Excerpt: "3 matchups to watch
1. Giants defensive ends vs. tackles Michael Oher and Kelechi Osemele
The Giants pass rush isn’t producing at the level expected coming into the season. After accumulating 48 sacks and fueling an improbable Super Bowl run last season, the Giants have just 32 sacks this season, 16th in the league. Two weeks ago, defensive coordinatorPerry Fewell claimed the game plan wasn’t to sack Drew Brees, but the numbers remain disappointing.
The famed trio of Jason Pierre-Paul (6˝ sacks), Justin Tuck(3 sacks) and Osi Umenyiora (6 sacks) have combined for just 15˝ sacks. Pierre-Paul had 13˝ alone through 14 games last season. Today may be their opportunity to bounce back with a pair of Ravens tackles that struggle with speed rushers. Though Umenyiora is the only speed rusher of the trio, Pierre-Paul and Tuck could also provide headaches.
The Ravens may consider going with veteran backup Bryant McKinnie if either Oher, the right tackle, or Osemele, on the left side, find trouble.
Unlike against the Saints and Brees, the recipe to slowing down Joe Flacco is bringing pressure and forcing him to make throws on the run; allowing him to set his feet and launch his deep passes could make for a long day.
2. Giants run defense vs. Ray Rice
Eighteen. That was how was how many missed tackles defensive tackle Chris Canty said the Giants were guilty of last week against the Falcons. Most were a failure to bring down the Falcons running backs, notably the bruising Michael Turner. Atlanta took advantage with 129 rushing yards — the fourth consecutive game the Giants surrendered at least 100 rushing yards.
Today could be worse if they continue down that path. That’s because missed tackles and Ray Rice form a lethal combination. Rice is one of the league’s top running backs and a game-changer. The Rutgers product already has 1,031 rushing yards this season. He’s also averaging 30.5 receiving yards per game. The problem has been getting him enough touches. Rice is averaging just 16.4 carries, his lowest since 2009, and 3.9 receptions on the season. Last week, he had just 12 carries for 38 yards and three receptions for three yards against the Broncos." Read more...