Broncos last week Baltimore has now lost consecutive home contests after winning 16 in a row on their home turf; but have traditionally played their best ball at home and appear ready to bounce back after a beating at the hands of the Broncos for their 9th straight victory. Jim...
Joe Flacco has engineered some good drives against the Giants’ defense. On a 3rd-and-18, Flacco hit Anquan Boldin for 39 yards to get the Ravens in the red zone.
Jacoby Jones appeared to have a touchdown on the following play, but after review, the referees ruled the pass incomplete.
Justin Tucker kicked a field goal to give the Ravens a 17-7 lead in the middle of the second quarter.
According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis isn’t expected back before the playoffs. There’s a chance he’ll be able to play in the postseason, but nothing is certain at this point.
#Ravens LB Ray Lewis is NOT expected to return from his triceps tear for the regular season, I’m told. Back for the playoff still possible
— Ian Rapoport...
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports that Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis is unlikely to return for either of the team’s two remaining regular season games, but adds that he could return at some point during the postseason.
Lewis has been absent since tearing his triceps in back in Week 6 against the Cowboys. Since then, the Ravens have gone 4-4 with a current three-game losing streak...
Jacoby Jones got into the endzone during the first half of today’s game against the Giants and delighted Ravens fans with this interesting touchdown celebration.
Robot? Bernie? RoboBernie?
Article found on: Cosby Sweaters
The Ravens have had major injuries to key players all season so when Anquan Boldin went down in Sunday’s 33-14 victory, there were concerns.
However, in his Monday press conference, coach John Harbaugh said Boldin’s injury was a shoulder bruise.
That’s good news and the Ravens could even give him a week off and see what they have with Tandon Doss in the season finale against...
The Baltimore Ravens feel as if they've already started the playoffs.
It's a sensation the New York Giants may not experience this year.
In a duel between two slumping teams desperate for a victory, the Ravens beat the Giants 33-14 on Sunday to win the AFC North for the second straight season.
''The difference was, for us, I just think we had a little bit more...
Tweet The Baltimore Ravens will be playing their last two regular season games this season without their veteran linebacker and defensive leader, Ray Lewis. The NFL.com article that reported the news said, “NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport has learned that Lewis is not expected to return from his triceps tear before the end of the regular [...]
1. Nobody should sleep on the Ravens.
The Baltimore Ravens could go from playoff afterthought to Super Bowl contenders very quickly. Their fate depends on Joe Flacco, who finally awoke from his month-long slumber to complete 25-of-36 passes for 309 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions in the Ravens’ 33-14 rout of the Giants in Baltimore. When Flacco plays like he did...
The New York Giants and Baltimore Ravens will play against each other on Sunday. Coverage of the game will air on FOX from M&T Stadium in Baltimore, MD, with kickoff to occur at 4:25 pm EST.
Avg Points Allowed
Both of these teams had commanding division leads and...